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These patriotic gel candles look wonderful and festive for all the American patriotic holidays, like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.
They look great being displayed all summer! These patriotic gel candles are made using gel wax. If you haven't worked with gel wax before, it is so easy to work with, so give it a try!. It is much easier to use than regular wax. The clean up is easy, and the gel has a slow burn time and extra gel can be reused again.
1. Begin the patriotic gel candles by washing your votive holders and allowing to dry completely. Tie the wicks around a pencil, stick, or a bamboo skewer. Cut the wick to the proper length of your container, so the wick just touches the bottom of container. If you have a wick anchor, let it sit on the bottom of the vase, right in the middle. Place your pencil or stick over the container, so the wicks hang down in the center.
2. Even though the clean up of gel wax is extremely easy (it literally peels off the pot when cooled), it is still a good idea to dedicate a small pot just for working with gel wax. The cooled wax can be peeled off the pot, then wash it out with a grease-fighting dish soap. A knife can be used to cut the gel wax into sections, right in the container it came in. Then, use your hands or a spoons to pull out chunks of the wax and place it in the pot. Put more wax in the pot than you think you need, since you can reuse any you didn't need.
3. Heat the wax slowly, using the lowest heat setting on the stove, just until it begins to melt. Never use a microwave! Try not to stir the wax too often, since this will introduce bubbles. If you don't mind bubbles in your final product, then stir away!
Once the wax is melted, move on to the next step quickly. You do not want the wax to sit on the heat too long and get even hotter once it is melted. Follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly. They may suggest using a candy thermometer. Use caution, as gel wax is highly flammable. Watch the pot constantly and never leave it unattended. In case it does catch fire, it is important NOT to pur water over it. Use baking soda to extinguish the fire or quickly cover it with the pot lid.
4. Continue with the patriotic gel candles by adding a small drop of blue dye to the wax. I dipped a bamboo skewer into the dye and then into the wax, to control how much I added. Once you have the color looking like a good medium blue, it is ready. Now is the time to add candle scent if you like too.
5. Carefully pour the blue gel wax into the glass containers to make your first layer. Give it about 30 minutes to set.
6. You can clean out the pot while you are waiting. Add a little cool water and the gel will solidify quickly. Now you should be able to easily peel the wax off from the sides of the pot. Using grease fighting dish soap, clean out the rest of the pot. Then, get some more gel wax melting. This time the gel can remain clear. When it is melted, add the scent if you are using it. Then pour another layer of wax on top of the blue.
7. Allow the clear layer to solidify (takes about 30 minutes). In the meantime, clean out the pot once again and melt some more gel wax. This time, when it is melted, tint the wax red and add your fragrance. Gently pour the red wax on top of the clear wax to form the last layer.
8. Once set, trim the wicks to 1/4 of an inch before burning. You will enjoy the patriotic gel candles with their long, clean burn time!