Learn How to Personalize Your Jewelry with Metal Stamping Tips and Tricks

metal stamped guitar pick necklace by Sara Richardson

This is the guitar pick necklace. See how I made the stamped element below. Photos: Michael Richardson.

Last year, I decided to take a guitar class. My dad got me my guitar for Christmas a few years ago, and I just didn’t have the time to sit down and really learn it. I took the class through a night adult education program. In just eight weeks I went from knowing nothing about playing the guitar to knowing the main chords, how to play properly, and a few easy songs.

I was really grateful to my teacher, and got to know some of my classmates. So, when the class ended, I wanted to make something both personal and practical for all of them. For the practical part, I wanted to attach a guitar pick to a chain, so if these nice people ever needed a pick all they needed to do was look around their neck. But how could I add that personal touch? With these metal stamping tips!

Add a Stamped Element
I had several sterling, copper, and brass blanks lying around my work table. I took one of them and stamped the words “Guitar Guru” on it (for my teacher). I punched holes on the top and bottom. Then, with jump rings, I attached it first to the chain. I also punched a hole on the top of the guitar pick and attached it to the stamped element with more jump rings. I felt I had created the perfect gift!

Personalize Your Metal
Copper, sterling, and brass blanks are readily available. And metal stamping them with your own personal message or interesting designs is quite easy.  All you need is a bench block, a household hammer, and a set of metal stamps. Here’s how to do it, along with some metal stamping tips to help you along the way.

metal stamping tipFirst, to prevent the blank from moving around during hammering, you can tape it down with a bit of Scotch tape. Of course, it is important to hammer on a hard, stable surface. Also, to ensure you stamp in a straight line, you can tape a small, flexible ruler onto the blank with Scotch tape. Don’t worry if you stamp over the tape. You can easily take it off later.

metal stamping hammering tipSecond, make sure you hold the metal stamp with the notch against your thumb. That way, it won’t stamp upside down (among other problems). Hammer directly on top of the metal stamp at least five or six times. If the letter or design didn’t completely transfer, just slide the stamp back into the notch you created (you should feel it easily), and hammer it a few more times.

metal stamp storage tipAlso, put the stamps back in their proper places after you’re done using them. A lot of the letters look similar, especially when upside down and backwards. And more than once I have chosen the wrong stamp, resulting in ruined pieces. Since I started following this rule, the mistakes have drastically decreased.

If you want to darken in the letters, it’s very easy. All you need is a thin black Sharpie marker and a polishing cloth. Trace in the stamped letters as best you can. After you’re done, just wipe it off with the cloth. It’ll take away any small mistakes and will help the marker settle into the stamped parts.

metal stamping tip

As you can see, it only takes a few minutes to make personalized metal stamped jewelry for your family, friends, and other important people in your life!

Discover More Stamping Ideas
I learned these metal stamping tips and skills from Lisa Niven Kelly, the founder of Beaducation, who teaches you even more techniques and fun jewelry designs in her book Stamped Metal Jewelry with bonus DVD! Lisa teaches you the basics on tools and materials and introduces you to the wide variety of metal stamps and shapes of metal blanks. She also teaches you how to texture, dap, and to oxidize the things you stamp. Several well-known artists such as Connie Fox, Janice Berkebile, and Tracy Stanley contribute their unique pieces, too.

You can use these metal stamping tips and techniques for cuff bracelets, ID bracelets, and rings. You can link different shaped blanks together to form bracelets, pendants, earrings and more. Use stamped pieces as charms, or create riveted pieces. There’s even a project for making beads! The book is packed with valuable information to get you started and keep you interested for a long time to come. And with a special instructional DVD included, you can ensure that you’re performing the techniques correctly.

It’s my guarantee that, once you get started, you will become addicted! Share your stamped creations with us in the comments below!

Learn more about metal stamping jewelry with these expert resources!


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