“I always use transfer paper and hand paint it after. In a tutorial for copying drawings in that same 1811 New Family Receipt Book, wafers are used to stick paper to boards and to other papers. The combination of the wax and the glue sticks allows the wax to seal and stick to the item, yet release without crumbling completely apart. When it’s still warm and congealed, it’s extremely sticky and if you rise the seal stamp too early semi-fluid wax will plug all the little grooves in the matrix of your seal. Once the liquid wax covers about the area of a ten pence piece, and you are satisfied with the shape of your little puddle, calmly put the stick of wax aside on a non-stick surface (it will still be tacky from melting, don’t put it directly on the table!) and put out the burner. “Ice?” Fire asks, still controlling the flames with her own. Lisa asks, “”What is the best way to put letters onto wood?
“Draw it on paper, put the paper on the wood and use a ballpoint pen to trace it, pressing down hard. “You can make a stencil with freezer paper. Some popular generic wax seals sold by Manuscript have a diameter of 18 millimetres, which is rather small, but it allows you to make a lot of seals from the single stick of sealing wax. To make Wafers Take very fine flour, mix it with the glair (or whites of eggs) isinglass, and a little yeast; mingle the materials, beat them well together, spread the batter, being made thin with gum water, on even tin plates, and dry them in a stove; then cut them for use. So, now I challenge you – this weekend, take out a piece of paper, write down some musings, and send it to a friend or relative. The toxic “mineral colours” mentioned probably include vermilion, now known as mercury sulfide. I was astonished to learn how ubiquitous sealing wafers once were, and how nearly forgotten they are now!
When we think of the romance of Regency letters, we think of sealing wax. You can use a generic wax seal stamp (like Hand of the King kit mentioned earlier), create one by yourself or pay a craftsman to engrave customised stamp with your own design. This situation is uncomfortable, but she feels like she can’t get away. Have you ever wondered how to get perfect lettering on a sign without using a stencil? Using it seems like a ritual that brings past times before our senses: the flickering candle, the smell of melting wax, wax letter seal the richly colored puddle impressed with a coat of arms or initials. Print out one that you like & do it the old fashioned way- rub the back with your pencil & trace over the front – ta-da! You need a sealer over the wood or the paint will bleed if you’re going to leave the wood natural. This will help give you a uniform color and thickness. You can use it plain or stamp it with an emblem to give it an extra personal touch! A 1799 book of home remedies advises using “The common wafer made use of for sealing letters” to remove corns from the feet.
An 1847 book of craft projects for girls describes making rosettes out of bits of wafer to decorate baskets. Because you need to hold the stick while its other end melts in a flame, small bits and crumbled pieces will be practically useless, unless you have a special melting pod. Place the glue stick pieces into the small mason jar and then place into the pot of simmering water. After that had dried well I placed my cut out letters, contact paper,or any stick back..could even use basting spray on paper letters. You can use carbon paper and trace letters you’ve printed onto the wood and then trace it with a wood burning tool. “I used to play around with printing the letters and then trace the lines with carbon paper and paint them in. You can cut stencils from frisket paper which can be found at art supply stores. To use a wafer, a letter writer folded up the paper as usual (see my post on the Anatomy of a Regency Letter for one letter-folding technique).