How to Do Metal Stamping

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Jagged lines, uneven spacing and tiny imperfections are the hallmarks -- and charm -- of hand-stamped metal jewelry. Stamped metal jewelry became popular between 1840 and 1950 and has recently resurfaced in the online craft industry. Each piece is unique, from the personalization of alphabet stamps to the oxidized patina color. You can use hand-stamping to create unusual custom pendants, or create personalized dog collar charms and medical alert pendants.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 to 10 sheets of paper
  • Metal stamps
  • 1-lb. household hammer
  • Permanent marker
  • Pen
  • Sticky note
  • Metal charm
  • Bench block
  • Planishing or ball-peen hammer
  • Metal wet/dry sand paper
  • Patina solution
  • Steel wool, 0000 gauge
  • Brass brush
  • Lay a stack of paper, eight to ten sheets thick, on your work surface. Hold a stamp vertically on the paper and firmly hit the top with the hammer with a single blow. If the letter or image is right-side up, place a permanent marker line on the stamp side facing you. If the image is upside-down, turn it over and hit it again to ensure correct orientation. Place a mark on the stamp side facing you. This will guarantee proper positioning each time you stamp.

  • Practice stamping the word or design on the paper stack to ensure correct spelling and spacing.

  • Write or draw the desired stamped image on a sticky note. Place this on the metal charm, directly below the stamping location.

  • Center your metal charm on the bench block. Firmly hold a stamp vertically on top of the tag. Strike the stamp with the hammer in a single, firm blow. Repeat with all metal stamps.

  • Add texture to the charm if desired. Place the stamped piece on the bench block. Firmly hit it with the planishing or ball-peen hammer to indent the surface. Continue to dent the charm face until satisfied. Lightly sand the surface with metal sandpaper.

  • Patina the metal if desired. Dip the charm in a patina solution. When satisfied with the color, remove the charm and rinse in cool water. Once dry, sand the stamped piece with steel wool and wipe it with a brass brush.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hold the metal stamp firmly or it may move when struck.
  • Hammer the stamp with firm pressure, neither too hard, which may dent the charm, nor too softly, which will produce an incomplete impression.
  • Strike the stamp only once, as multiple hits will produce a shadow effect.

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References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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