Tag Archives: Correspondence

How to Make a Wax Seal

In case you missed it, we started carrying J. Herbin wax seal supplies in the shop a few weeks ago – I did a blog post on it, with more pictures of the different coloured wax in seal form. In that blog post, it was more about the final product than how to make the actual wax seal, so here’s a post to help you out if you’re not certain about what to do.

J Herbin Sealing Wax Brass

I had to enlist the help of Vanna (i.e. Jon) to help me with this post. If you receive a letter from us in the next few days that has an odd looking wax seal, it’s because we used your envelope as our demonstration, and we had some “timing issues” with the pressure of wax cooling and me trying to take a photo. One day we’re going to do a behind-the-scenes post of how these how-to blogs get done, with the dog sniffing the wax and the baby bobbling in the background and me trying to stop wax from cooling and Jon saying “Liz, this one is ruined.”

It’s actually not too hard to do this. The idea is, you melt the wax onto the envelope, and you press your brass stamp into the wax before it cools, making an impression.

You need:
Sealing wax (available in different colours)
Brass stamp (often people use a letter in their name or a symbol)
Your envelope
Heat source – here, a candle

J. Herbin Wax Seal Wonder Pens

Step one: Hold the wax over the candle and rotate so too much wax doesn’t drip into the candle.

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Step 2: Gently but firmly rub the melted end into the paper in a circle.

J. Herbin Wax Seal How-To Wonder Pens

It won’t be pretty, but that’s okay, because you’re going to be putting more wax on it. It may also be a bit tacky or sticky as you rub, but don’t worry about it. 

J. Herbin Sealing Wax Tutorial WonderPens.ca

Step 3: Bring the wax seal back over the flame and repeat. The bit of wax on the envelope will be cooling while you are re-warming the wax stick, and that’s okay. It’s the first “layer” of wax, so when you press your stamp on, you don’t press all the way to the paper, and you also get a nice, thick wax seal.

When you add more wax to the bit on the envelope, use your stick to gently move the wax around to form a bit of a circle, preparing for the brass stamp.

J. Herbin Wax Seal Tutorial Wonder Pens

 

Your second glob of wax will look something like this – it takes a bit of trial and error to figure out about how much wax you like to have in your seal.

J. Herbin Sealing Wax Wonderpens.ca

Step 4: Wait just a bit, until the wax is just matte (and no longer shiny). Then, press your stamp into the wax firmly, and hold it for a bit, maybe around 5 seconds. If you press right away and the wax is too hot, it will be too soft and won’t make a good, crisp impression.

J. Herbin Wax Seals Wonderpens.ca

Lift carefully, and you’ll have your seal!

J Herbin Wax Seal Anchor Wonder Pens

In addition to being able to use a candle, you can use a lighter with a long handle (like a barbecue lighter) or a torch type lighter. You can hold the wax directly onto the paper while holding the flame to the tip, and wait for the wax to drip drip drip onto the envelope. You may have to wait a bit longer for the wax to cool, don’t rush it! (But don’t take too long, or you won’t be able to get your stamp into it).

The reason for the second layer of wax is because if you don’t get enough, it ends up looking a bit thin. You want the wax to come around all of the edges.

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You can also consider making a mark on your stamp itself so you always know which way is the top when you go to press it on – seconds make a big difference in the wax cooling!

Sealing Wax Tips & Tricks Wonderpens

Tip 1: When you’re near the end of your wax stick, melt the end and stick it onto the end of a fresh stick.

Tip 2: If you’re new to this, always put the the wax seal on the envelope before you put on the postage stamp, so if you mess up, you don’t waste the postage. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, though 🙂

We carry the sealing wax regularly in the shop – you can either try a stick of a colour, or if you know you like it, get a pack of four sticks. The brass stamp (either a letter or symbol) and the handle – purchased separately – are special order: if you’re interested, send us an email (info at wonderpens.ca). You can see more details here.

 

Above all, have fun with it!

 

Original Crown Mill Classic Laid Writing Paper

We’ve just brought in some new things from Original Crown Mill! We have the Classic Laid and the 100% Pure Cotton.

I’m a sucker for the really nice writing paper. The Classic Laid in cream is what I’m talking about today, mainly because I love textured paper and having just a bit of feedback when I write – the sound and feel of the nib against the paper! If you’re going for smoother paper, you will want to look at the 100% Pure Cotton.

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Original Crown Mill Classic Laid Writing Stationery – in cream or white!

We had been thinking about Original Crown Mill Paper and debating back and forth on it for a while now. We had been holding off on it because we had already had G. Lalo stationery in, but the recent delays in getting the A5 G. Lalo papers in spurred us to bring in the new line.

The paper is replicated from the very original handmade sheets made by monks in Belgium, which may be the ultimate in romantic beginnings. It’s now made by Pelletier, a Belgium company, who has expanded the line to include envelopes and cards and other paper things. The Classic Laid Paper is available in cream or white, with corresponding envelopes.

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A sheet with guide lines on it for the neatest writing.

I love that a tablet or pad of this paper comes with a guide sheet of lines! It’s the first page you tear off, and it is very, very useful. You tear it off and place it directly underneath the sheet you’re writing on so you can just see the shadow of the lines underneath. I know school teachers are supposed to be able to write in straight lines, but it never hurts to have some help 🙂

However, you can see the grid of textured lines across the page, which should help you write neater lines even without the guide sheet. It has lines as the Verge de France paper from G. Lalo. They’re not quite as pronounced as the G. Lalo, but it’s still quite evident.

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You can just see the texture of the paper.

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Writing Sample on Original Crown Mill Classic Laid Writing Paper with a Serwex 362 and Sailor Jentle Ultramarine.

The writing sample is done with a Serwex 362 and a fine nib, and the ink is Sailor Jentle Ultramarine. The Serwex is quite a wet writer, and combined with the absorbency of the paper the lines look like a medium –and without any feathering! The paper really is quite absorbent, but handles the ink quite well. You can see the sheen of the ink just on the edges of the letters, where the ink has pooled slightly – nice and crisp.

The absorbency also means pretty good dry time – not that you would want to rush any of those letters. It might not fare so well with drier pens or EF nibs, as it just soaks up the ink. It’s nice and thick 100 gsm paper, so no bleed through at all from this writing.

The “vergeures” or lines are just slightly less than the lines from the G. Lalo Verge de France paper.

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Perfect for a thank you or a note to brighten someone’s day.

In addition to the beautiful paper, the beautiful design of the Original Crown Mill name on the packaging makes me think that a set of paper and envelopes would make a great gift – mailed to a friend or family member, what a wonderful way to begin a correspondence across a distance.

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