Hey friends! Are you ready to express yourself? I have a charming hand-stamped jewelry project to share with you today that lets you be as sweet or as sassy as you like! Today I'm going to show you some basic jewelry stamping and combine chains with charms in this copper bracelet with an antique vibe.
So Charming! How to Make Your Own Stamped Charms
Here's what you'll need:
- Steel block
- 3mm Letter Stamp Set
- 8 oz. - 16 oz. hammer
- Vintaj 25mm Round Copper Stamping Blank
- 48" 3mm Copper Chain (I used Sweet Beads Metal Antique Copper Chain - 48")
- Copper or Brass Lobster Clasp
- 8-10 Copper or Brass 10mm Jump Rings
- Brass or Copper Head Pins
- Washi Tape or Masking Tape
- Black Acrylic Paint Dabber and Paper Towel
- Chain Nose Pliers, Round Nose Pliers, and Wire Cutters
- Your favorite beads (I used Bead Wardrobe Collection Beads - Peach Assorted)
The first step is stamping your copper charm. For this piece I stamped "So Charming" but here's your chance to get creative and make something personal to yourself! I've written about metal stamping here at Blitsy before - if you want to know more after reading about today's project, then be sure to check out this brass "Follow Your Heart" Bracelet.
To stamp your blank, use masking tape or washi tape as a base line for your letters. You may wish to mark off your letter spacing to be sure you have enough room. Place the metal stamp on the blank, holding it straight in a vertical position. Drag it gently toward the tape. You'll feel the bottom of the stamp "catch" on the edge of the tape. If you do this for each letter, you'll be able to align your word vertically instead of having letters all over the place.
Give the end of the metal stamp one firm tap with your hammer. I prefer a 16 oz. hammer (mine is brass, but you can even use the one from your household toolbox) or if you prefer a little lighter hammer to get started, an 8 oz. hammer may work better for you. It's all a matter of preference!
You may find that after stamping your message, the thin copper blank begins to curve a little. This is normal! If it happens and you want to flatten it back out, turn it over and hammer the back side with either a nylon hammer (which won't mar your new charm) or place a thin layer of fabric down to protect your charm and use the flat of your hammer to gently flatten it back out.
Instead of using chemicals to add a patina to the copper, I typically take the easy route and darken the impressions with acrylic paint. Use a sponge brush (or better yet, one of the Ranger Paint Dabbers) to get the paint all the way into each letter. Rub the surface with a paper towel to remove the excess paint. If any of your letters need additional darkening, you can repeat this step as necessary.
Now that your copper charm is finished, it's time to move into the chain. You can use as many or as few chains as you like, but I LOVE the layered look of these smaller chains stacked together. You can cut them apart into 6" lengths, but I find that it's even easier to leave the chain connected in one continuous piece. Use your pliers to twist open a 10mm jump ring. Measure down the chain 6 inches, and loop that link onto the jump ring. Measure 12 inches for the next length, and loop that link on. Continue adding as many layers as you like! I used 8 layers of chain here.
At the opposite end, twist open a second jump ring, and connect it through each of the links at the opposite end. A note: this method is meant to be a time-saver. If you find it confusing or more difficult, then you can easily just cut 8 lengths of chain to 6 inches long, and connect each chain to the jump rings individually.
At one end of your chain, you will connect a lobster clasp onto the jump ring. At the opposite end, connect 3-4 10mm jump rings together to form a chain. This will allow for you to adjust the bracelet to the size you need!
If you wish to add beaded charms, they make a great addition! I used a pearl and a glass teardrop bead to my bracelet to give it a vintage look. First, thread the bead onto a head pin, and grip it just above the bead with your round pliers. Bend the end of the pin around one side of the pliers, forming a loop.
Next, take the excess wire and wrap it around the base of the head pin between the loop and the top of the bead, filling the gap. Trim off any excess wire with wire cutters.
All that's left is to put it all together! Attach the charms to one of the chains with jump rings. I preferred to center mine, but I've also seen placement next to the clasp. I depends where you want the charm to show as you wear it.
What do you think? Is it charming? Or are you tired of my little jewelry pun?
Either way, I'm so glad you joined me for today's project. Happy crafting!