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How to make GEL candles

Updated on April 22, 2008

Candle Making

Gel Candles

Gel candles are easy to make. They are gaining popularity as they burn longer than wax candles. You can try out different ways to make beautiful 3D effect candles making layers or adding embeddings in glass containers or any other translucent container. Decorate your home with these beautiful candles made on your own.

Materials

Gel Wax- At your local crafts store you will probably find gel in a squeeze bottle or a bucket. It may already be colored or it could be clear. You may also find candle making kits that include the gel, wicks with weights (so the wick will stand on the bottom of the container, color and scent additives.

Candle Scents (strictly only one or two drops, otherwise it may ignite the whole surface of the gel when you light them)

Candle dyes

Wicks

Wick Base

Glass container

Embeds (as per your choice)

Method of preparation

Select the right glass or non-flammable container for your gel candle.

Stick one end of the wick by a wick base or glue in the container. Suspend the wick vertically in the container by tying it to a split cane or a toothpick.

Melt the wax in a double boiler or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. The gel wax may take more time for melting than paraffin wax.

Add the required colour. Only liquid colour is recommended for optimum effects. Water-base and paste dyes won't mix, and color blocks used for regular wax candles may make the gel cloudy. You will want to add your color and scent fairly quick because the gel will start to set rather fast.

Pour the wax into the container as if you're pouring beer - down the side to prevent bubbles. The higher the pouring temperature, the fewer bubbles. Sometimes you want bubbles for effect, in which case you should let the gel cool before pouring. Gel does not shrink so it will not require a re-pour.

Pull the wick up straight and center it.

Once candle is fully cooled down it will be ready to burn.

Layers

You can create all kinds of interesting looks by pouring different colours of gel on top of each other. Allow each layer to completely solidify before pouring next. You can make angled layers by keeping the container at an angle when it is placed for cooling.

Embeds

One can find a craftsman's creativity in making a gel candle from the way of embedding. Take care while choosing items to embed. It is important to take care that only non-flammable items be used as decorative embeds in gel candles. Items such as seashells, glass figures or marbles, sea glass, stones, ceramic figures and wax embeds are fine in gel candles. Sand is often used in the bottom of the popular seascape gel candles. Silk flowers and foliage is also make great choices for gel embeds. If you are tempted to use a flammable items in gel candle, use a short wick which will never burn near these items.

Tweezers and cooking skewers can be used as embedding tools to place the items and to reposition the embeds. If you want your embeds to be in an exact position in the gel candle, suspend them in the container with the help of a sewing thread. Usually readymade embeds contain holes to pass the sewing thread. After the gel has finished solidifying, you can remove the strings by gently pulling on them.

Opaqueness

If you prefer your gel candle to be more dense, add crayons instead of gel candle dye. Another method is to fold the gel repeatedly over as it cools with a butter knife. Transfer the gel to the container when it starts to become stiff to handle.

Bubbles a candle's design theme.

Bubbles are nice to look at, but not for all candles. In some pieces with embeddings where the clarity is important, bubbles become unwanted.

Bubbles are caused by three things:- The heating temperature of the gel, reactions between the gel and items in your candle and the way of pouring the gel.

To reduce bubbles

Preheating the container for at least 10 minutes, before pouring the gel is an easy way to reduce the bubbles. Just put the container in the oven or let it boil for sometime.

Heat the gel to the highest temperature permitting at least some of the bubbles to rise to the surface and break. (when heating the gel to the highest temperature, always be careful and be attentive as just a few minutes of distraction can easily cause a grease fire)

Pre-treat the embedding items - Place the embedding items in a pan with a small amount of gel. Using a tweezer carefully remove the items, holding them over the pan until the gel solidifies.

Try to pour the gel at an angle or down the sides of the container, to minimize the bubbles

Dip the wicks in some melted gel

Stir the gel with a bubble stick

Wick

Wax coated wicks will be stiff and burn well. If you are using the candle for lighting, it is advisable to use short wick so that the embeds in the candle don't get burned. Take care to trim one forth inch of the wick each time after burning or the residue from the burning wick may ruin your candle by making a pool inside and discolouring it.

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    • profile image

      ReviehT 6 weeks ago

      hi - this one is sooo nice. Do you have a video for this?

    • profile image

      Juan 15 months ago

      Hi..I like ur craft. .I would like to use real flowers inside the candle ..

      is that possible?

    • profile image

      Paula 16 months ago

      Very helpful post - thank you!

    • profile image

      Mavis 2 years ago

      Thanks so much for the lesson

    • profile image

      Uma 5 years ago

      owsome tips i'll follow it.

      Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      rexlyn 6 years ago

      nice one!!!

    • profile image

      Samara 6 years ago

      Great tips ... Very helpful...thanks.

    • profile image

      Tammy 7 years ago

      I have been researching how to make gel candles, and by far your tips as well as do's and don't's have been most helpful to me. It is such a beautiful fun craft and I cannot wait to really get started.

    • profile image

      Cloudsandwasabi 8 years ago

      This is a good idea to make candles. I should try it somtime*^^*

    • profile image

      Lisa McGrimmon 9 years ago

      Great tips. My friend made these candles for centerpieces at her wedding. Thay were very cool, she chose a different theme for each candle and made it fit with the intersts of the people sitting at that table. They looked great!

    • sushinisen profile image
      Author

      sushinisen 9 years ago from india

      thank you koke

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      CoolKoke 9 years ago

      Good post .. i must try out sometime .... People with crafting hobbies can try their hand on this :-)