How to Engrave Dog Tags

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Dog tags help to keep your pets safe if they ever get lost, because they carry your pet's identification and list your contact information. If you are not happy with the tags available at your local pet shop, get creative and design your own. You can purchase a blank metal tag, engrave it yourself with a metal stamp set, and mount it to your dog's collar. This project is a perfect introduction to working creatively with metal. The stamping is uncomplicated, and the end result is impressive.

Engrave a Metal Dog Tag

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ink pad
  • Masking tape
  • Hammer
  • Alphabet metal stamps, 1/4-inch
  • Steel bench block
  • Blank brass tag, 2-inch  
  • Black permanent marker
  • Jewelry polishing pad
  • Split key ring, 1-inch

Step 1

Decide what you want your tags to say and use the alphabet stamps to stamp the words on paper with ink. Cut each word out.

Step 2

Trace your blank tag on another piece of paper. Test the fit of the words. Place your cut-out words on the tracing in the arrangement you want on your tag. If the words don't fit properly, try another arrangement or reword the phrasing.

Step 3

Lay the metal tag face-up on your steel block. Secure it in place with a piece of masking tape.

Step 4

Using your paper design as a guide, place your first letter stamp on the tag and hit the top of the stamp with a hammer.

Tip

  • You can only hit the stamp once, so hit it firmly. Steady the hand that is holding the stamp by resting your pinky finger on the steel block.

Step 5

Continue to stamp the words in this fashion, using your paper design as a guide. If you have more than one line of text, peel off the masking tape and move it to another section of the tag as you work.

Step 6

Once you have finished stamping, trace over the letters with a black permanent marker.

Step 7

Buff the tag with a jewelry polishing pad. This will wipe away the excess ink from the permanent marker, but the letters you stamped will be visibly darker and easier to read.

Step 8

Slip the split key ring through the hole in the tag and attach it to your dog's collar.

Information to Include on Your Dog Tags

According to the ASPCA, up to 67 percent of pet owners do not put identification tags on their pets. Without identification, the likelihood of your lost pet finding his way home is very low. Even if your dog is microchipped, he still needs an ID tag because this is the first place people look if they find your dog. Include information about your pet's name, where you live and how you can be contacted. In addition, attach a tag with proof of rabies vaccination. If your dog is microchipped, consider adding another tag with the microchip company's name and phone number.

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