Touch of the Past
There is nothing quite as mysterious, dramatic, and impressive as a wax sealed envelope. It beckons you to open it and satiate your curiosity. Who knows what it could contain? The inheritance from a long-lost relative in an old mansion? An acceptance letter to a magical school? Perhaps it contains a secret that only you may know.
Whether the inside contains a party invite, wedding stationery, or a letter from an old friend, a wax seal provides a bit of magic to an otherwise ordinary piece of paper. You can master this old-fashioned style with just a few supplies and no skill at all! Allow me to show you how to use a wax seal in this easy step-by-step guide.
First, you’ll need some sealing wax! Wax typically comes in three different options. Let me break them down for you so you know what to get.
Sealing Wax Sticks with Wicks
These are basically like little candlesticks. They are sealed wax pillars with a wick in the middle. You light the wick and it melts the wax so you can use it. The sticks are great when you are using a single color.
Sealing Wax Beads
You can also opt for the wax bead route. These small beads of wax melt in a spoon for you to pour onto your envelope. This is a great overall option but is especially useful if you want to melt multiple colors together into the same seal.
Sealing Wax Sticks without Wicks
Much like the aforementioned wax sticks with wicks, these are simply wickless wax sticks. That is because you can use them with a glue gun to melt a lot of wax quickly. Sticks like this are ideal for professional calligraphers that do a lot of wax seals for events like weddings. That’s not to say that you can’t use them if you aren’t a professional! This is an excellent option for anyone creating a lot of seals. But if you’re just starting, I wouldn’t recommend using glue gun wax yet.
How to Use a Wax Seal with Wax Sticks
Now that we’ve gone over all the materials you need, let’s dive right into the process of sealing with wicked wax sticks!
Step 1: Prep
Once you light the wick on your wax stick, things will move quickly. So make sure you’re ready! Get your envelope in front of you, attach your seal head to the handle, pick your wax colors, and grab your lighter.
Step 2: Light
Hold the wax stick in your dominant hand and light the wick. It will begin melting quickly. Try to keep as much accumulated melted wax on the stick as long as possible before you let it drip.
Step 3: Drip
Hold the end of the stick over the spot you want your seal to be. Allow the wax to drip onto that spot until you get a wax puddle that is about the size of a nickel (a little smaller than an inch). Blow out the flame on the wax stick, allow the last bit of wax drip to fall onto the paper. Set aside.
Step 4: Stamp
Get your wax seal and check that the stamp face is oriented correctly, with the top of the design lined up with the top of the envelope. Push the seal into the pool of wax. Stir the wax slightly with the unheated end of your stick to help with air bubbles. Try to make sure there is excess wax all around the outside of the size of your seal.
Step 5: Rest and Remove
Allow the wax to cool for at least 30-60 seconds. Then gently pull your stamp away, revealing the design left behind.
How to Use a Wax Seal with Wax Beads and a Spoon
Now that you’ve seen how sealing wax works with the wax sticks, let me show you this fun alternative.
Step 1: Prep
Just like before, you want to gather your materials.
Step 2: Light
Light your tealight or candle on a safe surface.
Step 3: Melt
Add three or four wax beads into your spoon and hold about an inch above the flame. Don’t put the spoon directly in the candle flame because you will get a black sooty residue on the underside of the spoon, which might end up in the wax. Hold the spoon over the flame for a minute or two until the beads have all melted.
Step 4: Pour
Pour the contents of your spoon over the lip of the envelope, getting as much onto the paper as possible. Set spoon aside (but mind that it’s still hot).
Step 5: Stamp
Check that your stamp is oriented correctly. Then push the stamp into the pool of wax, taking care to get wax excess all around the stamp to ensure uniform thickness.
Step 6: Rest and Remove
Allow the stamped wax to cool for a minute or so, then gently pull the stamp away to reveal your wax seal.