I have been making professional-looking candles for years and you can too. Making gel candles is not only easy but also a great hobby to pass along the time and something great to share with family and friends.
There are a few basic items that you will need. Although you can feel free to go to your local craft store and purchase all your candle making supplies, I will tell you how to save money and use items you already have on hand. The basic items you will need are something to melt your wax in, a candle/candy thermometer, glass measuring cup, gel wax, standard zinc core wicks, a hot glue gun, glassware, liquid dye(s), and fragrance(s).
Something to melt your gel wax in – You can save money if you have an old pot in your kitchen that you don’t mind sparing for your candle making projects. If you have around $17 to spare you can check your local discount department or craft store for a small melting pot. The melting pots are easy to use since they have a handle and spout for easy pouring. For greatly discounted prices don’t forget to check online candle equipment suppliers.
Glass Measuring Cup A glass measuring cup can be used to scoop out the melted wax for easier pouring.
Candle/Candy Thermometer – I would recommend going to your local craft store and buying a candle thermometer since these thermometers have convenient markings for boil points. Usually, they sell for less than five dollars in retail.
Wicks Pre-tabbed wicks can often be found at your local discount department or craft store. The size wick you use will be based on the diameter of your glass container; however, for gel it is recommended that you choose a slightly larger wick than is recommended. Also, non-wax coated wicks should be used because pouring the hot gel over a waxed wicked will cause the wax to melt off the wick and may cloud the gel.
Hot Glue Gun Use a small hot glue gun to glue the pre-tabbed wick to the bottom of the glass container.
Glassware Beautiful glass containers can be found inexpensively at a variety of discount department and craft stores.
Liquid Dyes and Fragrances Liquid dyes and fragrances can be found at your local discount department or craft stores, however, online suppliers offer lower pricing.
Gel Wax Gel wax comes in 3 types. LP (low density), MP (medium density) and HP (high density). The thicker or denser the gel is, the more fragrance oil it can hold, and the longer it takes to melt. Which type do you need? LP is perfect for a plain and light to a moderately scented candle. MP is great if you are planning a candle with a heavier scent. And, of course, HP will hold the heaviest amount of scent.
Why be so concerned about how much scent is being used? When you create gel candles it is not uncommon for the candle to come out a little cloudy. One way to fix this problem is to sit the candle in a warm oven until the cloudiness disappears. This will also work for getting rid of bubbles. The only drawback to this is that your scent will lighten.
So that is why you might want to start with a candle that is more heavily scent than you want. Due to the cost of various types of wax in craft stores, I recommend buying your gel from an online source. Check a few of the candle supply websites and you will find you can buy gel wax in bulk cheaper than you can buy a small amount of it at your local craft retailer.
Now that you have everything you need, let’s go into the kitchen and prepare to make the candle. A good amount of counter space is recommended and laying down newspaper will make cleanup quick and easy.
First, you will prepare your glass container by gluing the tab on the bottom of the wick to the bottom center of the glass. Cocktail straws and writing pens are perfect for keeping your wick up straight while pouring the hot gel. After you glue the wick to the bottom, wrap the excess wick around the cocktail straw so that the straw will lie snugly across the top of the glass.
Take the amount of gel that would fit into two glass containers that are the size of the candle you are about to make and put it into your melting pot. Using your candle/candy thermometer as your guide melt the gel to 225 degrees. Next, you will add your fragrance. Add Â½ oz. of fragrance per pound of gel. Fragrances vary in strength, so add more if necessary.
After adding your fragrance you will add color. You will need to add the color quickly before your gel cools below 200 degrees. The liquid dye is very concentrated. Use a toothpick to dip into the dye and then swirl into your gel. Please note that you should not leave any type of wax melting unattended.
Once dye and fragrance have been added you are ready to pour your candle. A gel candle should be poured between 185 and 200 degrees. Pour slowly to reduce the amount of bubble. Pouring at a lower temperature will add to the number of bubbles you end up with. When filling the container pour to 1cm from the rim.
After letting your candle cool for several hours you will have a beautiful gel candle to show of to family and friends and a great new hobby.After letting