From the Middle Ages, royalty and aristocrats used wax seals to authenticate documents. In the 19th century, use of wax seals spread to the lower classes when postage for correspondence was based on the number of pages being sent, with the envelope counting as an extra sheet. For a while, sealing wax fell out of fashion, but some modern letter-writers are reviving its popularity on handwritten cards and letters.
Taking Some Help From the Kids
Raid your children's crayon box to create a simple version of sealing wax to use with seal stamps.
Things You'll Need
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grate the crayons or, if you prefer, chop them into 1/8-inch pieces. For a personalized blend, pick two or three complementary colors, including a metallic choice.
Fill the mold halfway with the grated wax crayons before popping them into the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove the molds from the oven, add a wick and then fill the mold to the top with more crayon shavings. Return the molds to the oven to melt the added wax.
Remove the molds and allow the wax to cool before popping the sealing wax sticks out.
Mixing It Old-Style, the New Way
Before the 19th century, sealing wax was made from beeswax and resins. But in the 1800s, sealing wax was a blend of pigments, turpentine and resin. You can recreate a combination of the old recipes.
Things You'll Need
Dry artists’ pigment
Measure equal parts by weight of the beeswax, resin and shellac. Combine them in the top of the double-boiler.
Heat the ingredients over simmering water until they melt. Stir them together completely.
You also can melt the ingredients in the microwave. Begin with 30 seconds, stir the ingredients and repeat for 30 seconds intervals until everything is melted.
Sprinkle the pigment powder on the melted ingredients and stir it in thoroughly. Use your favorite colors or revive some of the old-style symbolism.
Add a wick to the mold before pouring the sealing wax in. Allow the wax to cool completely.
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