Candles are nice, but for great aroma without the fire, gel melts are perfect. Gel melts are similar in appearance to a candle, but instead of burning wax, you allow them to melt, gradually, in the air. Usually stored in a glass jar, gel melts let go their wonderful smell when you remove the lid. As the gel is exposed to the air, it gradually gets smaller and smaller, over a period of time.
These are extremely easy to make and are great for you or as a gift. Save glass jars with lids, like canning jars, for holding the gel melts. After you have a batch of jars with lids, you’re ready for an afternoon of gel-melt making. Sometimes referred to as tarts, the gel melts can also be placed in small foil cups, glass or ceramic bowls, and cups. Something with a lid is preferred, though, unless you want to use the melt constantly.
After washing the jars and lids well, heat 1 cup of distilled water just to boiling. Add 4 packs of Knox gelatin and dissolve completely, then add food coloring until you are satisfied with the color. Experiment with the colors by mixing two or three different colors to make one new shade. If you don’t have any food coloring, the gel melt can be left in its natural color.
The uncolored melts won’t be as attractive as the colored ones, but it won’t affect the aroma at all. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of distilled water. Place 50 drops or one small bottle of essential oil into the jar. You can experiment with different aromas, adding 25 drops each of cinnamon and apple or another combination. Now pour the gelatin mixture into the jar and refrigerate for a couple of hours. To help prevent spills while pouring the liquid, use a funnel and a ladle to fill the jars.
After the jar is cooled, remove from the refrigerator and cover with lid or plastic wrap. You can decorate the lid by adding a nice fabric to the top of the lid, then wrapping the lid in the satin ribbon. If you have no lid, you can cover in plastic wrap and then add cloth or just a ribbon. The recipe makes about a quart, so adjust the recipe if making multiple gel melts.
If you don’t have any jars for placing the melts, a disposable, tinfoil muffin pan will do fine. Just pour the mixture into the muffin tins, then after cooling, cut each muffin section away from the pan. These can now be covered in fabric or plastic wrap. You can also tuck foil inside a metal muffin pan, making sure the foil covers the entire inside cup of the muffin pan. After cooling, simply lift the foil out of each section of the muffin pan, and wrap with fabric or plastic.
There are many different things you can use to hold the melts, including empty mixed nut cans, small ceramic potted plant holders, coffee cups, pudding bowls, soap dishes, or even a juice glass. The choices are endless, but since these will melt away when exposed to air, keep covered until needed.
Also, the smaller containers are preferred to something large, like a quart jar. Since the melts become less and less attractive after being exposed to air many times, you probably won’t want to make huge ones which will take endless months to finally dissipate.Also