The tradition of sealing letters and documents with a personal wax seal is an ancient one. The first Great Seal of England was that of Edward the Confessor, and impressions of this seal can still be found. For centuries, it was common for most people to have their own seal made of lead, brass, bronze or silver. It was a tradition to destroy a seal once its owner died, so there aren't many originals around today. There is a special sense of completeness one gets when sealing a letter with a wax seal. This is how to make your own wax seal on an envelope.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Seal stamp
- Sealing wax sticks
- Paper or envelope
- Cooking oil
- Flame or butane lighter
Prepare the piece of paper or envelope you are about to seal by making sure the area is clean.
Choose an appropriate seal; brass is good because it do not require oiling. There are hundreds of seal designs on the market, including letters of the alphabet to signify a family name, as well as all kinds of illustrations from dragonflies to sunflowers. It is also possible to order monogrammed seals. Choose the colour of wax you would like to use. Crimson is the most original and authentic colour, but there are dozens of colours available.
If the seal is not brass, oil it by dabbing a tiny bit of cooking oil onto it with a paper towel.
Light the wick of your wax stick with a candle flame or lighter so that the wax starts to heat up and drip.
Drip the molten wax onto the area you wish to seal. Drip enough wax so that it creates a pool about the size of a 20p coin.
Set the wax stick aside on a piece of tin foil.
Press the seal into the wax vertically and apply pressure evenly so that the impression is made in its entirety.
Lift off the seal and let the wax finish cooling.
Protect the seal if not hand delivering the document or envelope. The wax can be brittle and break during its journey. Place it inside a padded envelope or hand deliver for best results.
Tips and warnings
- Once you get the hang of making wax seals, try embellishing them by sealing over ribbon.
- Burns are a concern, so be careful around the hot flame and molten wax. Do not let children use wax seals and hot wax.