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Stationery Nerd Alert: How to Use a Wax Seal Kit to Personalize Your Letters


I'm slowly working on our Christmas cards (about half are stamped, addressed and ready to go), and they should be completed by tomorrow. While I love all things stationery and mail, I do have a bit of the procrastination gene in me, which accounts for the fact that still haven't send out my Christmas cards..and we're down to six days.

Anyway, since it's not like I'm rushed for time or anything (ha), I decided to do a little something extra for my holiday correspondence this year: a wax seal kit.

I've used a sealing wax and stamps on and off for years as a way to jazz up a letter or card. It's really easy to do, and the end result looks awesome. (See, I DO have more interests than just traveling!)





Just remember: wax is hot, so you probably shouldn't do this around kids. Plus, only use these sealing wax sticks on correspondence that's going through the mail during the colder months. The wax seal melts into oblivion in the spring and summer. #PippaTipsStationeryEdition

Why Should You Use a Wax Seal Kit?

At first glance, you might think that a wax seal stamp is completely worthless in this day and age. After all, we have these handy things called self-sealing envelopes to do the work for us. Right?

Well, true. But I'm one of those old souls who loves vinyl records and 1000-year-old buildings, so the throwback to the old way of sending stationery definitely appeals. 

Back in the day (aka the Middle Ages), people with news to send wanted a way to ensure that their information got to the other end without being opened. Since pre-glued and self-seal envelopes were still 600 years in the future, the people had to get creative. 

They ended up melting sticks of wax onto the envelope closure, then pressing their personal seals into the hot wax as a way of saying, "Yeah, this is from all powerful me. Do not open." [This post is an interesting, in-depth look at the history of seals if you're so inclined to learn more.]

Nowadays, we have laws against mail tampering and easy-to-close envelopes sold in stores all over, so the need for wax seals is gone. I still love them because they make the back of an envelope (usually a dry desert of ornamentation) look so much prettier. 

I've put them on everything from baby shower invites to thank you cards to Christmas cards (as you'll see below).

How to Use a Wax Seal Kit


Stationery Nerd Alert: How to Use a Wax Seal Kit to Personalize Your Letters | CosmosMariners.com

1. Get your envelope and card or letter together; address and stuff your envelopes. 


(For those of you lucky enough to be on our Christmas mailing list, here's a sneak peek at our cards!)

Stationery Nerd Alert: How to Use a Wax Seal Kit to Personalize Your Letters | CosmosMariners.com


2. Pull out your wax sealing kit. 


You can find these at your local stationery store, or on Amazon.com. They usually aren't too expensive--less than $20 for a seal and several sticks of wax. Usually an individual seal is around $4 and a stick of wax is $2 or $3.

The sealing wax sticks come in all sorts of colors: bold primaries and delicate pastels and even some glittery ones!

The metal seals can be used over and over again, and each stick of wax can be used for 10-20 envelopes, depending on how much wax you use. If you want to get really fancy, you can even order a custom wax seal with your monogram or logo on it. #StationeryGoals

If you want to take the lazy approach, you can always just buy some wax seal stickers, throw those babies on, and call it a day. This is a better option for letters you're sending out during the warmer months since these stickers typically won't melt.

Note: really, really old school wax sealing kits (like this one) will come with a little spoon. This means that your wax sticks don't have a wick running through them like more modern wax sealing sticks. Just break off a piece of wax and heat it in the spoon with a lighter instead of the instructions in step #4.

Stationery Nerd Alert: How to Use a Wax Seal Kit to Personalize Your Letters | CosmosMariners.com

3. Determine the position of your seal stamp. 


Some stamps have a clear up/down direction (like the tree I used below); others (like a snowflake seal stamp) can be used in any direction. If you're using one with a clear top and bottom, get your stamp situated. You don't want to worry about this while your wax is drying later on.

I also selected the silver wax to go with my envelopes, which had a silver envelope lining.

Stationery Nerd Alert: How to Use a Wax Seal Kit to Personalize Your Letters | CosmosMariners.com


4. From here, it's as easy as lighting a birthday candle. 


Light the wick on one of the sealing wax sticks, then hold the wax over the portion on your envelope on which you'd like the wax to fall. A note of caution: don't light your wax on fire, or your seal will have ugly black wax in it.

I usually let the wax drip around 10 times, as this gives me a pool of wax that will spread slightly once I apply the metal seal.

Stationery Nerd Alert: How to Use a Wax Seal Kit to Personalize Your Letters | CosmosMariners.com

5. Prepare to move quickly. 


When the pool of heated wax is to your liking, blow out the wax stick and let the last bit of wax drip onto your envelope (if you don't, you risk stringing the still-hot wax halfway across your envelope).

Quickly place the metal seal stamper in the wax. I position the seal and then let it sit there without moving it until the wax is dry. You can tell when the wax is dry when the sheen goes from super glossy to more of a matte finish.

Stationery Nerd Alert: How to Use a Wax Seal Kit to Personalize Your Letters | CosmosMariners.com

6. Remove the metal stamper and your seal will be there!

Super easy, and it makes for such a fun addition to your correspondence.

Stationery Nerd Alert: How to Use a Wax Seal Kit to Personalize Your Letters | CosmosMariners.com



Have you used a wax seal kit before? Is this something you're interested in trying?

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through one of the above links, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

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Stationery Nerd Alert: How to Use a Wax Seal Kit to Personalize Your Letters | CosmosMariners.com

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