The lost art of wax seals

Wax can be so much fun.

My obsession with wax seals began last Christmas, when Jon got me a wax seal and three wax sticks. The seal was great: it was the dragon from Mortal Kombat. I laughed when I opened it because I’d never seen anything like it before; plus he apparently had tried to get me a Hello Kitty one — and those don’t seem to exist.

For the thank-you cards we handed out on our wedding day, we decided to seal them all with the Mortal Kombat dragon. Some people got a kick out of it not only because their cards were sealed with the dragon but because they couldn’t get over the fact that we’d done something that doesn’t appear to be as popular this decade (and probably not in this century), at least.

I’ve been visiting a few craft stores recently and it sounds like it’s not really at the forefront of creative activities. Locally, people seem to be into purchasing handmade goods than actually making them. I know adult colouring books were a thing; that seems to have petered out over the last few years. But I don’t really see anyone using wax seals…so I figure I’d share what I know about it.

Wax seals these days are more for fun than actually verifying that the letter hasn’t been opened. Usually, if the seal was broken, odds were the letter was intercepted and read by someone else. I think I’m one of the last ten people left on earth who sends letters for fun (I have the postage stamps to prove it) and I always enjoy sealing our cards and letters with a pressed little blob at the tab of the envelope. Our emblem collection has increased to two: aside from the Mortal Kombat dragon, we also have an ‘H’ with a little crown on top to represent our being from New Westminster. (wink wink!)

I think the one piece of advice we can offer is to go the glue gun route, if you’re going to dabble in wax sealing. The first few times we practiced sealing, we used a little spoon that came with the kit I got for Christmas. It’s not exactly the safest option, and Jon ended up burning himself. Twice. We decided instead to get sealing wax that was about the same size as a hot glue stick refill — which, thank goodness, is far safer, but takes some time to get used to.

Our favourite place to go locally for wax is to Paper-Ya at the Granville Island market. They have all kinds of pretty colours — not to mention all kinds of seals to choose from.

So…if you’re feeling fancy, be sure to give wax seals a try! They definitely elevate letters and add a hint of elegance to whatever you choose to seal.

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