How to Make a Wax Signet Ring

Written by robert boumis
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How to Make a Wax Signet Ring
Signet rings are a creative way to seal a letter. (wax seal image by Cristina Cazan from Fotolia.com)

A signet is a simple reverse mould designed to mark a piece of wax. Rings of this type have been used as long ago as the 16th century BC by people as diverse as tradesmen and kings, according to the jewellery store Berganza. Crafting your own signet ring is a way to connect to history and a creative way of signing and sealing letters.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Oven-baking modelling clay
  • Art pick or toothpicks (optional)
  • Craft knife

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Design your signet. You want to have a signet with very little relief, or the distance from the lowest point to the highest point.

  2. 2

    Craft your seal in clay. Create shapes with your fingers to press them together. Tiny rolled pieces of clay work for shapes like hair or branches. You can use a toothpick or art pick to make fine shapes in the clay.

  3. 3

    Bake the modelling clay per the manufacturer's instructions. Remember that this is probably a very thin piece, requiring less baking time than normal. Allow it to cool.

  4. 4

    Press a piece of clay over the signet mould. Then, gently pry the new clay off the mould. This will form the signet itself. Be very careful not to damage it. Trim excess clay into the shape you want for your final signet ring.

  5. 5

    Cut a long rectangular piece of clay. It should be relatively flat and have a width of around half an inch. Measure the length it takes to fit around your finger.

  6. 6

    Fix both ends of the rectangular strip together. This will form the ring band itself. Check for fit.

  7. 7

    Score, or cut hatch marks, into the bottom of the signet and the top of the ring. Use care not to cut all the way through the ring or damage your signet. Attach the signet to the ring at the hatch marks. Smooth the edges with your finger.

  8. 8

    Bake the signet per the clay's instructions. Allow to cool.

  9. 9

    Heat the signet wax. Most signet wax comes in the form of candles. Drip the wax onto whatever you wish to seal.

  10. 10

    Press your signet ring into the wax and pull away. This will leave your mark in the wax.

Tips and warnings

  • Shoot for a signet around the size of a quarter.
  • Use as little relief as possible in the signet.

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