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Make gel candles yourself - creative guide

  • Make gel candles yourself
    • materials
    • manual
  • Creative design ideas

Gel candles look wonderfully imaginative, they burn longer than ordinary candles and absolutely odorless - unless you want sensual scented candles. With our simple guide you have the design completely in your own hands. Create your very own gel candles for every season and every step of the way as great gift ideas for Christmas, birthdays and similar celebrations!

It'll make light - creative candles made of gel just yourself

Who would have thought that the so artful acting gel candles are actually fast and easy to make at home. Even the necessary materials are limited, but must meet important requirements. By contrast, there are no rules for the personal designs: For every conceivable occasion, it is possible to create suitable motifs. For the sake of clarity, therefore, in the first section, you will first learn everything about how your candles made of gel succeed in a particularly good way, with many tips and tricks. Then you will find many interesting ideas for creating different motives and the game with scent and color. Because even that is easily possible with DIY gel candles. Of course, especially the little ones have great fun with such colorful creativity. But as the wax can get very hot, adults should always join in as well.

Make gel candles yourself


  • colorless and transparent candle gel * (can be dyed later at will)
  • Fireproof glass as a candle holder (such as small canning jars or empty jam jars)
  • Wick around, waxed **
  • thin wooden skewer
  • Asian chopsticks, unseparated; Alternative: Closure clip for cling bag
  • Utensils for water bath (refractory bowl, glass or small pot and larger pot)
  • Scissors or small pliers
  • Decorative items, wax colors or fragrance oils

* Tip to the candle gel:

You can buy the gel you need in a craft shop or online for around 15 euros per 500 to 1000 g. It differs in its composition only minimally from ordinary candle wax, but with enormous effects on the optics.

** Tip to the wick:

If your candle glass is not wider than 5 cm in diameter, very thin wicks are sufficient. In addition, it is advisable to grasp ever stronger wicks, the more voluminous the candle should fail. Waxed round wicks are ready to buy, alternatively you can also make them yourself like here: [Link from Talu-Instructions to DIY wicks]

Difficulty level: easy
Time required: 15 - 30 minutes, depending on skills
Material costs : depending on the intensity of the decorative items between around 15 euros (for the gel) to about 25 euros with lush decoration; Glasses and tools are generally available in the household or can be obtained free of charge


Step 1: Prepare your water bath by bringing tap water to a boil in a large saucepan and then placing a second fireproof pot - such as a smaller saucepan, bowl or mason jar - on or in it.

Tip: Never heat the candle directly in a pot standing on the hob and never bring the temperature above 120 degrees Celsius, otherwise there is a risk of fire.

Step 2: In this second smaller vessel give your candle gel.

Tip: You do not have to be frugal. If you do not use the entire Gelportion, you can easily return the product in its container and keep for later. It then becomes easy again.

Step 3: Now heat the base material for your gel candles until all of it has become liquid.

Tip: If you want to see many small bubbles later in the finished candles - which looks very appropriate, for example, for maritime designs - the gel can be heated with gentle stirring. This creates lasting bubble formation. Conversely, to create as clear a mass as possible, it is important to avoid unnecessary movement in the vessel.

Step 4: While the gel melts, you could now initiate the decorative steps discussed in Section II.

Step 5: There are two ways to insert the wick. Try out what suits you better:

Variant A - place wick in advance:

Take two chopsticks that are not yet separated from one another for Asia's needs. In between, clamp the tip of the wick while the piece of metal should touch the bottom of the glass. Of course, the wick is still too long in this way, but that does not matter, you will cut it at the end suitable.

Tip: Instead of the chopsticks succeed the construction with a Frischhalteklammer, two brushes or the like. The main thing is that the wick is securely fixed in the middle of the glass from the top, so you do not have to hold it all the time.

Variant B - piercing the wick at a later time:

It is even easier to insert the wick after the gel has already cured to a great extent. For this you need a spit, not much thicker than the wick itself, with which you stab in the middle of her candle. In this space add the wick to the very bottom. This is especially easy if you keep it in the fridge for a while. Then you can cut off the wick tip about 1-2cm above the gel surface.

Step 6: Carefully pour the completely liquid gel into the provided candle glass until it is about one to two fingers below the edge.

Step 7: If larger bubbles have formed on the surface after the finished pouring, pierce them with your spit as quickly as possible to create a nice smooth surface.

Step 8: Now your gel candles need between 30 minutes and 2 hours to fully cure. The exact period of time depends on the particular starting product used and in many cases can be found in the package instructions. It is best not to move the glass until you are sure that everything is tight.

Creative design ideas

As you can see, even completely pure gel candles are already a great sight and captivate with their frosty touch in contrast to the warm candlelight. Basically, you could leave your creation - for example, as a gift for purists - just like that and have achieved a decorative result. If it's allowed to be a little more, there are at least four different ways to give your DIY gel candles a special glow. All inspirations achieve an intense effect when used individually, but of course they can also be combined at will. Just pay close attention to the instructions on which step you should preferably include in the basic instructions.

1. Stack sand and stones

Colorful colored craft sand (in the craft shop or online to have) or even real sand from the last vacation trip results in a stylish basis for each candle design. Just fill in a layer of sand at the bottom of your clean glass. This is exactly how you can use decorative stones, pebbles or gemstones. Then pour the gel over it or place more elements on it.

A more elaborate variation is the stacking of the individual layers of sand. With this technique, artistic patterns can be designed! This is how it works: They cover the glass bottom with a thin layer of sand. Over this, apply an approximately finger-wide layer of candle gel and let it harden. Now you can place new sand, maybe in a different color or even stones and similarly heavy objects. Fix this step again with a layer of gel. Maybe your glass even has room enough for another row ">

Just put some items on the floor or on pretty decorative sand as a primer. For winter motifs, white sand creates a wonderfully snowy effect. Arrange your figures - possibly with the help of a skewer or tweezers in very narrow glasses - while your candle melts or as a first step in peace.
Alternatively, it is a great idea to mix small decorative elements directly into the heated and just taken from the water bath gel. Glitter particles, little stars or snowflakes at Christmas time give gel candles even more charisma.

Extra tip: Create small scenarios

With the right figures, it's easy to create small scenes - such as an imaginative stage set - that tell a story. For summery motives mussels, miniature lighthouses or lifebuoys allow a lot of scope. In winter you could sink a small gift in the snow and combine fir, Santa Claus or reindeer. As long as your figurines are fireproof, imagination knows no bounds here.

3. bring color into play

Transparent candle gel has the great advantage that you can give it any color. Corresponding wax or food colors are added directly when melting. Those who no longer need their crayons can crumble them and use them as simple colors. This works also excellent.

Just be careful not to use too much paint. Only then the characteristic transparent effect of the gel candles is preserved and you can see the cute air bubbles still.

4. Gel candles become scented candles

If you like to enjoy your candles with all your senses, you can give them their own fragrance in an uncomplicated way. Fragrance oil makes it possible! Choose a product that may be heated explicitly. It is important that you add your oil only when the candle gel is already completely melted. On the one hand, the fragrance can then be easily submerged. Most importantly, if you overheated it too long, the aroma would dissipate too much. For an intense and sustainable fragrance, you should use at least 30 to 40 drops for a medium-sized candle. Winter motifs are a wonderful addition to fresh pine scent, while gel candles in Christmas design are apt to smell sweet: vanilla, cinnamon or delicious biscuit flavor are especially popular.

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