How to Make Personalized Hand-Stamped Jewelry

Posted by Adrianne Surian

Learn how to make personalized hand-stamped jewelry by using metal stamps! Stamp names, phrases, and more to make a truly one-of-a-kind piece.

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Metal stamping is one of my favorite types of crafting. It's something I've been doing for about 4 years now, and I love to share my passion for creating personalized pieces! Today's hand-stamped bracelet is a basic design using a single blank and a few inches of chain, with the emphasis primarily on helping beginners get started with metal stamping.

Supplies

  • Steel bench block
  • 1-lb. Hammer
  • Alphabet Uppercase Stamp Set
  • 36.5 mm Vintaj Oval Brass Blank
  • Washi tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Vintaj Metal Reliefing Block
  • Vintaj findings: lobster clasp, jump rings, and 2 inch head pin
  • Round Nosed Pliers
  • Chain Nose Pliers
  • 6 inches chunky chain (antique gold or brass finish to match)
  • One or two 4-6 mm crystal beads
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Metal stamping takes just a few basic tools that you will use over and over again. While there are a lot of choices out there, all you really need is a basic alphabet set of stamps to be able to add flair and personality to any jewelry project. It's the perfect place to start, and an uppercase set is the easiest way to space out your letters. You will also need a steel bench block for two reasons - first, you do NOT want to dent up your table with tools, and second, you need an extremely hard surface that will not absorb any of the impact. If you attempt to stamp on too soft a surface, you won't be able to make clean letter impressions. You will also need a 1-lb. hammer. I use a short-handled hammer that was designed for stamping, but the hammer in your family tool box will also work in the beginning.

The biggest tip I can give you is that neat stamping comes with time. Practice makes perfect! You will start out at an advantage if you plan out your piece before you begin stamping, and I'll share how I plan my pieces out.

Take a piece of washi tape, masking tape, or specialty stamping tape, and tape your blank to your bench block. Position the tape as the base line for your letters - similar to writing on a line on a sheet of paper. I like to mark where I plan to stamp each letter, as well. By marking the position of each letter on the tape, you will be able to better center your message, and make sure you have room to say what you want.

When your piece is planned, you're ready to stamp! Place the stamp gently on the surface of the metal blank, and line it up with the points where you marked your letter placement. Drag the stamp gently toward the tape (take care not to scratch the metal when you do this) and when it meets the edge of the tape, you will be able to feel it. This way, you know you've placed the stamp exactly where you planned to.

After all this planning and prep, you're ready to stamp! Position the stamp perfectly vertically, and strike the top end just once with your hammer. It will need to be one firm strike to do the job, and do it confidently! In four years, I have actually never hit my hand, so don't worry about that. But if you hesitate, your hand will tend to double-strike the stamp, giving you a doubled impression. But one firm strike is all it takes.

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Now, just cut two lengths of chain to 3 inches each, and attach them to each side of your blank with jump rings. Most often, you can just open the links of the chain with your pliers, and separate the segments of chain. If the rings do open, you can use them to attach to the stamped blank, as I have done. Some chains are soldered closed, and if that's the case, you'll need to use wire cutters to separate the lengths of chain.

On one end of the chain, use a jump ring to attach a lobster clasp, to close the bracelet.

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Now, just cut two lengths of chain to 3 inches each, and attach them to each side of your blank with jump rings. Most often, you can just open the links of the chain with your pliers, and separate the segments of chain. If the rings do open, you can use them to attach to the stamped blank, as I have done. Some chains are soldered closed, and if that's the case, you'll need to use wire cutters to separate the lengths of chain.

On one end of the chain, use a jump ring to attach a lobster clasp, to close the bracelet.

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At this point, I decided the bracelet was a bit plain, and I decided to whip up a quick beaded charm to add to it. If you choose to add a charm, you will need a head pin, a jump ring, and a small bead or two. You will also need round-nosed pliers, and wire cutters (some pliers have cutters built in, and you may not need a separate tool).

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To create a charm, slide a small bead or two onto the head pin. Wrap the head pin around one side of your round pliers, forming a loop.

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Then, take the excess wire, and wrap it around the base, under the loop you just formed. Wrap it around until the space between the loop and the beads is filled, and then cut off the excess wire. You can connect this charm with a jump ring on one side of the stamped blank.

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You'll find that metal stamping is a great skill to have when it's time for making jewelry gifts, and it's such a fun hobby to hammer on metal! The possibilities are endless to make unique and one of a kind pieces to add to your own personal style.

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Hope you enjoyed this project, and I'll see you guys again soon! Happy Crafting!