We've posted wax sealed letters from metro areas to regional towns, interstate across Australia and overseas to test how wax seals on envelopes survive the mail journey. Read on for our top tips.
USE FLEXIBLE WAX NOT TRADITIONAL WAX
Traditional wax is brittle and designed to break easily as historically, its main purpose was to indicate to the receiver that the seal had been tampered with.
Nowadays, flexible sealing wax is available, which is better able to withstand being churned through automatic sorting machines and efficient handling by postal workers.
All of the wax granules and wickless wax sticks available for purchase on our website are the flexible variety.
EXPECT SOME MINOR SCUFFING
The journey of a letter through the postal system can be quite complex! It passes through sophisticated equipment including letter cullers, feeders, indexing machines, and automatic sorting machines, which means the wax seal can be easily squashed between rollers and machinery.
These photos show what your addressee can typically expect to receive. Your wax sealed letter will most likely survive the journey with some minor scuffing. As you can see in our photos, part of the raised section of the wax seal has been slightly flattened, and there are a few smudges on the envelope. Australia Post has also added some orange barcoding along the bottom of the envelope.
CAN you MAIL THE wax seal LETTER IN A STREET POST BOX? or must it be at a post office?
Short answer, yes to both. We've tested both methods and they've arrived safely at their addresses with about the same amount of wear and tear.
If you lodge it at your local post office in Australia, they may be able to ‘hand cancel’ the stamp for you. This is to protect the seals from having to go through the stamp cancelling machine at a sorting facility. (This is not an official Australia Post service so it may be best to enquire beforehand if your local post office can do this).
CAN YOU POST WAX SEAL STICKERS?
The wax seal on the letter that we posted was in fact a wax seal sticker, made with 3M double sided adhesive tape (available in our store). These have a strong adhesion which we've found makes them much more suitable for posting mail than regular double-sided tape.
So then, can you mail wax seals made with double-sided tape? I would say yes, as long as you use one that has a strong adhesive, and the size of the tape covers the majority area of the wax seal.
FOR EXTRA PROTECTION, ENCASE IT IN A VELLUM ENVELOPE
This is extra helpful if you’ve written the address in non-waterproof ink (as some calligraphy and fountain pen inks are) since the vellum envelope adds an extra layer of protection from the rain. Just make sure the address is clearly visible from the outset. If not, stick an address label on the outside that is big enough to cover any writing that is visible through envelope. You must also stick the stamp on the outside of the vellum envelope as this will allow the postal system to mark it as used/ cancelled.
We have a free C6 envelope template which you can use to make the envelopes from a sheet of vellum or tracing paper.
I love seeing all the creative projects that you come up with! Feel free to send them over via email, social media, or tag me (@fionaariva on Instagram).
I have just bought the wax sealing seals and wax, I am looking forward to using them on letters.
Fun! I saw you were doing this post and I have been looking forward to reading it. This is something I’ve actually wondered about! Love the blog.