the classic wax seal

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In the Middle Ages, wax seals were used to protect an envelope’s contents and to indicate the sender’s identity (aristocrats often used their family crest to seal a letter). While such seals are unnecessary in today’s correspondence, they do add a some panache to the envelope. And a girl like me can’t help but fall victim to nostalgia, especially when it comes to letters.

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I picked up a few wax sealing supplies at Paper Source last month. If you don’t feel comfortable enough melting wax sticks over an open flame, you can buy the glue stick variety. Less mess and more control. I have two seals, a heart and a “L”.

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After your glue gun heats, squeeze some wax onto an envelope. Press your chosen seal firmly into the wax and wait for three seconds. Remove the seal and let the wax dry completely. Ta-da!

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The whole process is rather tidy, but I covered my dining room table with brown paper just in case. I always keep a roll on hand for last minute packages (tied up with string) or to cover the table for a casual dinner party.

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And, if you’re smitten with the wax seal like me be sure to check out the new love stamp, issued by the USPS in February. Jessica Hische illustrated them–she’s incredible! It took me a couple of tries to track down the stamps (I visited three post offices in the city), but it was worth it!

P.S. More details on the new-ish love stamp.

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