How to Seal an Envelope with a Glue Stick

Licking envelopes to seal them is not everybody’s idea of a great time. It’s unpleasant tasting and some people worry about what exactly they’re licking.

Another option is to use a glue stick to seal an envelope. This way you don’t have to lick anything or worry about germs. It’s easy, quick, and not at all messy. But there is a trick to it. Well, a couple of tricks. But it’s soooo simple.

Just applying the glue and pressing down the flaps won’t always work. Sometimes the glue doesn’t really stick and the flaps come open a little while later.

Is anybody still using envelopes?

Yes, they are. Old-fashioned mail  on paper in envelopes is still popular for invitations and thank you notes, even with people who pay all their bills online.

Greeting cards are also still popular. Even when you’re not going to mail them because you’re taking them to a party or delivering them with a gift, you might want to seal the envelope to draw out the suspense of the presentation.

Envelope beside glue stick

What about those squeeze bottle moisteners?

They do make little bottles with a sponge tip that you squeeze to put water on the envelope sticky stuff. But if you squeeze too much, you can get a large part of your envelope soaked. Too little, and it will be too dry to seal.

The glue stick method, if you do it correctly, works every single time. It just works.


  1. Does it matter what brand of glue you use? No. We’ve used the cheapest generics available and they’ve worked just fine. You can even make your own glue stick.
  2. Should you use this on envelopes with their own sticky stuff under a removable tape? No. Those are made to seal up nicely on their own. Extra glue might actually make them less sticky.
Envelope beside glue stick
Yield: 1 sealed envelope

How to Seal an Envelope with a Glue Stick

Active Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: Under $1

This is an easy way to seal an envelope without licking it. You use a glue stick, and if you do it right, that envelope will stay sealed and you won't have to lick or wet a thing.



  • Your hands!


    1. Open the flaps of the envelope. Open envelope
    2. Run the glue stick over the gum on the envelope - just once. If you run it over and over, the glue turns into a gooey substance that won't dry quickly. That leads to not sticking.Hand applying glue stick to envelope
    3. Fold the flap down into place, just like you would after licking it.Sealing the envelope
    4. Run your hands over the backside of the glue area several times, rapidly. This heats up the glue a little, making it extra sticky and helping it dry more quickly.Hand rubbing over envelope seal
    5. Now it's sealed well and will stay sealed until someone opens it.


You don't need a special brand of glue stick. We used Elmer's disappearing purple Extra Strength, but we've also used the cheapest generic glue sticks we could find.

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