Making Wine Glass Gel Candles
You may say "in vino veritas" but with these wine glass gel candles, you'll also be able to say "vinum in lucem" or, in wine there is light.
This project will guide you through how to make a gel wax candle that looks just like a glass of red wine.
Let's get started!
Materials and Tools to Make Wine Glass Candle
These gel wax candles are made on the basic principle of a basic small votive-size gel candle with a few small adjustments.
Materials and Supplies
- Wine glasses: Use a small glass so that it's more of a votive sized candle.
- Gel candle wax: Each glass holds about three ounces of gel. Use a low-density gel wax. so you'll have less trouble with bubbles. It doesn't hold as much fragrance oil so if fragrance strength is more important to you than bubbles, use a medium-density gel.
- An appropriate wick for the glass size: We're using a zinc votive candlewick 44-24-18z that has been reprimed for gel wax.
- A fragrance oil suitable for gel wax: The low-density gel will handle about 1/2 ounce of fragrance per pound of wax, so that means using about .3 ounce of fragrance in the three candles.
- A few drops of red candle colorant—and a tiny bit of blue if you have it.
- A bit of red craft sand.
- Melt pot, chopsticks, heat source, and lots of paper towels.
- A basic understanding of candle making safety.
Prepare the Wine Glasses
Like with a votive or container candle, the first thing to do is prepare your containers by setting the wicks into the glasses.
Dab a glob of hot glue onto the bottom of the wick tab and place it in the center of the wine glass. Tip: Use a soda straw to hold and place the wick.
Carefully sprinkle a bit of the red craft sand into the glass—just enough to cover the wick tab.
Melt the Gel Wax and Add the Fragrance
Basic candle making safety would say to never melt candle wax over a direct heat source—to only use a double boiler setup or wax melter. However, with gel wax, there is some debate about this. Gel wax, especially the medium and high-density waxes, needs to be heated to about 220 F. You can't do that in water that boils at 212 F—hence the dilemma.
So, most folks melt it over an open heat source (We recommend a hot plate, to keep drops of the gel off of your stove)—and are just very very careful and monitor the wax temperature very closely. Don't let the gel heat up to over 225 F.
Scoop and weigh out the appropriate amount of wax for your glasses and put it on to melt. Stir regularly with a chopstick. Gel wax needs to be melted slowly. Turning up the heat too high will only scorch the wax. Be patient, heat slowly, and keep stirring.
Once the gel wax is completely melted, stir in the fragrance oil. Stir the wax and fragrance gently together for a minute or two.
Add Color to the Gel Wax
Here's where your creativity comes in.
What color wine or effect you want to create will determine what color you add. We wanted these to look like a light red wine, so we added about two drops of red colorant. However, with just the red color, it looked a bit too much like a cherry punch, so we added just a tiny tiny bit of blue. We didn't even use the dropper; we just dipped the tip of a toothpick into the blue dye and used that. It was just enough to give it a bit more of a burgundy color.
If you were making "white wine" you could use a little bit of yellow color. Be sure to take into account the color that the fragrance oil is going to add.
Pour the Candle Wax Into the Wine Glasses
Once the gel wax is melted, colored and fragranced, you can pour the candles.
First, very gently, pour just a tiny bit of the melted wax onto the top of the red sand. A half teaspoon or so is all you'll need to pour—just enough to cover the sand. Let this gel cool for a few minutes. This step helps keep the sand from shifting or floating when you pour the rest of the candle wax.
Then, carefully fill the glasses with the rest of the gel wax.
Center the wicks with chopsticks or tweezers. We're using short votive-sized wicks here, so there isn't enough left at the top to use a wick bar or chopsticks, so we just have to monitor that the wicks stay centered as the candle is cooling.
The Great Bubble Decision
You've got a decision to make at this point. Chances are, you've got some bubbles in your candles either from a bit of air captured in the wick or sand or just from the melted gel.
If these were champagne candles, you'd want some bubbles, but since these are wine candles, you probably don't. Since these candles don't have any layers or wax embeds, the easiest way to remove the bubbles is just to put them on a cookie sheet in a warm oven set at about 220 F.
Check on them every 15 minutes or so. To get all of the bubbles out of these candles took about 1 1/2 hours.
Finished Wine Glass Gel Candles
Now you can pour yourself a glass of real wine, and light your wine glass gel candles. Tie a piece of ribbon around the stem, or add a wine charm for a bit of extra adornment.