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Anisim Sokolov
Anisim Sokolov

€?Sealing Wax…” And Paper too…

5. After about 15 seconds, hold the paper with one hand andgently wiggle the stamp handle with the other. When it comes loose, place itback on the ice pack. Then set the envelope aside so the wax can hardencompletely.

“Sealing Wax…” and paper too…

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The sealing wax on the market today is a far cry from candle wax as we know it. Commercial sealing wax is more of a plastic-y substance designed to be flexible, durable, color-fast and not greasy (which could potentially ruin your invitations).

There are several ways to go about wax sealing. You can melt the wax by cutting up chunks of it and placing it in a melting spoon over a tealight candle, or light up a wicked wax stick and drip it over paper, or use a glue gun. My preferred way of wax sealing is the first - with a spoon!

While the spoon is still hot and the wax residue is soft, I usually use a few layers of paper towel to wipe the inside of the spoon clean by swirling it around as I push the paper towel into spoon. All the wax should be easily removed using this method, and you might want to reheat the spoon a bit if your wax starts to harden. Be careful to make sure you don't accidentally burn your fingers!

I have used a variety of sealing wax from a variety of places, so I will only speak for those places that I have tried, which include: eBay, GetMarked, and Waxseals. GetMarked and Waxseals both have very good quality sealing wax, which are available in an array of different colors. Waxseals wax is especially velvety, pearlescent and luxe. eBay is also an amazing place but sometimes it can be a hit or miss. I generally go for the wax sticks as opposed to the granules because I can usually get a few more uses out of the sticks and can cut them up myself rather easily. I'm indifferent between the wicked or non-wicked sticks as well as wax sticks for glue guns, because I cut them up all the same :) If you're looking into eBay, I recommend these listings (click the links): Listing 1, Listing 2, Listing 3, Listing 4.

You can absolutely use this method to make wax seal adhesives, and I recommend using parchment paper; Wax paper isn't the same as parchment paper and is harder to peel off. Alternative method is to use a marble countertop if you have one, the wax should be fairly easy to peel off as well. After the wax seal is made, simply use a double-sided adhesive (3M brand is good) or balloon glue dots at the back, and you're good to go!

There is a big difference between using candle wax and sealing wax because the ingredients in each are different. It is not recommended to use candle wax because it easily crumbles and will not stick to the paper well.

Overheating the spoons may cause soot to collect at the bottom. Similar to how you would clean wax off of a spoon, use the same method to remove soot as well - with paper towels. If this is ineffective, wait until the spoon is cooled, and scrub it off with some baking soda.

Generally thicker paper will be less likely to curl under hot wax. If you are worried about paper getting deformed, making the seal separately on parchment paper and then using a double-sided adhesive to stick it on the desired area is a great alternative.

How long to wait between the pour and stamping depends on a variety of things, such as how cold it is where you're at. Of course, if you live in a cold environment, your wax will cool much faster as someone in a warmer climate. I have personally never timed myself when wax sealing but I generally wait only a couple seconds, as long as it takes for me to put my spoon down and pick up my stamper. I almost immediately stamp it. It is largely a trial and error process, and there are really no rules around it, have fun and try it out to see what works for you!

I almost always have a paper clip with me to poke at the melted wax before I start pouring. The general rule of thumb is: if the wax starts bubbling, it's overheated. As soon as I see the first sign of a bubble forming, I know my wax is completely melted. Also if you have large chunks of unmelted wax floating at the top while the rest is melted, use a paper clip to sink it to the bottom so it melts faster. The reason why we want to prevent wax from overheating is because it forms bubbles inside, and causes the wax to be too liquidy. When you pour very liquidy wax, it tends to pool all over the envelope rather than in place.

My wax sealing set up usually consists of a small box/container and a heavy ink bottle. I put the spoon handle in between the box and the ink bottle, just high enough to fit a candle under the spoon. This way, no holding is involved! Find whatever is available in your house, and experiment with heights, you'll definitely find a setup that works for you!

YES! I have heard so many horror stories about wax seals have gone missing but I have personally never had a problem with that. First, I use non-shimmery paper for envelopes, because pearlescent paper tends to be too smooth and wax seals can be easily peeled off of it. Second, if I really want to make sure my wax seals stay put, I either put it in a second envelope, rigid mailer or a cellophane clear bag. Keep in mind that if you're using the cellophane bag, make sure the stamp is on the outside because the post needs to have some way of marking the stamp as used. Third, use high quality sealing wax that will not crumble. I generally do a test run of all the new wax that I buy, by making one on an envelope and the folding it to see if it will break or come off.

Sealing wax is a wax material of a seal which, after melting, hardens quickly (to paper, parchment, ribbons and wire, and other material) forming a bond that is difficult to separate without noticeable tampering. Wax is used to verify something such as a document is unopened, to verify the sender's identity, for example with a signet ring, and as decoration. Sealing wax can also be used to take impressions of other seals. Wax was used to seal letters close and later, from about the 16th century, envelopes. Before sealing wax, the Romans used bitumen for this purpose.

Formulas vary, but there was a major shift after European trade with the Indies opened. In the Middle Ages sealing wax was typically made of beeswax and "Venice turpentine", a greenish-yellow resinous extract of the European Larch tree. The earliest such wax was uncoloured; later the wax was coloured red with vermilion. From the 16th century it was compounded of various proportions of shellac, turpentine, resin, chalk or plaster, and colouring matter (often vermilion, or red lead), but not necessarily beeswax. The proportion of chalk varied; coarser grades are used to seal wine bottles and fruit preserves, finer grades for documents. In some situations, such as large seals on public documents, beeswax was used. On occasion, sealing wax has historically been perfumed by ambergris, musk and other scents.[1]

At the end of 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century, sealing wax was used in laboratories as a vacuum cement.[4] It was gradually replaced by other materials like plasticine, but according to Nobel Laureate Patrick Blackett, "at one time it might have been hard to find in an English laboratory an apparatus which did not use red Bank of England sealing-wax as a vacuum cement."[5]

Since the advent of a postal system, the use of sealing wax has become more for ceremony than security. Modern times have required new styles of wax, allowing for mailing of the seal without damage or removal. These new waxes are flexible for mailing and are referred to as glue-gun sealing wax, faux sealing wax and flexible sealing wax. Traditional sealing wax candles are produced in Canada, Spain, Mexico, France, Italy and Scotland, with formulations similar to those used historically.

1. MELT the sealing wax.2. DRIP it onto your preferred surface, such as paper, wood, glass, etc. 3. PRESS the stamp onto the hot wax. Let the wax & seal cool down.4. LIFT the stamp slowly. You're all done!

Light the sealing wax stick like a candle, hold the wax stick horizontal to the surface you're working on. Slowly spin the wax stick and let the wax drip on your preferred surface. Followed by the PRESS & LIFT process we mentioned before.

TIPS Be patience. It takes time to melt. The wax can burn and turn black if you hold it differently. Slowly spin the wax stick to make the wax melt faster. Trim the wick before/after use to avoid the wick drop and burn the paper. DO NOT melt wax directly with a flame.It will overheat & burn the wax, also might be caught on fire. Just like melting chocolate, it might be separated the wax and turned it into 2 layers.

Carefully melt the wax bead(s) with a metal spoon above a candle. Then pour the wax on your preferred surface. Followed by the PRESS & LIFT process we mentioned before.The wax (our wax) could be clean with a tissue paper when the wax & spoon cooled down a little.

This video by @elisaannecalligraphy serves as a great little tutorial for anybody wishing to use the Glue Gun sealing method.First thing to note is that the wax in this video is at perfect temperature. We see far too many instances of people heating the wax until it reaches boiling point! With a low-temp glue gun you avoid creating unnecessary bubbles and burnt patches.Secondly, and this is actually the most important. Notice the wait time between pressing the stamp into the wax and then finally lifting it back out. In this particular video it is around 20-30 seconds. At around 10 seconds you will see a first attempt is made to lift the stamp but there is still a bit of tug which indicates that the wax is not yet set. A further 10-15 seconds later you see that the second attempt is almost effortless. The stamp simply lifts away without any trouble. This is when you know that the wax is dry and has fully cooled.It doesn't happen too often, but we do see people not following the instructions. We get that it can be exciting and a little nervous for first-timers, but you must resist the temptation to pull the stamp out when it's not ready. Wax Sealing takes time and finesse! The only time the Wax will ever stick to the stamp head is if you are not patient enough with it.That being said, if any of our customers happen to have made a complete hash job of their stamps then don't despair! We understand that things don't always go to plan, so if you get in touch with us we'll try our best to help and offer a replacement if necessary.Pro tip: Once you've finally mastered the art of wax sealing you can start to speed up the process by using a block of ice. Simply cool the brass head in-between seals and ensure you wipe away any excess moisture before stamping. You can reduce the wait time to under 5 seconds ?


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