How To Make Gel Candles – 11 Easy Steps

Do you love burning beautiful, scented candles? And do you know that you can easily make them yourself? It is exciting and not at all difficult. Here are 12 easy steps to creating unique candles that you can burn at home, give as gifts, or even sell.

Materials for gel candle making

You will need:

- gel
- zinc wicks (don't use cotton wicks because they absorb too much gel)
- essential oil for fragrance
- liquid color dye
- embeds (optional)

All these materials can be obtained online from candle making suppliers. It is important to use essential oils and colors specially made for gel candles; fragrance oils you can buy in a cosmetic shop are not suitable. Also, you can buy a gel candle making kit. Getting a kit is the best solution for a beginner, because it will include everything you need to make your first few candles

And of course you will need a container. The best container for a gel candle is glass, so people can see the embeds you put inside the candle, but any non-flammable container would do. You can use any glass, wine glass, or even a small wide vase, but your container should be at least 2 inches in diameter. Garage sales and second hand stores are gold mines, when it comes to candle containers.

For embeds you can use anything non-flammable - colored aquarium gravel, marbles, glitter, sand, sea shells, pebbles, crystals, polished stones, artificial jewels or pearls.

Steps to making a gel candle

1. Place a little bit of hot glue in the center of the container bottom. Stick the wick in it and let the glue set.

2. Cut the gel into small pieces so it melts faster and more evenly. Melt it in a stainless steel pot over a medium heat.

3. The trickiest part is the temperature - you should get it to exactly 200°F, because overheated gel looses its clarity. For that, you will need a suitable thermometer.

4. Maintain the temperature at 200°; all the gel should melt and become smooth, like syrup.

5. Add color dye to the melted gel, a little bit at a time, until you get the desired color - remember, you can always add more dye to make the color stronger, but you can’t take dye
away. For a candle with embedded objects, you should use only a little color, so the objects remain visible

6. Add the fragrance - 1/3 teaspoon for each glass of melted gel will give it a nice scent. For a stronger scent, add a bit more fragrance.

7. Heat the container in the oven or microwave to about 150-160°F. This will help to reduce the appearance of bubbles

8. If you want to use embeds, dip them in hot gel first and then arrange them in the container as you like. It is better to keep the objects closer to the sides of the container - they will be easier to see, this way.

9. Now it is time to pour your gel into the container. Place your container on a level surface and pour the gel slowly and carefully down the side. If it is your first time, you will probably get a few bubbles; to avoid that, the gel should be still very hot.

10. Pull the wick up. Roll it on a pencil to keep it straight.

11. Let the candle cool. Trim the wick and you are done! You have a beautiful, unique gel candle, made by yourself.


Tanya Turner is a candle-making expert and a founder of, where you can find information about all types of candles, how to make them and where to get best scented candles.

14 Responses

  1. ChrisRain

    Great! Candle making its my passion and slowly becoming a job 🙂

  2. margaret faye

    Here in Suva,fiji hard to find these things on candle making.too expensive to buy from overseas!!

  3. Marie

    I love making candles they are fun and easy. when I make candles my house smells so good. you wont to make candle you will have fun and enjoy . have fun.

  4. Thank you for your tutorial. What is the best way to clean up when done? How long do you wait for the gel to cool to pour any leftover gel back into the container?

    I had a vision of making clear, glittered gel candles. But when I added the glitter and stirred it often, it just sank to the bottom. Perhaps I needed to add Elmer’s glue to help it stay in solution (unsure about the safety of doing this). The gel got white with lots of small bubbles and didn’t pour clear. Perhaps because of the stirring? The temperature was around 225. The instructions on the container didn’t say what temperature to heat it up to, just that hotter temperatures would produce fewer bubbles and not to exceed 275 degrees. Any advice?

  5. Wiley Marks

    where can I get the items to embed in a gel candle like fish, mermaids, Flower, etc

    • Michael

      quality glass and other sutible embeds

  6. Saba

    can i recycle the gel candle ????

  7. helena

    can gel be remelted if a mistake is made

  8. Tamara Lowrey

    Thank you for the great and easy steps for making the beautiful gel candles. Can you recommend the best place to buy supplies?

    • Marie

      You can but it at amazon or ebay.

  9. kelly

    i did everything but I still cant smell the scent do I do it over and add more fragrance

  10. Shana

    Where can i get the gel frm

    • Pioneer Thinking

      Hi Shana

      You can purchase gel at

      • Mariel Gallardo

        Hi. Please help me. What kind of gel did you use?

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