DIY Wax Seal Stamp

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Finished product! I like the drips, but if you're more careful than me you can avoid them.

Finished product! I like the drips, but if you're more careful than me you can avoid them.

My fiance, Tim, came up with this awesome project that costs next to nothing if you already have the equipment. And if you don’t, the tools come in handy for a lot of other things and will eventually pay for themselves. He created a stamp that we can use to make wax seals on envelopes and other paper, with a custom bee design. We used it for a few hand-delivered invitations, and the possibilities for other uses are endless– thank-you notes, place cards, and shower favor tags are just a few things I’ve thought about. We looked into purchasing a custom wax stamp, and they can run up to $70!  If you want to make your own DIY Wax Sealing Stamp, here’s what you’ll need:

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  • A Dremel rotary tool (this can be the expensive part if you don’t already own one–they range from $25 to over $100).
  • A medium-sized metal bolt (costs about 50 cents at any hardware store)
  • Various Dremel bits, for carving the design. Tim had this kit –he used about three different bits from it.
  • Clay or other mold-able material
  • Wax for sealing (we just used leftover candle wax)
The three bits that Tim used

The three bits that Tim used

Here’s how he did it:

1) Sketch your design on paper. It should be relatively simple, so that it will show up well in the wax. A monogram or geometric design would work well, or a simple object such as a leaf or flower.

2) Copy the design on the top of the bolt using a marker or pencil, or skip this step if you are comfortable drawing it freehand with the Dremel.

3) Starting with the largest areas, use an appropriate size dremel bit to start carving out the metal. You can hold the bolt in your hand while you use the dremel with the other hand, or you can use a small vise grip or other clamp to secure the bolt in place. Work your way down to finer details by using increasingly fine bits. If you are doing a monogram, you may only need one size bit. We used a large one for the body of the bee, a medium one for the wings, and a very fine bit for the antenna and stripes on the bee’s body.

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4) As you work, frequently check your design by pressing the bolt into the lump of clay. You’ll be able to see how well your detail is defined and which areas you need to carve out more.

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5) Once you are happy with how your design looks in clay, it’s time to practice with wax. Beeswax would work best, but we used the leftover candle wax we had on hand. Gently melt the wax over your envelope or paper using a lighter. Once the wax has set slightly, gently press the seal into it, and remove. It takes a little practice to learn how long to let the wax cool before applying the seal, so practice away before applying your stamp to invitations or thank-yous!

Our finished stamp

Our finished stamp

Overall, Tim said this project took a few hours to complete, but you can work on it for a few minutes and come back to it later, so it doesn’t require a single large block of time. It also does not take up much space–you just need a small work surface. You’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind item that you can keep using long after your wedding.