How to Wax Seal a Letter

Written by jessica davis
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How to Wax Seal a Letter
A wax-sealed envelope adds a touch of romance to a letter written with delicate caligraphy. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Historically, wax seals were used on the outside of envelopes to enclose letters; the personalised seal also alerted the receiver as to the identity of sender. In the early 21st century wax sealing is no longer a necessity, as there are self-sealing envelopes, but it can be used to add a personal touch to the art of letter writing. The method can also be used for added elegance with wedding invitations. The simple method of pressing hot wax with a decorative seal demonstrates the writer's thoughtfulness and care to the recipient.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Letter, enclosed in an envelope
  • Coloured wax seal stick
  • Decorative seal
  • Candle, lighter or long match

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  1. 1

    Lay the envelope on a flat surface. Hold the wax stick a few inches above where you would like the wax seal.

  2. 2

    Light the end of the wax stick, and allow the wax to drip onto the envelope. There should be about 1 inch in diameter of built-up wax.

  3. 3

    Stir the melted wax gently with the end of the wax stick. This will release any bubbles and help you to feel when the wax begins to thicken. Create the shape that you would like with the stick, such as a circle or square. This can be done by gently pushing the melted wax with the wax stick.

  4. 4

    Breathe on the end of the seal right before you stamp the melted wax. The wax is ready when the surface is matt, and no longer shiny. Press firmly and directly with the seal into the wax. Hold the seal in the wax for about five seconds, and peel back slowly.

Tips and warnings

  • Timing is crucial to a proper wax seal, and it takes practice to get it just right.
  • Avoid placing your fingers near the open flame or the melted wax.
  • Keep the flame away from the letter. Remove any flammable objects from your sealing area.

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