Gemstone candles can be a personal and very meaningful handmade gift, and they are easy to create at home. From birthstones to semi-precious gems with properties or colors you adore, there are lots of stones you can conceal inside the candle. As it burns, the secret gem is slowly revealed.
Making a Gem Candle
If you know how to make traditional poured wax container candles, you're already halfway to making a gem candle. There are just a few variations on the usual approach to keep the gem suspended within the wax. You'll need to melt the wax in two stages and allow it to harden in between, so this type of candle takes a little longer to make than a regular poured one.
Things You'll Need
- Your favorite gems
- Your choice of candle wax
- Fragrance oils, if desired
- Candle wicks
- Pencil, chopstick, or popsicle stick
- Jar or other container for the candle
- Double boiler for melting wax
- Other candle-making tools like scissors, a stirring rod, and a measuring cup
What to Do
- Begin by melting about a third of the desired amount of wax for your candle using a double boiler. If you'll be adding fragrance, put in a few drops when the wax is melted.
- While the wax is melting, cut a wick to a few inches longer than the height of the container. Tie one end to a pencil, chopstick, or popsicle stick, and balance it across the lip of the jar.
- Pour the melted wax into the jar, using care to keep the wick upright. Your jar will be about a third full. Let the wax cool completely.
- After the wax is cool, place one or more gems on the surface of the hardened wax. Melt the remaining wax in the double boiler and add fragrance if desired.
- Pour the remaining wax over the gems, filling the container to the level you desire. The gems will be hidden inside.
- Allow the wax to cool completely and trim the wick to 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length.
Tips for Choosing Gems
Many stones and gems can work for this type of candle, but it's a good idea to keep a few guidelines in mind as you choose:
- Smooth, polished gems work best. Crystals can be lovely, but remember that this gem is going to be covered in wax. If you want it to be something someone can enjoy after burning the candle, avoid crevices and cracks that will fill with hard-to-remove wax.
- Any size of gem can work, as long as it can fit inside the candle you're making. You can even put lots of smaller gems in a candle.
- Certain gems are sensitive to heat, so you should avoid those for candles. For instance, the International Gem Society reports that citrine can fade when heated. Others to avoid include peridot, malachite, and garnet. Opal contains trace amounts of water and can fracture when heated too.
- Some materials, commonly thought of as gems, are actually organic in origin and can react badly to heat too. The IGS specifically cautions against heating coral, ivory, or pearls.
- A great option is the red-orange gem, carnelian. The IGS notes that was does not adhere to this stone, making it perfect for hiding inside a candle.
- Avoid artificial gemstones unless they are specifically created for this purpose. They may be chemically different than their genuine counterparts and might not handle heat well.
- Traditionally, gemstones have symbolism associated with them. Learning about gemstone meanings can help make your gem candles even more special.
Where to Buy Gems
You can purchase gems for your candles at local stores or online. Consider these sources:
- Amazon offers a sampler of several polished gemstones in a good size for candle making. You can buy a pound of mixed gems or select a single type you want. They retail for about $18 per pound.
- Mosaic Art Supply has gems sold by weight, including amethyst, agate, carnelian, and more. You can buy four ounces if you don't want a whole pound for candles. Price varies by type of stone, but most are about $4 to $8 for 4 ounces.
- Gems By Mail is a good option if you'd rather include lots of tiny polished gems instead of a few big ones. You can purchase a pound of mixed stones for about $9.
Reveal the Secret
Put some thought into choosing the perfect gems to hide inside your candles, and then get started creating some custom designs. As the candle burns and the wax melts away, the secret gem will be revealed.