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How To Make Gel Candles

Making your own gel candles can be a cool little way to add personality to your home ambiance. You'll find the liquid glow a calming addition to your home décor and aroma in the room.

These candles light easily and they are a lot of fun to make. They have a slow burn allowing them to last long. Gel candles are inexpensive to make. You can also customize the scents that you add to these candles. Making candles is fun and easy. There are plenty of designs to choose from or you can make your design. 

Remember, safety should always be paramount when dealing with flammable materials. Never leave a burning candle unattended and keep your workspace clean and organized. 

1. Gel Supplies

To get started, there are some supplies you will need. You can get them online or from a craft store. They include gel, fragrance oils, zinc wicks, and some dye for color if needed. Some people like a clear gel and do not add the dye. Additionally, you are going to need wicks and a hot glue gun to make them stay in place. Gel has a much longer burn time than paraffin wax. So you'll need to get larger wicks to maintain enough melt pool. Zinc wicks are better than cotton wicks that absorb the gel and make it hard to light. They also will not burn well.

2. Candle Holders

There are many holders that a gel candle can fit in. Glass is one of the best options. Make sure the container is non-flammable when using it for the gel candles. There are many different types of glass to select from. A vase is also a good option.

3. Wick Installation

You need to have the wick in the holder before adding the gel. Trim the wick after adding the gel if needed. You will need to hold the wicks in place until they are stable. You may want to mark the bottom of the holder so you know where the center is. The wick should be long enough to go above the holder. You can trim it afterward.

To have the gel melt you will cut it into smaller pieces. The gel needs to be heated to 200 degrees. You can get a thermometer to help you tell when the gel is at this temperature. If it is not at the right temperature the candle will not look right. Put the gel in a holder before it cools. If it cools then it will be clumpy.

4. Adding Color

If you are going to add color to the candle you need to take it slow. The color in the gel will be more vibrant than wax candles. You will use a lot less. Stir the color in slowly. You can always add more but you cannot take it away. If you are going to add items to the candle you should keep the color light. You can then add 1/3 teaspoon of fragrance if you choose.

5. Get Decorative

Besides color, you can add glitter, decorative rocks, marbles, crystals, shells, or anything that will not burn in a candle. When adding items, the gel needs to be hot. You want to put the container in the microwave for a minute. This will help remove the bubbles from the gel. Add the items as soon as the candle is out of the microwave. You can arrange them in different ways. Push these items towards the edge to make them visible. You can create a pattern or you can add them randomly.


Final Thoughts

As with any craft, practice, and patience will enhance your skills over time. By carefully selecting the right gel, choosing suitable containers, and experimenting with colors, scents, and embeds, you can create stunning, custom-made gel candles that add a warm glow to any setting. Gel candles, with their striking visual appeal and enduring burn time, offer a unique take on traditional wax candles. Learning how to make them can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to explore your creativity and even gift personalized pieces to loved ones. Happy candle-making!

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