Recently I wrote an post on how to wrap a gift elegantly using the humble brown paper. I used sealing wax for the gift cards and a few friends asked about the sealing wax and purchased a set themselves. I thought I would write a post on how to use it. I found a video which was especially helpful for a newbie like me and I also read many articles. I compiled the most helpful details below. I hope you find it useful!
Sealing wax isn’t just for envelopes but can also be decorative. I used a wax seal to add a little oomph to the small item I gift-wrapped below. But I really love using it to seal my envelopes for gift cards and note cards. I think it gives handwritten notes an elegant and personal finishing touch.
This is a well-made video that demonstrates the technique of how to use sealing wax.
Wax Sealing Tips
- When using a lighter (the same one in the video) keep wax close to the blue flame to prevent smoking the wax, creating ugly black swirl in the seal. The best thing to use is a torch lighter like this, which emits a hotter blue flame minus any blackening carbon soot. It melts wax faster and makes for easier handling.
- Creating a moisture barrier on your seal is important so that it doesn’t stick to the wax (trust me I’ve done it several times). The easiest way is to breath on the wax (like what you do when you are cleaning eye glasses) before you stamp it on the wax. Or you can do the method in the video.
- When you are down to the end of your wax stick, it can be too difficult to use it without burning your fingers. So eat the end of the small piece and a new wax stick and press together to create a longer stick. This way you use every last bit of wax you have.
- It takes practice to get a hang of it. I still haven’t gotten the technique down pat myself. Be sure to have a protective cover so you don’t damage your working surface with wax drippings. Have something to place melting wax sticks in between seals.
J. Herbin Traditional vs Supple Wax
For sealing envelopes I like to use J.Herbin Supple Waxes or Cire Souple. Unlike traditional wax, supple wax won’t break or chip easily and can be used for envelopes that will be go through mail. More on the difference here.
La Societe J. Herbin, Maitre Cirier a Paris, was established in 1670. Generations of remarkable people, from Louis XIV to Coco Chanel, have used this traditional sealing wax, and it is well-known around the world as one of the highest quality sealing waxes ever made.
I buy Ivory supple wax in a box with 4 sticks or 4 batons fire couple ivoire from KaDeWe here in Berlin. But I am sure they can easily be found in other specialty/craft/stationery stores or online in here or here. See the complete range of J.Herbin sealing wax colors here.
What do you think of sealing waxes? Aside form sealing envelopes, can you think of other projects where they can be used? I’d love to hear from you on the comments below.Sources: J.Herbin sealing wax tutorial
Why we like torch lighters for melting sealing wax.