*Always use caution when using candles or heating. Never leave unattended. Never leave melts sitting with candle going with out intended immediate use. Depending on your melter or candle size, the wax can be hot. Please use caution using this tuturial.
Small jars of my hot sauce recipe sealed and stamped with bottling wax with a sisal rope to aid in removing the wax when opening.
Many years ago I wanted to find sealing wax for invitations for a murder mystery party I was planning. I wanted to seal the envelopes with wax and a stamp for that unique effect to go along with the theme of the event. I went to every store available to find this product. This was well before online shopping was widely available for purchasing anything you could think of. I wasn’t giving up on my idea and since Michaels stores weren’t prevalent in Canada yet, I went to the library and found a book that said that letter wax was originally made with beeswax, and then eventually mineral pigments were added for colour. I had a few different colours of beeswax candles that I melted and this worked pretty good with my sealing stamp that I had found among Nanny MacDougall’s crafty possessions.
Eventually I had an idea to seal my jars of homemade vinegars, condiments, and bottles of wine by dipping them in the wax. Beeswax didn’t work quite how I wanted it to. It was too crumbly and a pain to remove. After many mixes and messes, trying everything from colored beeswax candles, cheese wax, and paraffin wax, I remembered trying to clean up the large round balls of melted glue stick that dripped on Mr. Handy’s grandmothers craft table. I used a small pot to melt the glue sticks. After testing a few batches with every combination of glue and wax I had, I came up with this recipe. A glue stick style wax which is a flexible sealing wax for mailing through today’s postal systems is now able to be purchased at specialty craft stores.
Fast forward 20 years later and I am still using the same recipe. It never fails me. Why not just buy wax now since it’s now available in specialty stores and online? IMO this type of wax doesn’t work that great for dipping and sealing bottles and it’s expensive to use for this type of project. The only place I could find bottle dipping wax online for this type of product is Mexico and costs plus shipping are expensive. I had all of my ingredients at home, but if you don’t, everything needed can be found at most dollar stores. Yes, even the candle melter.
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. I have used this for such projects as sealing envelopes, gift bag decoration, seal for pirate’s treasure maps, sealing ribbon to gifts, parchment paper letters, wedding invitations, decorative bottle sealing wax on bottles of hot sauce, homemade ketchup, homemade vanilla, my soap and lotions, and when I bottle homemade wine. I really love the look it gives my homemade gifts and as do the recipients. First, I have shown the bottle dipping how to in detail, followed by a few pictures on how to use as sealing wax for envelopes etc.
- 15 crayons (45 grams)
- 30 low temp glue sticks (90 grams)
- small old pot (filled 1/3 with water), electric candle burner (temp 140-240°), or glue stick melting pot (won’t need mason jar)
- small wide mouth heat proof jar (mason jar) (250 ml)
- disposable wooden stir stick (popsicle stick)
- utility knife (x-acto with new blade)
- Oven mitts
- wax stamp
Place the pot of water over low heat to bring the water to a simmer. Do not put your heat up too high as this could lead to splashing water, or too much heat for the jar which could cause it to crack.
A small glue stick and a small crayon weigh about 5 grams each. I sometimes weigh them out if making a large batch for wine bottle dipping for instance. Use the utility knife to cut down the length of the crayon to remove the label. Trust me this is easier than trying to peel them without cutting first. All the labels are removed. I use a cutting mat/board and the utility knife to cut the glue sticks and the crayons into 1/2-1″ pieces.
Place the glue stick pieces into the small mason jar and then place into the pot of simmering water. You can see here that I am working on two colors of the sealing wax at the same time. Do not
I find it easier to melt the glue sticks pieces slowly first, stirring every few minutes to aid in the melting.
Once mostly melted start adding about 1/4 of the crayon pieces and stir to melt into the melted glue stick.
Repeat until all the crayon is added as it will fit into the jar as it melts.Gently stir in every couple of minutes until completely melted.The melting wax is now ready to use. I like to keep the jar either sitting in the gently simmering pot of water, or remove the jar from the pot with oven mitts and set on the electric candle burner to keep the wax from hardening while using. Use a small spoon and carefully pour the wax where you would like it and press the metal stamp in and release quickly.
How to Use Wax to Decorative seal Bottles
- Homemade bottling wax
- A bottle with cover, or a corked wine bottle (Link to the 4 oz bottle I am using)
- Optional: Shrink bands to cover the lid
- heat gun or blow dryer
- filament tape
- sisal rope or 1/4″ or smaller ribbon
- wax stamp
This is optional, however I prefer to shrink seal my covers on my bottles of homemade hot sauce, or vanilla
I then cut 12″ strips of jute string
Wrap and tie the string around the neck of the jarCut a small piece of tape (filament tape)1/4″ widePull both strands of the jute rope across the top of the jar coverTape the rope in place as pictured
Place another small strip on the other side of the cover to hold the string close to the cover When the bottling wax is ready and flows in a thick smooth ribbon slowly dip you jar in the wax Press the jar in the melted wax to the base of the cover and then slowly remove the jar from the wax. Be careful this wax is hot. Also it will cool quickly so have your stamp ready. Quickly set the jar on a counter and gently press the stamp into the top of the wax, wait for 10 seconds and then pull the stamp from the wax. Set aside and let cool. Finished. Now to open the jar just pull the strings to break the wax and it should be able to be removed in two pieces.
*Always use caution when using candles or heating. Never leave unattended. Never leave melts sitting with candle going with out intended immediate use. Depending on your melter or candle size, the wax can be hot. Please use caution
How to use as Sealing Wax:
This recipe will make 5 to 6 wax seals. Adjust recipe for desired amount. I like to make extra stamps on sheets of parchment. Once dried, store in containers. They can be hot glued in place where ever you choose to use them. Or you can not bother stamping just let blobs harden and reuse at a future date.
All the materials needed were bought at the dollarstore except for the wax stamp.
- 2 small low temp glue sticks
- 1 crayola crayon (you can use other brands but the pigments are not always the best)
- candle melter
- tealight or votive candle
- wooden sticks
- wax stamp (inexpensive bought online, etsy, amazon etc)
Cut Glue sticks into small chunks for melting in a warmer. Scissors or a sharp knife works easily.
Use the equivalent to one crayon. You can use any blend of the crayon to make other colors. ie: I am making fir green colour here. A half white and half pink crayon makes bubblegum pink.
Poor video quality but you get the drift.
Almost ready. Just wait another minute and it will be more fluid. Use the spoon to pour a small dime sized amount onto area you want. I like to use glitter to jazz up special items like these Christmas cards but that is optional.
Easily Clean up the Candle melter and the spoon. Let cool and peel off the wax. I add these pieces to the leftover pieces I store for each colour. They remelt just the same. A magic eraser takes off any remaining residue.