The coolest addition to a wedding invite, in our opinion, is not a belly band, lace, magnet or dried flowers (although these are cute). A vintage style wax seal, on the envelope seam, is both mysterious and prestigious. Choose a sweet wax seal design for your envelopes, or your monogram, and maybe that will be the ONLY sealed envelope that many of your guests will receive in their entire lifetime!
Here's some tips that we learned whilst mastering the skills needed for bulk wax seal stamping - as in the case of wedding invites.
- Doing drip-melt (holding wax in flame and dripping onto paper) takes AGES - fine for a single item but no good for bulk stamping. Instead, use a tiny pot or something similar (we used an old-school aluminium drinking cup and a pair of pliers to handle) and heat on the stove. Will need to be reheated whenever wax starts to get too stiff. The more 'narrow' your heating container is, the easier for collecting nice full spoons to pour.
- The temperature of the wax when pouring makes a huge difference. Too cold, and it doesn't spread nicely, and doesn't stick properly to paper. Too hot and it goes everywhere, takes too long to take the stamp image and heats up the head really quickly. We found it useful to bring it to boiling point and then wait a few mins. Keeping it warm on top of a candle is also handy, if you have an appropriate stand but we found the stove top to be much more efficient.
- When doing bulk stamping, the brass head heats up and gets stuck to the seal. In between stamping, place stamp on a oil-soaked paper towel (cloth, whatever) on top of a cold pack (we used one of those gel thingies, but a pack of frozen peas etc. will work too).
- TEST on scrap paper before you start, to get the hang of things. About 3ml - a tiny teaspoon - of liquid wax is about right (but, if the wax is too cold, it will need more)
- Lay out your envelopes in a nice little row, maybe 10 at a time, and if the flaps don't lay flat, lay something heavy over the top or use a peg to hold it closed - the seal won't look great if attempted on a slightly-open envelope.
- Mark the top of the seal image on the upper side of the brass head before you start stamping so you know which direction to hold it.
- Process is MUCH easier with 2 people - e.g. one person to manage the wax (heating, pouring) and the other to manage the stamp (cooling, stamping, envelope preparation)
- Don't do it in a rush (or with small children present!). Allow for mistakes and messes.
- Enjoy it! It’s one of the fun things to do to prepare for your wedding!