This is a little Valentine gift for a friend of mine, a hand-stamped and hammered aluminum cuff. Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve hammered one of my stamped pieces and I just LOVE the effect.
I really wish the photo did it more justice but this full-time-job and the whole sun-going-down-before-dinner-is-over thing is really hampering my photography, LOL. It has a nice shiny finish to it, and the aluminum is so easy to work with!
I’m going to be a bit brief on the tutorial today (the aforementioned long day combined with the sniffles and pregnancy in general are uncharacteristically kicking my butt today) – but I’m going to refer you to another stamped cuff I made at Christmas time if you want any more detail about how I made this bracelet. If you’ve got questions about stamping in general, be sure to visit my beginners’ stamping tutorial or just drop me a note – I love talking about making jewelry. I’m certainly no pro at stamping yet, but I do love sharing the knowledge I’ve gleaned while I’m practicing that steady hand. ;)
Let me give you the short version, though! These blanks are 6 inch x 1/2 inch, 14 gauge tumbled aluminum pieces. I found mine on Etsy, but if you have a local supply store, you may be able to find some!
I decided on my message, centered and stamped it. This was particularly hilarious to my daughter. She sat eating her dinner, and every time I stamped a letter, she shouted, “hammer!” which in her cutie little 2-year-old voice is more like “hammo!” I really think I need to get that kid some tools. ;)
I wanted to darken the letters for contrast, but aluminum won’t react with liver of sulfur. So I had to go the sharpie route – I darkened the letters with an industrial Sharpie, and wiped the excess off with a bit of rubbing alcohol.
Then, I decided I wanted to try hammering the edges. I have a small texturing hammer that I have never used, and I hammered the edges. I LOVED the effect! I’m going to hammer a lot more pieces now, I don’t know why I didn’t try it any sooner. The thicker gauge looks awesome with a subtle texture.
Then, all I had to do was bend it. I have a special tool that is a bracelet bender that works amazingly well for cuffs.
And that’s it! All that’s left to do is to gift it!
What kinds of handmade gifts are you thinking about for Valentine’s Day? Jewelry is always classic, don’t you think? ;)