It’s the final week & Day 22 of the #sendcardsspreadlove challenge for National Card & Letter Writing Month! This week we have our last guest posts, beginning today with Brynn Fowler & her awesome wax seals tutorial AND 15% off coupon code.
On Wednesday Skylar Liberty Rose join us with a beautiful memories and milestones ritual & then we end the challenge on Friday with a post from Josh Solar on not giving up on one another AND a BIG GIVEAWAY!
How To Participate In The Challenge
For those of you just joining us: welcome to the party & it’s not too late to participate! I’m asking you to send 4 cards out into the world this month, based on the 4 weekly prompts provided, plus a few bonus challenges. Which means there’s still 3 more opportunities to send cards & win prizes!
The intention with this challenge is for you to connect with the ones you love in a fun way, while bringing back the joy and beauty of real communication…that still fits into your fast-paced lifestyle. Sign up to receive all the info and special bonus content that won’t be shared on the blog and don’t forget to join us in the Facebook Group.
I also want to say that I have absolutely loved seeing your posts on Instagram and in the Facebook group. I want to share several of the week 3 challenge entries below. You still have until 11:59 pm EST TODAY to enter AND until 4/27 to enter the 2nd BONUS Challenge (details here). To be eligible to win a support/encouragement collection (plus a 48 page downloadable pdf The Together Journal!) Make sure to: 1. Share your week 3 challenge card and/or note on Instagram (or in the Facebook Group), 2. tag @prettybypost and 3. Use the #sendcardsspreadlove hashtag.
Here’s a brief recap of Week 1:
- BIG LIST of reasons to send cards [Day 1]
- Resources on what to write [Day 3]
- Guest post from Alexandra Franzen on the urgency of letting someone you know how much they mean to you [Day 5]
Here’s a brief recap of Week 2:
- Guest post from Amanda Sue Howell on hand lettering envelopes [Day 8]
- Guest post from Jill DeLuce on Letterpress Printing & Why It’s Special [Day 10]
- Guest post from Naomi Hattaway sharing how empathy muscles are strengthened through letter writing [Day 12]
Here’s a brief recap of Week 3:
- Guest post from Katelyn Woolley on what to say to someone who is going through a difficult time [Day 15]
- Guest post from Nancy Gaines with snail mail sending inspiration & FREE graphics [Day 17]
- Guest post from Sara McNally with a training regimen to help aspiring snail mail superstars sail over the obstacles of sending cards [Day 19]
Day 22 Of The 2018 #sendcardsspreadlove Challenge
Week 4 Challenge: Love + Kindness
The challenge this week is to spread love and kindness. The first thing that might pop up in your mind is to send this to your friends or family. And yes, we should always express our appreciation to our loved ones, but I would encourage you to try moving out of your comfort zone. For ideas, you can refer back to the BIG LIST of reasons to send cards, especially #17 – #23.
The prize is a collection of love cards (along with a 48 page downloadable pdf The Together Journal!)! In order to be eligible to win:
- share your card and/or note with the week 4 challenge
- tag me on IG @prettybypost or in the FB group and
- use the #sendcardsspreadlove hashtag by April 30th at midnight EST.
And now for today’s guest post!
Brynn Fowler of Brynn Fowler Designs is one of sweetest people I know & that I’m fortunate to call my biz bestie. We email & vox several times a week to share our weekly goals, hold each other accountable, share our wins & losses & get support & encouragement. It’s such an incredible feeling to have Brynn in my corner. As a creative business owner, she designs the cutest pun cards & we collaborated on some really fabulous snail mail stickers that she designed for our March Curated Collection.
Today, Brynn gives us 3 different wax seals tutorials with videos! AND she’s kindly offering 15% off at her shop: just pop in the code ‘PBP15’ when you check out.
Wax Seals 101
Want to add a fun and unique touch to your snail mail, invitations, packages, etc.? Wax seals are a beautiful way to add a personal touch to any of these things!
There are many different ways to create a wax seal and today, I want to show you the different ways you can create them.
Traditional sealing wax is brittle and will crack or crumble when sent through the mail and when you open a letter. This was purposefully done so that you knew that the letter had not been opened or messed with in transit. You can still purchase traditional sealing wax although now there are more flexible varieties of wax available as well. I would recommend using the flexible sealing wax as it is much easier to work with and holds up well in mailing.
You can purchase this flexible sealing wax in several different forms:
1. Wax beads:
Many retailers now sell the flexible sealing wax in bead form and it is my favorite form of wax to work with. There are many color options available and the beads themselves are so cute! When you use these beads, you will also need to use a melting spoon to melt the wax over a small flame (a candle works perfectly). It can vary with the size of the wax beads but typically, you will need 2-3 wax beads to create a standard size seal. You can also mix colors of beads when using this method to make different shades of colors or to create marbled effects. You can see this process in the video below:
2. Glue Gun Wax Sticks
This is a really easy to make wax seals and is best used when you need to create many wax seals at once. This could come in handy if you are using wax seals on wedding invitations or if you are making wax seals ahead of time to later be adhered to an envelope or package. There are several ways you can later adhere the wax to an envelope if you make them in advance. I have some adhesive stickers that are made specifically for wax seals (found here). You could also glue the seal to the envelope using a heavy duty craft glue. If you have had success with anything else, I would love to hear! These wax sticks fit into a ½” (0.44) standard glue gun (not mini glue guns). You can see this process in the video below:
3. Wax Sticks With a Wick
I find these wax sticks the hardest to work with. To use them, you light the wick and hold the stick at a careful 20 degree angle (lit end down) to your paper and watch as the wax slowly drips off of the stick. This can take a while and you can also end up with some ash from the wick in your seal if you are not careful. You can see this process in the video below:
Aside from the wax itself, you will also need a seal to stamp into the hot wax. You can find all kinds of seals online, everything from monograms, to fun messages, to custom designs.
Once your wax is on the surface on which you want to stamp, you simply place the stamp on the hot wax and let it sit for several seconds, giving the wax time to set. If you are making multiple wax seals at once, it is important to have a small bowl of ice nearby. Between each seal, you will need to cool the stamp on the ice (make sure you dry the stamp thoroughly before stamping again) so that it works properly on your next seal. The wax hardens pretty quickly but do be careful not to touch it too early!
Mailing envelopes with wax seals:
To be completely honest, I have had mixed luck with mailing envelopes with wax seals. Sometimes my envelopes with wax seals have made it to the recipient completely intact, other times, they are missing or broken. If you want to air on the safe side, it is recommended to use the wax seal on an inner envelope. Often times, the culprit for missing or broken wax seals are the machines that envelopes go through at the post office. Envelopes need to fit through a small slot in the machines used for sorting at the post office and wax seals make the envelopes too bulky to fit through these machines. To avoid this you can ask for your mail to be hand cancelled (sorted by hand). Some post offices will provide this service for free so it is best to check with your local post office. Most of the time there is an additional “non-machinable” postage fee for envelopes to be hand cancelled. When using wax seals, it is recommended that you add an additional $0.21 of postage per envelope for the hand canceling process.
As a reminder, here are the current postage prices by weight (2018):
- 0-1 ounces: $0.50
- 1-2 ounces: $0.71
- 2-3 ounces: $0.92
- 3-3.5 ounces: $1.13
- Postcard: $0.35
- Square envelopes: Also require the additional $0.21 surcharge
Have fun experimenting with wax seals! I love creating them and hope you do too.
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Brynn Fowler is a greeting card designer based out of Chicago, IL. Her mission is to encourage more happy mail through punny illustrated cards. Her designs are all created using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. You can connect with Brynn on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.