Basic Hand Stamping
If hand stamped jewelry seems like a mystery to you, hang on and I’ll show you just how easy and fun it is to do. With just a few tools and some helpful information, you’ll be on your way to making some great hand stamped creations of your own. Follow along below as we dive right in.
* Hammer – FYI – the hammer in the picture above is not what I typically use any longer. That one is kind of old school and now I have wayyyyy better options. I prefer my small steel hammer or my 1 pound brass head ImpressArt hammer.
Place your metal disc (aka – a blank because they now come in a variety of shapes and not just discs anymore) on your steel bench block. A 3/4″ 20 gauge Nickel Silver blank has been used in this demonstration. The blank was stamped with a 3/32″ – 2.5mm Uppercase Letter Set.
Take your letter stamp (aka – letter punch) and place it about 2mm from the edge of your disc. Hold it upright and firmly in place while giving it a good and solid strike with your hammer. Most people recommend striking the stamp only once. Some will strike two or three times. Whatever style works for you is great. Practice and see what is most successful for you. The important thing to remember if you strike more than once is to keep it firmly placed on your blank so you will avoid making a double impression.
Choose the next letter stamp and again line it up 2mm from the edge of your blank. You will want to place it right next to the previous letter without leaving any gaps of space between your stamp and the letter. This is a tricky part to figure out at first! You can adjust your placement position if you prefer the letters to be closer together or a little farther apart. This is a personal preference kind of thing!
Now it is time for the magic to happen! After stamping your word or design, it is time to darken the impression. Take your permanent marker and darken in the impressions you have created with your stamps. No need to be too neat with this step! Make sure all the impressions are filled in with ink.
Take a Pro Polish Pad and rub over your inked impressions using an up and down motion with a good bit of pressure. Rub over entire piece until you have removed all of the excess ink and are satisfied with the result. The Pro Polish Pad will leave your blank with a beautiful shine. Another super easy way to remove the ink is to use fine steel wool. Many stamping artisans use this option. I love to use steel wool and like the “brushed” effect it creates. You can even use the Pro Polish Pad after you use the steel wool to make it even shinier. Try both options and see what appeals to you the most. Hint: The steel wool is a little faster if you are in a hurry or have many to do. When using steel wool, wipe over your blank in one direction for a more uniform finish.
You are almost there! Now it’s time to mark the spot where you want to hang your jump ring so you can slide your creation on a chain or attach to a bracelet or some other fun thing! Determine where the middle of your word/phrase/design is and place a mark up above on the top of the blank.
Take the Hole Punch Plier and line it up with the mark you have just created to insure correct alignment. Squeeze the pliers firmly until it pops through the metal. TIP: Hole Punch Pliers can sometimes mar your blank around the hole they create. To avoid this, place a piece of clear plastic over your blank before popping the hole. The clear plastic still allows you to see your mark for proper alignment but provides protection for your blank.
YOU DID IT!
Now you are ready to attach a jump ring and wear your creation with pride or give someone a wonderful gift!
There are many other tools you will want to have in your collection but I have shown you the “basics” of stamping. Many people prefer to cup their blanks slightly instead of leaving them completely flat. You can accomplish this with a Dapping Block Set. It’s also fun to add texture to your blank with a texture hammer or use a ball peen hammer to hammer around the edges. And don’t forget that you can really add some fun by incorporating riveting into your creations. It’s super easy to master with either cap rivets or nail head rivets. Just take a look at my riveting tutorials for more info. BE CREATIVE. HAVE FUN!