You can use regular candle wax to seal an envelope, however it may fall off easily and leave oily marks on your letter. There are other waxes created especially for sealing that function much better.
This article will explain how to use candle wax for sealing envelopes and offers some alternatives if you want to step up your sealing method.
Can you use Candle Wax to Seal an Envelope?
If you have to, yes, you can use regular candle wax to seal a letter if you don’t have sealing wax on hand or don’t feel like buying supplies.
Keep in mind that it probably won’t turn out as lovely as if you used one of many other sealing wax variations. You may find that it leaves a greasy residue on your envelope, falls off in the mail, or breaks into a hundred little pieces when you try to remove it.
In the past, candles were primarily composed of beeswax, which is why they worked as better seals than today’s candles. Candle wax has several ingredients meant to extend its burn time and strengthen the scent.
These additives work well for their intended purposes but are not ideal for sealing. The scented oils work against sealing properties by being slippery, not sticky.
How does Candle Wax differ from Sealing Wax?
It differs from candle to candle, but wax typically contains a mixture of paraffin wax or an alternative wax and fragrance oils. These oils prevent the wax from sticking well, making candle wax a less desirable option. Modern sealing wax is composed of shellac, resin, and paraffin wax. It adheres well and breaks off cleanly.
You can also buy sealing wax in various forms based on your personal preferences. There are wicked and wickless candlesticks, pellets, and glue-gun sticks. There are complete kits available that include all of the essentials.
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Nevertheless, if you want to use candle wax, there are a few things you will need to get started.
- Candle Wax
- Heat source
- In a spoon, put a small amount of wax over a lit candle. The wax in the spoon should start to melt after a few seconds. Hold the spoon above the flame, not touching it. Holding the spoon directly in the flame will cause soot to stick to your spoon and probably drip into your wax.
- Pour a bit of wax onto the envelope. Aim for a pour the size of a nickel or quarter. It may take a few tries to get this part right, so practice on a spare piece of paper first!
- Place your stamp on the wax puddle and leave it for about a minute. Make sure to check the placement and that your stamp is not sideways or upside down. Cool your stamp with an ice pack or in the freezer first for faster cooling.
- Allow the envelope to rest for a few minutes before moving it around. You want to make sure that it’s completely dried before touching it to avoid deforming your seal.
- During the process, keep in mind that your supplies will be hot. It may seem obvious, but be careful not to burn yourself or your workstation.
Will Wax Seals Melt in the Mail?
It is infrequent that wax seals melt in the mail unless they’re made of regular candle wax. Again, modern candles can be made of soy, coconut, or other natural waxes that can melt in the heat of a van or truck. If you’re concerned about the mailing process, wear and tear have a higher chance of nicking your seal than heat does of melting it.
Assuming you’ll be mailing your letters, not hand delivering, there are a few precautions you can take. The first is to put your sealed letter or envelope into a larger envelope or cello bag for protection. The extra layer will cover it from harm’s way during the sorting process. Another option is to hand-cancel your envelopes so that your letters don’t have to go through a sorting machine, which is where most damages happen.
Where can I Buy Supplies for Wax Sealing?
Wax sealing supplies can be found at any craft store and even online. Convenient wax seal kits are available on Amazon, but you can also buy everything individually if you don’t need a bunch of extra supplies. You can buy a premade seal or customize one with your initials or symbol of choice.
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Of course, if you’re using candle wax, you’ll just need a seal and heat source in addition to the candle. You can use a candlestick to drip onto the envelope or use the instructions above with wax from a regular jarred candle.
How to Decorate a Wax Seal
Let’s say you’ve successfully sealed your envelopes with candle wax, but they look a bit boring for your taste. You can spice up your seals in a few different ways.
- Use a shiny metallic marker or felt tip pen to add some shine to your design.
- Use flowers or dried vegetation under your wax. This will give your letters a special touch, however you’d need to protect them by placing them in a second, larger envelope. You can also sprinkle dried flowers or herbs into the wax mix itself. This way, the colors will be embedded and won’t risk breaking off.
- Use two or more colors to give your seal a marbled look. This will be harder if you’re using candle wax, but try using the wax of two different colored candles!
- Add gold flakes to your wax mix to add some sparkle. Make sure the pieces are small enough and won’t protrude out.
- Use a raw-edge sealing method. Simply use less wax than you usually would, and your seals will have an irregular shape.
If you were wondering, can you use candle wax to seal an envelope, hopefully, this article answered your questions. Though you can, it isn’t recommended because of the incompatibility of modern candle wax and sealing.