So fun, elegant and sophisticated! ...but so hard!
Unless you have the right tools for the job, and a few insider tricks. Luckily, I work with wax seals regularly and I'm going to show you how to use a wax seal, together with my favorite tricks.
Choose Your Method: Stamp or Self Adhesive?
Self adhesive seals (shown above in this design with the "organic edge") are a quick and easy way to get the look of a seal without the work. You simply peal off the backing and place it like a sticker! I recommend this method to all of my brides who decide to assemble their wedding invitations on their own.
Wax Seal Stamps are the traditional method of using wax seals, and is the main method that we will chat about below! They are easy to travel with and can be used with any color of wax and on multiple surfaces. If you have trouble committing to a single wax color and/or plan to use your wax seal for a number of years, this is a great option for you!
Follow my tips below to get the perfect wax seal impression every single time!
Step 1: Chill Your Seal
A cold seal works faster than a room temperature or hot seal will. While this is not as important when you are only making one seal, if you are assembling all of your wedding invitations, you want to make this process as quick and easy as possible!
I prefer to fill a sandwich baggy with ice and water and place that in a bowl. Place the stamp face down onto the ice so that the metal is able to cool.
Pro tip: Reserve a place to put your glue gun or melting spoon while not in use! I like to have a plate or something that the wax can drip on without making a mess.
Step 2: Melt the Wax
Option 1: Use a traditional melting spoon over a tealight or small flame
Option 2: Use a standard glue gun (shown above)
For large orders, I prefer the glue gun. It's fast, it's easy, and you can keep the wax in it if you need to take a break or save it for another job. But the spoon is great for smaller jobs (and it makes me feel fancy! haha). No matter which method you use, the goal is still the same: melt the wax.
Pro tip: One mistake that I see often is wax that is too hot. It bubbles and the impression is not as crisp. Set your gun to "low" if it has a temperature setting.
Step 3: Pour the Wax
The correct amount varies from seal to seal and depends on the look that you want. The messier you pour, the messier the edges are! Though I have found that the seals tend to unify the wax a little more, so don't worry if it feels "too messy" for you.
For a 1 inch, circular seal, I have found that 1 to 1.5 pumps on a standard glue gun is just about right. If you're using the wax beads in a spoon, 1 bead should equal 1 seal, though I like to start with 2 to get the wax flowing nicely!
Step 4: Blot & Press
Now it's time for the real fun to begin! Your wax is melted and has been poured onto the desired surface! Take your now-chilly stamp off of the ice, blot on a clean paper towel or wash cloth to remove any water that may have collected, and place the seal at the center of your wax!
Pro Tip: Get a straight stamp every time by marking the top of your seal with a small pencil line along the side of your stamp!
Step 5: Reveal
After you wax has cooled, give it a gentle pull. If the wax seems to move, then leave the stamp for a few more moments. If the wax feels stiff as you start to wiggle the stamp, then it should be safe to pull the stamp off.
Now sit back and admire your beautiful work! Isn't it satisfying?
And don't worry. That feeling never goes away!
If you're still nervous about starting out, watch the short video below to see all of the steps in action!
Love what you see?
If you are interested in starting your custom wedding stationery design process, I would love to hear more about your story and the dreams you have for your big day! Simply fill out this questionnaire and I will contact you soon with a custom price proposal. I can hardly wait to meet you and get started on your one of a kind heirloom
*This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own
Photos on this post by Katrina Crouch and Shanell Photography