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How to Make a Gel Candle

Click HERE for a printable version of these instructions in Adobe PDF format.

Materials Required:

Glass container(s), small vegetable pot, gel wax, wick(s), oven 

mitts, paper towels

Optional materials that make it easier or better J :

Fragrance oil, choice of dye, embeds


several 4-6 inch sections of wire coat hanger

as many alligator clips as you are making candles

  wick stickies to hold your wick in place

1. Select your glassware. It should be clean, reasonably sturdy, and allow room for the wick and the embeds. (The embeds should not be closer than 1? to the wick to prevent discoloration.

2. (If using wick stick-ums, place the wick stick-um either on the wick tab or in the bottom of the container.) Place your wick in the bottom center of your container. It helps keep the bubbles down if you preheat your glass in a warm (not hot!) oven. ** If you are not comfortable handling the warm container, then don?t! We don?t want you to get burned or break something! **

3. Select a pot to heat your wax in. The ideal pot is a small, round pot of the kind you might use to heat up a can or two of vegetables. An old pot is best because it is difficult to clean all the gel from it after you finish, and if you decide to use it again, you don?t have to wash it. Simply cover it up and store it in a clean, dry place.

4. Add your wax to the pot.

5. Turn on your burner or heating element to low heat or flame. Too hot and you scorch your wax. Just keep an eye on it ? if it is slowly melting, then you are doing fine. If it starts to smoke, remove it from the burner and allow to cool. Reduce the heat or flame before putting your pot back on to finish melting your wax. If you have a candy or meat thermometer, then you can make sure the wax is heated to around 180 to 200 degrees.

6. Place your embeds (if any) into the container, keeping them as far from the wick is as practical. (You can ?string? your embeds through the loop with very fine fishing line. Place the short section of wire coat hanger across the mouth of the container. Tie the fishing line over the wire once you have your embeds hanging where you want them. )

7. Once your wax has melted, you can add your fragrance and dye to the pot. Pour from the pot into your container, using a funnel if necessary. Pour slowly to avoid bubbles.

8.  If your embeds move while you are pouring your wax, you can use very fine floral wire to re-arrange them before the wax cools.

9. To hold your wick straight while the candle cools, you can lay another four inch or so piece of wire coat hanger across the mouth of your container and clip the wick to it using an alligator clip or other type clip. Be careful not to pull on the wick too hard, or the wick may become unanchored and float free. If this does happen, use the piece of coat hanger to push the wick tab back into place. Once the candle cools, the tab will stick even if the stick-um loses its effectiveness.

10. Allow to cool completely. Don?t cut any of the lines until 24 hours have passed.

11. If you candle has too many bubbles or it is cloudy, as long as you have not removed any of the wires, line, etc, you can still place your candle on a cookie sheet within the over and bake it at about 200 degrees. If the clouding is because of too much fragrance oil, then the baking will ?cook it out? Baking your candle in this fashion also removes bubbles. In warmer climates, you can always put your candle on a warm surface such as an asphalt driveway and that heat will make the bubbles rise to the surface.

12. Once you are satisfied with the way your candle has turned out, cut all the lines and trim the wick to 1/8 inch.

13. Make everyone within three miles (or related by blood, marriage, or debt) come and look at your awesome creation!!

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