Not impressed with your first try at DIY wax seals and frustrated because the image just doesn't pop? One of the questions I get asked most often is How do you highlight your wax seal impressions? What pens or powders do you use? In this post I'll show you, the pens and powders I love best (and personally use after much testing) and my tips and recommendations for great results. I'll also share my favorite must-have products for highlighting Wax Seal stamped images, to take your wax-stamped impressions to the next level with four amazing products!
If you weren't super impressed by your first attempts at creating your own wax seal you are not alone! I have to admit to feeling a little 'meh' about my first wax stamping efforts. The wax was pretty, the metal stamp had performed perfectly, and I had all the right tools, but my images weren't popping as they do on some of those gorgeous Instagram pics! Was it all great photo editing or was I missing something? Turns out there was a final step I needed to highlight my images and really make them stand out.
So it's time to explore my four favorite products to make your images POP using pens, paints, inks and powders!
I started by doing loads of testing (my hubby says I bought half the internet), it turns out there are quite a few products out there that claim to be amazing for using with sealing stamps and wax seals that shockingly turned out to be all hype :( I won't show you the failures, instead, I'll cut right to the chase and tell you exactly what products to use to add color and definition to your wax-stamped images!
If you've never made a wax seal before or used a wax stamp be sure to read Wax stamping for beginners.
4 Best Products to Highlight Wax Stamped Images
You can watch in real-time as I create and add color with each of my faves, to see how easy and effective these 4 products really are.
🛒 Shop for products used in this clip - links at the bottom of the post.
Before I start I'd like to give a shoutout to Craspire who generously gifted me the Wax stamping supplies I've used in this clip, if you'd like to purchase any of the Craspire items I used, make sure to use the discount code Palmer10 to save 10% on your whole order.
*These are not ranked in order as they are ALL fabulous!
#1 Wax Paste
Most crafters reading this will have a wax paste of some variety, there are so many on the market and I can't claim to have tried them all, but of those I tried one stood out as working reliably on wax surfaces and it was Finnabiar's Art Alchemy Wax Paste. I tried the Old Silver color and it was soft and subtle and made the design stand out without being too shiny, bright, or in your face. So if you are looking for a subtle option grab the Art Alchemy wax and use it to decorate your seals, as this stuff is perfect!
Dip a finger or fabric into the paste (depending on the safety warnings on the label) and gently rub it across the raised parts of your design - you will get a beautiful contrasting highlight to the wax beneath. When using wax paste I like to gently buff off the excess product using a clean paper towel or microfiber cloth, any fabric will work as long as it doesn't leave bits. This step may not really be necessary but I really hate transfer and this seems to help prevent that just a little! Once buffed leave it to fully dry or set.
#2 Metallic Paint Pens
I tried a few different popular brands of paint pens and by far the best was the Sakura Pen Touch pen Extra Fine in size 0.7mm. This beautiful pen created an almost streak-free finish, had excellent coverage and a beautiful metallic shine. I purchased a pack of 3 pens in gold, silver and copper and all are fabulous and I would highly recommend these.
I added 2 coats of color to my wax impression, letting the first coat dry and was able to get almost pin-point accuracy with the color. There was no special application technique required, and this pen gave me the most accuracy and control over where I lay down the color, There was no blobbing, leaking, splattering or flooding unlike some of the other paint pen brands I tried and the ultra-fine tip nib meant there is no design of detail that was too small for me to color. This was a joy to use on my wax seal and as you can see below gave amazing coverage of the wax impression.
If you are really worried about extra ink, just pick up your seal and add color horizontally - I actually do this sometimes anyway as it's easier to see where you are putting the ink. You can also dab the pen tip on a piece of paper towel to get the ink flowing and make sure the ink is not flowing too fast.
#3 & #4 Powders
Highlighting powders come in several forms, some easier to use than others! Oh all the ones I tried the following 2 are both my favorite powers because of the results they give and their ease of use and lack of mess! Since purchasing these, I've seen wax powders pop up in a few of my favorite online craft/stationery stores but I'm so happy with what I have I have no desire to buy any other brands (and that's saying something for me).
Highlighting Powder Palette
The Sealing Stamp Powder palettes are great value with 4 different colors in each set and are made specifically to add color to wax seal impressions and wow do they work well! The powders are easy to apply using your finger or an eyeshadow applicator, they are fast and as long as you use the powder sparingly, they result in an almost perfect highlighted image!
To apply the powder to my sealing wax impression I rubbed my finger into the powder and then rubbed my now-colored fingertip over the image. The product clung to the raised areas of the design and was super quick to apply. I did add a little too much in the video (use sparingly). The shine on this metallic finish was crazy beautiful and it really looked gilded and luxe.
I had never heard of a powder pen before I started wax stamping, but I'm so glad I stumbled across these Air Cushion Magic pens. Originally intended for use with nail art and manicures, this little beauty turned out to be an absolute favorite. These powder pens come in a variety of beautiful colors, produce a stunningly rich color and produce a crisp clear colored image.
To apply the powder to your wax stamped image, simply remove the cap (there will be product on the sponge dauber already) and gently swirl the sponge over the design. The sponge tip buffs as it is applied to the raised areas so you get a beautiful glossy (fallout-free) result. Quick, simple and worked every time!
As I said at the beginning, there are no bad options here - they all work beautifully and give great results - it will just depend on what you need to do and what is available to you to purchase. If like me you are in a regional area and don't have a shop close by that stocks these products, then you can 🛒 shop for products used in this clip at the following online stores.
See all products available from Craspire
- Craspire Wax Stamp: Stay Wild Moon Child
- Stirring Spoon
- Sealing Wax Furnace
- Wax Seal Bead Kit
- Wax Seal Mat
- Moon Phase Moth Wax Stamp
Wax Stamp Highlighting Supplies
- Wax Stamp Highlighting supplies (Kate's list on Amazon)
- Sakura Pen Touch pen
- Art Alchemy Wax
- Sealing Stamp Powder
- Air Cushion Magic pen
Some of the links above are affiliate links, this is done at no cost to you and links to stores I buy from myself oxox
Have a ball highlighting your wax stamped impressions, any of these four products that I've mentioned will make it a much more enjoyable experience!