Vol.2, No.1

Make gel candles in glasses

You can easily make your own gel candles in 10 easy Steps! This article will explain each step and provide information on candle making supplies.

Small gel candle
Photo Credit: Murat Baysan
You can easily make your own gel candles in 10 easy Steps! This article will explain each step in detail and explain how to purchase candle making supplies. To make a gel candle you will need a candy thermometer, a container, gel candle wax, and any embeds, fragrance, or dye you wish to add to your candle.

Step 1: Cut the wick 3 inches longer than the height of your container.

Step 2: Insert the wick into a wick tab and crimp the tab closed on the wick.

Step 3: Tie or tape the untabbed end of the wick around a stick. A craft stick or a pencil will work well. The stick will be used to center the wick and keep it in place as the candle cools.

Step 4: Place the wick into the candle container. The base of the wick, or wick tab, should rest on the bottom of the container. The stick should be holding the wick up straight while resting on the top of the container.

Step 5: Now you will heat the wax into gel on medium-low heat. Use the thermometer to ensure the wax does not become too hot. The wax will melt at approximately 185-200 degrees. You can purchase covered kettles designed specifically for melting gel candle wax or use a boiling pot from your home that you are no longer using for food items. A double boiler is the safest way to heat the candle wax. Do not microwave gel candle wax. Also, do not allow the wax to become hotter than 221 degrees. The wax should not smoke or boil. Gel wax can catch on fire if it gets to hot!

Step 6: If you want to add dye, add it in small amounts as the wax is heating.

Step 7: After the wax is completely melted, you can add your fragrance. You should allow the gel to cool a little before pouring it into the candle container.

Step 8: Spoon out any bubbles that have collected on the top of the gel before pouring.

Step 9: Pour the gel into the candle container. Pouring slowly minimizes the bubbles in the gel.

Step 10: Keep the wick centered as the gel cools and add any embeds before the wax hardens. If you want to keep bubbles from forming set the candle in a sunny window.

Choosing the right supplies for your candle will make a big difference in the end result. When shopping for candle products, keep the following in mind:

The Container:

The container you choose should be made of glass, acrylic or metal. To determine the amount of gel you will need to fill the container, you can first fill the container with water and the pour the water into a measuring cup.

The Gel Wax:

There are 3 basic types of candle gel wax. Low Density gel wax is used for gently scented candles. It will hold up to ½ oz of fragrance per pound. Medium Density gel wax is for medium scented candles. It will hold up to ¾ oz of fragrance per pound. It will hold non-suspended embeds for a decorative touch. High Density gel wax is used for heavily scented candles. It will hold up to ¾ oz of fragrance per pound and can also be used for suspending decorative embeds.

Embeds:

Embeds are usually made of glass, wax or natural material. Glass embeds are glass objects used to add a decorative flare to your candle. Common embeds of this type include: glass fish for making a "fish bowl" candle, glass olives for making a "martini" candle, or other sea creatures for making "ocean" candles. Wax embeds are made of wax and melt as the candle burns. Popular wax embeds include the following: fruit for making "fruit preserve" candles, gumball embeds, or flower embeds for making "floating flower" candles. Natural embeds are everyday objects that look great inside a candle such as a seashell. It is best to wash these items with warm mineral oil prior to embedding them in the candle to clean off any dusty residue. This will prevent the clouding of your gel candle and reduce excess air bubbles. Never use flammable items as embeds in your candle!

Wicks:

To make a wick for your candle you will need to decide between pre-tabbed or spooled wicks. Pre-tabbed waxed wicks are precut to a specific length and include the tab. The alternative is to purchase a spool of wick and cut each wick to the desired length. If you prefer to cut your own wicks, you will also need to purchase tabs for each wick.

Accessories:

Fun accessories for your candle include glitter, sand, and labels. Sand creates a nice base for an ocean candle. Glitter makes an otherwise boring candle sparkle brilliantly. Labels can add a homemade touch to your candle.

If you feel uncertain about purchasing these items there are a variety of starter kits on the market. These kits will include all the essentials for making your own gel candles today. These kits are a nice way to get started.