I am back again with another post and this time with something new I have ever tried. Yes, I will be sharing ideas, tips and techniques on yet another form of jewelry making tool available exclusively with the CraftShop. And this Metal Stamping. I am just a beginner and sharing everything that worked best for me. And it requires practice to get the perfect results !
What is Metal Stamping ?
Metal Stamping simply means stamping on metal as we stamp on paper. It is a great way to share your heartfelt messages with your friends, loved ones, and the world. It is an amazing way of creating customized jewelry.
What are Metal Stamps ?
To do metal stamping with hand you need metal stamps. Metal stamps are solid rods with alphabets and numbers on one end and it is flat on other end. They come in variety of sizes like 3mm, 5mm and in upper and lower cases. The image below shows how it actually looks –
Metal Stamping Tools -
Metal Stamping tools includes –
1. Metal Stamps
2. A very smooth and hard surface that can take some banging. This is the surface where you will place your metal blanks to be stamped. I tried stamping on heavy wooden log and iron block too. Both worked for me. Avoid using floor as stamping surface, chances of damaging it with hammer. Also avoid concrete floor as metal blanks will get concrete impression on back side. So whatever surface you choose, it has to be hard and smooth.
3. A metal hammer with a flat face. I use a regular hardware-store hammer. A fairly heavy hammer that’s still comfortable for you to use can make your stampings turn out better
4. Permanent markers (like Sharpie), in black and / or any other colors you wish. I am using a CD marker
5. A pencil or a sketch pen for drawing lines
6. Masking tape, painter’s tape, or post-it note
7. Tissues or soft cloth
8. Metal Blanks
Prepare you Metal Stamps –
I recommend drawing a line on metal stamps using marker or acrylic colors. The line is drawn in the center on a side. This will help in stamp alignment on metal surfaces while stamping as the line which you will draw actually divides letters in two parts. And you can take this line as your reference point. Make sure you mark the side which makes letter appear right on stamping surface; you don’t have to choose right direction every time as a result. Thus, saving your time!
You can also write the stamp’s letter or number on stamp. This will help in picking letters quickly for stamping. And will make your future tasks easier too. Refer to this image
How to do Metal Stamping
Metal Stamping can be done on variety of metals – aluminum, brass, iron, stainless steel etc. Metals differ in hardness. You can start with aluminum as it is softer and takes a good impression and is inexpensive. You can try your hand on some household items. Washers are a good for starters.
I too first stamped on washers. You will get an idea of the pressure with which the hammer is hit on the metal stamp.
I am explaining a tutorial on stamping on metal blanks which are rectangular/square -
1. Take you stainless steel blank. Remove its bail. Measure it dimension (image 1). Plan whether you want to stamp horizontally or vertical.
2. Use a pencil or sketch pen to draw a line in center. (image 2).
3. Write your text on paper and arrange your metal stamps in order accordingly. (image 3 & 4)
4. Place your stamp on hard, smooth surface. Tape it down so it doesn’t move when hammered. (image 5)
5. Now draw lines at equal distance on metal blank. If your word is say “blessed”, then you need to draw 7 lines at equal distance. You can use a ruler for this. If you are planning to add some charms while finishing off your pendant then start stamping first letter at a distance from the top. Or if you want to add some charms/embellishments at the bottom then leave space for them beforehand. You need to plan these things first for stamping. (image 6)
6. Extend lines on tape so that it is easier to align stamp
7. Hold the metal stamp with the text facing you (letter written in yellow colour facing you, image 7 )and the flat end up. Hold the metal stamp firmly at the base. I holded the stamp slightly in the middle for shooting purpose. Align the stamp line with the line on the metal blank. (image 7)
8. Now give a nice tap with hammer. Use a heavy hammer for stainless steel. Hit each stamp once with your hammer. You can even hit more than once but be careful not to move your metal stamp; otherwise you’re likely to get blurred or double images.
9. To pop the letters, coat them with black permanent marker. Then wipe off the excess with tissue or cloth.
Stamping on round or curved surface –
If you are stamping on round surface then you use these tips for stamping
1. Place your blank on hard, smooth surface and tape it down. (image 1)
2. Arrange you metal stamps in order. (image 2)
3. I am stamping “Be Happy”. So draw lines at equal distance. I am marking small dots on each line where I will be placing my stamps. Check the red encircled mark on image. (image 3)
4. Pick your metal stamp. You can start with any letter. Align the stamp line with the line on blank and don’t go beyond dot.(image 4)
5. Now give a nice tap with hammer.
6. Coat with acrylic color or marker and wipe off the excess with tissue.
This is the finished pendant –
I stamped on this heart shaped metal blank. The metal is relatively soft so it needs hammering with less pressure. Holding stamp with shaky hands will result in misalignment (letter V).
And the finished one –
Some more –
Some Useful Tips –
1. Metal stamping takes practice and with practice you will get better.
2. Use inexpensive items first to test and use the front and back for even more practice.
3. Always relax while stamping
That’s all for today. I hope you like my maiden attempt at Metal Stamping. I still need more practice. Do give it a try. And for queries, leave a comment.
Thank you for stopping by. See you next time !!!