Making Gel Candles

For making gel candles, you will need to purchase a kit or pull these items together yourself: gel candle glasses, candle gel, your preferred essential oil(s), zinc wicks, a candy thermometer, liquid dyes, and if you like, you can also purchase embeds to decorate your gel candles.

Make sure that the dyes are intended for gel candles and that you do not use cotton wicks, because they will absorb the gel. You have several options for embeds. You can use polished stones, colored glass gyms (used in vases and aquariums), glitter, colored gravel, glass beads, shells, and even little metal charms. Whatever you choose just needs to be non-flammable.

Use a hot glue gun to attach the wick to the bottom of the gel candle glass. After the glue cools, cut up the gel into pieces to melt faster. Put them in a stainless steel pot. Dont overheat them. Just use a low-medium heat to melt them evenly.

The goal is 200F. Much higher than that and the gel will not set clear. So check your thermometer frequently until you get it right. Once the gel is smooth, you can start slowly adding your color, checking as you stir for the desired shade. Dont over-color if you want your embeds to show.

Approximately 1/3 teaspoon of essential oil should give each glass of gel a strong enough scent, but you can add a little more if you like. Make sure that before you pour, you heat up the glass to between 150F and 160F so you dont get bubbles in the gel. Dip the embeds in the hot gel before you place them in the candle and place them towards the outside of the container for increased visibility.

Pour your gel into the heated glass over a flat surface. Pour slowly to further avoid those undesirable bubbles. After you have filled your container, pull the wick up and wrap it around a pencil you can set over the top of the glass, to keep the wick straight while the gel dries. Once it is dried, you can trim the wick and present your finished project.
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