Gel Candle Making Steps

Gel candles are a unique and beautiful alternative to traditional wax candles. Their translucent appearance and ability to hold intricate designs make them an appealing choice for both decorative and practical purposes. If you’ve ever been curious about how to make your own gel candles at home, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process from start to finish.

In this article, we will explore the materials and equipment needed for your gel candle making project, as well as important safety measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. We will also discuss how to set up your workstation for optimum efficiency.

Once you are prepared, we will delve into the step-by-step instructions of crafting stunning gel candles. You’ll learn how to choose the perfect container, select the right type of gel and dyes, and infuse your candles with delightful scents. We’ll also cover how to enhance the visual appeal of your creations by adding creative accents and embellishments.

From melting and preparing the gel to pouring it into the chosen container, we will guide you through the process while highlighting common pitfalls to avoid. Understanding the importance of allowing your gel candles to set and cure properly before use is vital, so we will discuss that as well. Additionally, we’ll provide tips for troubleshooting any issues that may arise along the way.

By following our step-by-step guide, you will not only be able to create stunning gel candles but also add finishing touches like labels and packaging for a professional look. As we conclude this article, we hope that you feel inspired and ready to embark on your gel candle making journey at home.

However, if you want to further develop your skills or find more resources on this craft, we have included a list of recommended books, blogs, or videos for you to explore. Get ready for a truly rewarding creative experience.

Materials and Equipment

To successfully create stunning gel candles at home, it is essential to gather all the necessary materials and equipment before you begin your project. This section will guide you through the process of preparing for your gel candle making journey.

First and foremost, you will need to acquire the appropriate supplies for your gel candle making project. Some essential items include gel wax, wicks, containers, fragrance oils or essential oils, dyes or colorants, decorative accents such as glitter or seashells, a thermometer, a melting pot or double boiler, stirring utensils, and a heat source such as a stove or microwave.

When choosing containers for your gel candles, it is important to consider factors such as size, shape, and material. Glass containers are the most commonly used due to their heat-resistant nature and ability to showcase the beautiful properties of the gel wax. However, you can also experiment with different materials like ceramic or metal if they are safe for candle use.

In addition to these basic supplies and tools, you may also want to invest in a few extra items that can enhance your gel candle making experience. For example: aprons or protective clothing to prevent any spills from damaging your clothes; labels and packaging materials to give your finished candles a professional touch; and a dedicated work area with proper ventilation for safety purposes.

By gathering all the necessary materials and equipment before starting your gel candle making project, you will ensure a smooth and enjoyable crafting experience. So let’s move on to the next section where we will discuss important safety measures that should be taken while making gel candles at home.

Safety Measures

Choose a well-ventilated area

Safety is paramount when making gel candles, as you will be working with hot materials and open flames. It is crucial to choose a well-ventilated area to minimize the risk of inhaling toxic fumes or causing a fire hazard. Avoid working in small, enclosed spaces, and make sure there is ample air circulation in the room.

Use heat-resistant containers

Gel candles require higher temperatures during the melting process compared to traditional wax candles. Therefore, it is essential to use heat-resistant containers that can withstand the heat without cracking or shattering. Glass containers specifically designed for candle making are best for this purpose. Avoid using plastic or other flammable materials that may melt or catch fire.

Never leave melting gel unattended

When melting the gel, it is important to never leave it unattended. The gel can reach high temperatures quickly and may catch fire if exposed to an open flame or excessive heat source for too long. Always stay present in your workspace and keep a close eye on the melting process.

Use proper tools and equipment

To ensure a safe gel candle making experience, it is crucial to use appropriate tools and equipment specifically designed for candle making. This includes heat-resistant utensils like silicone spatulas and thermometers made for measuring candle temperatures accurately. Using makeshift alternatives may compromise safety and lead to accidents.

Keep flammable items away from your workspace

To prevent accidental fires, keep all flammable items away from your gel candle making workspace. This includes paper, fabrics, solvents, and any other combustible materials that could potentially ignite from an open flame or contact with hot gel.

By following these safety measures, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gel candle making experience while minimizing any potential risks. Remember, safety should always be the top priority when working with hot materials and open flames.

Preparing the Workstation

Clean and Clear Workspace

Before you begin the gel candle making process, it is important to have a clean and clear workspace. Remove any clutter or unnecessary items from your work area to create a safe and organized space. This will not only help you stay focused but also prevent accidents or spills during the candle making process. You can use a large table or countertop as your workspace, ensuring that it is sturdy enough to hold all your materials.

Organize Materials

To ensure optimum efficiency during the gel candle making process, it is essential to have all your materials organized and easily accessible. Before you start, gather all the necessary supplies listed in the materials section of this article. Arrange them in an orderly manner so that you can easily reach for what you need without wasting time searching for items.

One effective way to organize your materials is by using containers or trays with dividers. These dividers will help keep different components separate and prevent any confusion when working on multiple candles simultaneously. Labeling each container or tray can further enhance organization and reduce the chances of accidentally using the wrong material.

Create Workstation Zones

Dividing your workstation into zones can greatly improve efficiency during the gel candle making process. Create designated areas for each step of the candle-making process, such as one area for choosing containers, another for melting the gel, and a separate space for adding fragrance or dyes. By having clear boundaries between each step, you can focus on one task at a time without mixing up materials or forgetting important steps.

Additionally, setting up individual stations for each component of the candle-making process will enable smoother workflow transitions and reduce chances of mix-ups or spills. For example, designate one area solely for measuring and heating the gel while another area is dedicated to preparing additives like fragrances or dyes.

By implementing these tips when preparing your workstation, you can set yourself up for a successful and efficient gel candle making experience. A clean and organized workspace will not only make the process enjoyable but also ensure that you have everything you need within reach, saving you time and effort throughout the candle-making journey.

Step 1

Now that you have gathered all the necessary materials and equipment, it’s time to dive into the creative process of making gel candles. The first step in this exciting journey is choosing the perfect container for your candles.

The container you select will not only hold the gel and other elements but also play a crucial role in enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your finished product. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a container for your gel candles.

Size and Shape

The size and shape of the container will determine the amount of gel you need and how it will look when the candle is lit. Consider whether you want a small, intimate candle or a larger statement piece. Keep in mind that larger containers may require more gel and longer wicks for proper burning.


Containers made from heat-resistant materials, such as glass or metal, are ideal for gel candles as they can withstand high temperatures without compromising safety. Avoid using plastic or flammable materials as they can melt, warp or become damaged during the pouring process.


The transparency of the container can significantly impact the final look of your gel candle. Clear glass containers allow for better visibility of the gel layers and any decorative elements you choose to incorporate. On the other hand, opaque or colored containers can create a unique visual effect when combined with certain dyes or additives.

Design and Style

Consider your personal style and aesthetic preferences when choosing a container design. You may opt for simple, sleek containers for a modern look, vintage-inspired vessels for a touch of nostalgia, or even experiment with unconventional options like seashells or mason jars for a whimsical twist.

Remember to ensure that your chosen container is clean and free from any cracks or imperfections that could affect its ability to hold the gel securely. By carefully selecting the right container for your gel candles, you can create a visually stunning and personalized final product that will delight both yourself and others.

Step 2

When it comes to gel candle making, selecting the right type of gel is crucial for achieving the desired results. There are different types of gels available, including high-density gels, low-density gels, and medium-density gels. High-density gels are known for their clarity and ability to suspend additives like embeds or decorative objects.

On the other hand, low-density gels have a more translucent appearance which allows light to pass through them. Medium-density gels offer a balance between clarity and translucency.

Does Michaels Have Candle Making Stuff?

In addition to choosing the type of gel, selecting the right dyes is equally important for creating captivating gel candles. Gel candle dyes come in various forms such as liquid dyes, chip dyes, and powder dyes. Liquid dyes are convenient to use as they can be easily mixed into the melted gel, while chip dyes require melting before use. Powder dyes are known for their intensity and vibrant colors but tend to settle at the bottom if not mixed well.

To choose the best type of gel and dye for your project, consider factors such as your desired candle appearance, fragrance compatibility, and personal preferences. Experimenting with different combinations will allow you to discover unique effects that showcase your creativity. Additionally, consider any safety precautions associated with certain types of gel or dye materials.

High-Density GelClarity; Ability to suspend additives
Low-Density GelTranslucent appearance; Allows light to pass through
Medium-Density GelBalance between clarity and translucency
Dye TypeKey Features
Liquid DyesConvenient to use; easily mixed into melted gel
Chip DyesRequire melting before use; versatile in creating custom colors by combining different chips
Powder DyesIntense and vibrant colors; might require more thorough mixing to avoid settling at the bottom of the container

By considering these key features, you can choose the dye type that suits your preferences and project requirements. Remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for usage recommendations and safety measures. With the right combination of gel and dyes, you’ll be able to create stunning gel candles that showcase your creativity and personal style.

Step 3

Choosing the Right Fragrance

When it comes to adding fragrance to your gel candles, there are countless options to choose from. Whether you prefer floral scents, fruity aromas, or earthy fragrances, it’s important to select high-quality fragrance oils that are specifically designed for candle making. These oils are specially formulated to withstand the heat of the burning candle and provide a long-lasting scent.

Consider experimenting with different combinations of fragrance oils to create unique and intriguing aromas. You can also mix different scents in separate containers before adding them to your gel candles, allowing you to customize each candle with its own distinct fragrance.

Adding Fragrance Oil

Once you have chosen your desired fragrance oil, it’s time to add it to your gel candles. The amount of fragrance oil you should use depends on the strength of the scent you want and the volume of gel in your candle. A general guideline is to use approximately one ounce of fragrance oil for every pound of gel wax.

To ensure even distribution of the fragrance throughout your gel candle, it’s important to add the oil at the correct temperature. Wait until your gel wax has reached a temperature between 180-190°F (82-88°C) before adding the fragrance oil.

Carefully pour the measured amount into the melted gel wax while stirring gently but continuously. This will help incorporate the fragrance evenly and prevent any separation or sinking of oils.

Customizing Your Fragrance

If you want to get more creative with your fragrances, consider blending different scents together. This allows you to create a unique aroma that reflects your personal preference or captures a specific mood or ambiance.

To blend fragrances, pour small amounts of two or more scented oils into a separate container and mix them together thoroughly. You can experiment with different ratios until you achieve your desired scent combination. Once you’re satisfied with the blend, carefully pour it into your gel wax and stir gently to incorporate.

Remember to keep notes of your fragrance combinations and proportions so that you can reproduce successful blends in the future.

Safety Precautions

While adding fragrance to your gel candles is an exciting process, it’s important to take certain precautions for your safety. Ensure you are working in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhaling an excessive amount of fragrance oil. In addition, be cautious when handling hot wax and oils to avoid burns or other accidents.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the usage of fragrance oils and adhere to recommended guidelines for concentrations and safe practices. It may also be helpful to wear gloves and protective eyewear while working with fragrance oils to prevent any accidental skin or eye contact.

By following these steps and taking the necessary safety precautions, you can infuse delightful scents into your gel candles and create a truly aromatic ambiance for yourself or as gifts for others.

Step 4

Decorating with accents is an essential step in creating stunning gel candles. By incorporating creative accents and embellishments, you can enhance the visual appeal of your candles and make them truly unique. Here are some tips and ideas to help you decorate your gel candles:

  1. Choosing Accents: Consider the overall theme or style of your gel candles when selecting accents. Popular options include seashells, dried flowers, beads, glitter, or even small trinkets that are relevant to the occasion or desired aesthetic. Ensure that the accents you choose are heat-resistant and will not melt or catch fire when the candle is burning.
  2. Placement: Decide where you want to place the accents on your gel candle. You can scatter them throughout the gel layer, create a design along the container’s edges, or concentrate them in a specific area for a focal point. Experiment with different placements to find what looks best to you.
  3. Embedding Accents: To embed accents into your gel candle, carefully place them in the container before pouring the gel. Use a skewer or toothpick to position small items precisely where you want them. Make sure they are fully submerged in the gel for better adhesion.
  4. Layering Effects: Create visually appealing layers by pouring a small amount of melted wax between each layer of gel. This technique allows for more depth and dimension in your design and helps prevent all of your accents from sinking to the bottom.
  5. Floating Accents: Instead of embedding your accents within the gel, consider floating them on top of it for an ethereal effect. Examples include floating tea lights on water-filled glass containers or allowing flower petals to rest gently on the surface of the gel.

Remember that less is sometimes more when it comes to accentuating your gel candles’ beauty. Too many embellishments can overwhelm their appearance or interfere with how they burn once lit. Practice moderation and balance for visually pleasing results that will impress anyone who sees or receives your creations.

Step 5

Once you have chosen the perfect container for your gel candle, it is time to move on to Step 5: Preparing the Gel. This step is crucial in ensuring that your gel melts properly and is ready for pouring into the container. Here are the key steps to master the art of melting and preparing the gel:

  1. Gather Your Materials: Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary materials for this step. You will need your gel wax, a double boiler or melting pot, a thermometer, and any additives or enhancers you plan to use.
  2. Set Up a Safe Melting Area: Safety should always be a top priority when working with any type of wax or gel. Set up a designated area for melting your gel where there are no flammable materials present. It is also essential to have good ventilation to prevent any fumes from accumulating.
  3. Melt the Gel Wax: Fill the bottom part of your double boiler or melting pot with water and place it on medium heat. Place the gel wax into the top part of the double boiler or into a heat-safe container if using a melting pot. Slowly heat the water until it reaches approximately 200°F (93°C).
  4. Monitor and Stir: As the wax begins to melt, keep a close eye on it and stir occasionally using a heat-resistant utensil. Be patient; it may take some time for all of the gel wax to completely melt.
  5. Add Colorants or Enhancers (Optional): If desired, now is the time to add colorants or enhancers such as glitter or mica powder to give your gel candles an extra special touch. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage and quantities.
  6. Remove from Heat and Cool: Once all of the gel wax has melted and any additives have been thoroughly mixed in, remove it from heat and allow it to cool slightly before pouring into your chosen container.

By following these steps, you will be able to master the prepping process of melting and preparing your gel wax for pouring into the container. Now that you have completed Step 5, the next step in creating stunning gel candles is Step 6: Pouring the Gel.

NOTE: Remember to always refer to the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer of your gel wax for any additional or alternative steps needed during this process.

Step 6

Once you have prepared the gel according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it is time to pour it into your chosen container. Although this step may seem simple, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind to ensure a successful outcome.

1. Prepare your workspace: Before pouring the gel, make sure your workstation is clean and free from any clutter. Place newspaper or a disposable tablecloth underneath your container to catch any spills or drips. It is also recommended to use a heat-resistant surface such as a silicone mat or a cookie sheet for added protection.

2. Slow and steady does it: When pouring the gel into your container, it is crucial to do so slowly and steadily to avoid creating air bubbles and uneven distribution of the gel. Tilt the container slightly, allowing the gel to trickle down one side of the vessel while ensuring it evenly fills all areas.

3. Avoid overfilling: Be mindful of not overfilling your container as this can lead to overflow once the candle starts burning. Leave some space at the top, at least half an inch or more, depending on the size of your wick and any additional decorative elements you plan to add later.

4. Dealing with air bubbles: If you notice any air bubbles forming while pouring, gently tap or shake the container in order to release them. You can also use a toothpick or skewer carefully inserted into the gel to help remove stubborn bubbles near the surface.

5. Clean up any spills immediately: If you accidentally spill some gel during pouring, clean it up immediately using paper towels or rags soaked in warm water. Gel can be slippery and difficult to remove once hardened, so prompt action is necessary.

Ehow Candle Making

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and successful pouring process for your gel candles. Remember to take your time and be patient, as pouring is a delicate task that requires precision and attention to detail.

Step 7

Setting and curing your gel candles is a crucial step in the gel candle making process. This step ensures that the gel fully solidifies and becomes stable, allowing it to burn safely and efficiently. Here are the key points to understand about setting and curing your gel candles:

  1. Time required: Gel candles typically require a longer time to set and cure compared to traditional wax candles. It is recommended to allow your gel candles to set for at least 24-48 hours before moving them or attempting to light them. Curing can take an additional 1-2 weeks, depending on the size and type of your gel candle.
  2. Proper temperature: During the setting phase, it’s important to keep your gel candles at room temperature or slightly cooler. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or near any sources of heat, as this can cause the gel to melt or become unstable.
  3. Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is necessary during the curing process to ensure any residual fumes from the fragrance oils dissipate properly. Place your curing candles in a well-ventilated area away from pets and children.

To achieve optimal results when setting and curing your gel candles, here are some additional tips:

– Resist the temptation to touch or move your candles too soon after pouring them into their containers. Any disturbance during the setting phase can lead to surface imperfections or even create air bubbles within the gel.

– Monitor the progress of your gel candles during both the setting and curing phases. If you notice any signs of melting, discoloration, or unusual odor, it may indicate improper setting conditions or issues with the formula you used.

– Keep track of how long each specific formula takes to set and cure properly, as different brands of gels may have varying requirements.

Remember that patience is key when it comes to setting and curing your gel candles. By allowing enough time for these steps, you will ensure that your finished product burns safely and beautifully while maintaining its shape and integrity.

Step 8

After successfully creating your stunning gel candles, it is time to add the final touches and present them in a way that gives them a professional and polished look. The final touches include adding labels and packaging that not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also provide important information about the candle. Here are some essential steps to follow for adding those finishing touches:

  1. Labels: Designing and attaching labels to your gel candles can elevate their visual appeal and make them more marketable. Consider creating labels that reflect the theme or style of your candles. Include important details such as the fragrance, burn time, instructions for use, and any necessary safety warnings. You can print labels at home using sticker paper or order customized ones from a printing service for a more professional finish.
  2. Packaging: Choosing the right packaging for your gel candles is crucial for protection during transportation and enhancing their presentation. Consider using clear gift boxes or decorative tins to showcase the beauty of your gel candle while keeping it safe from dust or damage. Additionally, you can wrap individual candles with colorful tissue paper or bubble wrap before placing them in their packaging.
  3. Presentation: To give your gel candles a finishing touch, think about creative ways to present them. Arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing manner on a display shelf or create gift sets by combining multiple scents or designs. Adding ribbons, bows, or other decorative elements to the packaging can further enhance their appeal.

By paying attention to these final touches and presentation aspects, you can transform your homemade gel candles into beautiful products that are ready for gifting or selling.

Final TouchesPresentation
Add labels with key detailsArrange candles in an appealing manner
Choose packaging for protection and aestheticsCreate gift sets or bundles
Print labels or order customized onesAdd decorative elements to the packaging

Troubleshooting and Tips

One of the joys of making gel candles at home is the ability to exercise your creativity and produce unique and stunning creations. However, like any craft, gel candle making can come with its own set of challenges. This section aims to address common issues that may arise during the gel candle making process and provide valuable tips for success.


Sinking Wicks: If you find that the wicks in your gel candles sink to the bottom while they’re cooling, it could be due to using an incorrect wick size. To avoid this issue, make sure you select a wick that is appropriate for the size of your container and follows the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Bubbles in Gel: Sometimes, bubbles can form within the gel as it sets, which can affect the overall appearance of your candles. To prevent this, ensure that you are pouring the gel smoothly into the container without stirring it too vigorously. Additionally, using a heat gun or a hairdryer on a low setting can help eliminate bubbles by gently heating the surface.

Uneven Burning: If you notice that your gel candle burns unevenly and creates a tunnel effect, it usually means that the wick is not large enough to generate sufficient heat. To rectify this issue, consider using a wider or thicker wick that will provide more consistent heat distribution.

Tips for Success:

Temperature Control: It’s crucial to maintain an optimal temperature while working with gel candles. Always monitor and adjust both room temperature and candle-making equipment temperature as required by following the instructions provided by manufacturers.

Experimentation: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fragrances, dyes, and additives in your gel candles. Embrace trial and error to discover unique combinations that suit your preferences.

Labeling: To add a professional touch to your gel candles, consider labeling them with the fragrance name, burning instructions, and any precautions or warnings. This will not only enhance your candles’ presentation but also provide important information for those enjoying them.

By being aware of potential issues and following these valuable tips, you can enjoy a smoother gel candle making process and achieve stunning results. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if things don’t go perfectly on your first attempt. With time and experience, you will become more proficient in the art of creating beautiful gel candles at home.


To recap, the main steps involved include selecting the perfect container for your gel candles and choosing the right type of gel and dyes. Adding fragrance to create an inviting aroma and decorating with accents elevate the visual appeal of your candles. Preparing the gel properly and pouring it into the container without any mishaps are crucial steps that require attention to detail. Allowing your gel candles to set and cure before use ensures optimal burning performance.

As you gain experience in gel candle making, you will also develop your own techniques and preferences. Experimenting with different scents, colors, and embellishments can add a personal touch to your creations.

We hope that this article has inspired you to try your hand at gel candle making. Not only is it a wonderful way to express creativity, but it also makes for great gifts or even a potential business venture. So gather your materials, follow the steps provided here, and enjoy the process of creating beautiful gel candles at home.

If you’re looking to further expand your knowledge in this craft, there are plenty of resources available online. Books, blogs, and videos dedicated to gel candle making provide valuable insights from experienced crafters who can share their tips and tricks. Delve into these additional resources and continue honing your skills as you delve deeper into the enchanting world of gel candle making.

Additional Resources

The art of gel candle making offers endless possibilities for creativity and personal expression. Now that you’ve mastered the step-by-step process of crafting stunning gel candles at home, you may be eager to continue expanding your skills and knowledge in this craft. Fortunately, there are many resources available that can help take your gel candle making journey to the next level.

For those who prefer traditional forms of learning, a variety of books on gel candle making can be found at your local library or purchased online. These books often provide in-depth instructions, techniques, and troubleshooting tips to help you refine your skills and expand your repertoire of designs and fragrances. Some popular titles include “The Complete Guide to Gel Candlemaking” by Jonathon Jones and “Gel Candles: 40 Inspiring Projects for Creating Your Own Handmade Candles” by Cheryl Owen.

Blogs have become an invaluable resource for craft enthusiasts, and gel candle making is no exception. Many talented individuals share their experiences, insights, techniques, and even free tutorials on their blogs. By following these blogs regularly, you can gain inspiration from their projects and learn new approaches to gel candle making. Some noteworthy blogs include “The Gel Candle Corner” by Maya Wilson and “Crafty Candles Blog” by Jessica Anderson.

If video tutorials are more your style, there is an abundance of online platforms where experienced crafters share their expertise in creating beautiful gel candles. Websites such as YouTube offer a vast collection of step-by-step videos that guide you through various aspects of the gel candle making process. Watching these videos can give you a visual demonstration of different techniques and inspire new ideas for your future projects.

With these additional resources at your fingertips – books, blogs, and videos – you have the opportunity to continue growing as a gel candle maker long after completing this guide. Whether you prefer reading detailed instructions in a book or embarking on a virtual journey through blog posts or video tutorials, these resources will undoubtedly equip you with the knowledge and inspiration to create even more stunning gel candles.

So, don’t hesitate to explore these recommended resources and let them guide you on your ongoing gel candle making adventure.

Send this to a friend