Tips on how to fully enjoy sealing wax

Over the years we have sold countless sticks of Herbin sealing wax and Seals from our shop on Clarence Street in Ottawa. The following tips on the use of this product are based on questions asked by our valued customers and answers, hopefully helpful, that we have provided.

How do I melt the wax?

There are many ways to melt sealing wax. Matches, torches, regular lighter…. We suggest sacrificing a sturdy tea spoon, lighting a candle and holding one end of the wax inside the spoon while holding it above a candle flame. This technique allows you better control over the amount of wax that you are melting and the temperature to which it is heated. Once you have the desired amount of wax melted in your spoon, pour the wax carefully onto the paper surface. Now you may begin to shape the puddle of wax on your paper using the end of the unmelted wax stick. Gently stirring the puddle will bring any air bubbles to the surface and will also enable you to feel when the wax is beginning to stiffen just a little. With practice, you will develop the ability to sense when the wax is at the perfect temperature to make the sharpest, most detailed impression possible.

Does the seal need any preparation?

Yes. Just a bit. Place a folded piece of paper towel on a saucer and very lightly coat the towel with a light vegetable oil. Before pressing the seal into the melted wax press the seal onto the oiled towel to lightly lubricate. This should prevent the wax from sticking into the fine detailed etchings of the seal. (If the wax does stick to your seal just heat the wax and melt it off the stamp.) Once you have firmly placed the seal into the puddle of wax, hold it for about five seconds , then slowly peel the seal away from the wax. Practice makes perfect! Some technique is required to achieve perfect impressions. This can be learned with a bit of practice. Before you start to use your wax and seal on your good stationery it is important to practice and experiment on scraps of paper so that you can perfect your technique without fear of damaging that expensive stationery! Most importantly, enjoy this creative project!

How many seals does one stick of wax make?

The Herbin wax seals sold at Paper Papier should make between eight and twelve seals. This , of course , depends upon the size of your stamp.

Will my sealed envelopes survive the post office?

No. Although flexible wax was designed to withstand modern automated sorting machinery, we caution our customer to avoid mailing envelopes with the wax seal exposed. In addition, the post office may charge extra for hand stamping wax sealed envelopes. Instead, we suggest that you place the envelope that you have sealed with wax into a larger envelope thus protecting the wax.

Tip: when planning your invitations, be sure to select your envelopes BEFORE the note cards as cutting paper is much simpler than hand making envelopes!

What about sealing wax with a wick in it?

It is our considered opinion that a sealing wax with a wick in it is an annoyance. It’s the slowest way to melt sealing wax and the wick is in the way. The wick prevents you from using the wax stick as a stir tool to shape the puddle and may produce carbon soot. It’s our least favorite type of wax, and we do not sell such sticks. BE CAREFUL! This whole process is playing with fire so take care. Watch out for body parts, especially fingers , hair and noses. Don’t let children do this unless supervised by a responsible adult. The wax is still very hot for several seconds after you pull away the seal, so don’t touch the new seal impression right away, let it cool. Melt your wax in a well ventilated area that’s free of extraneous paper or other easily flammable objects.

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