Hand-Stamped Gifts Tags with ImpressArt Metal Stamps

Let the festivities begin!
Today kicks off Christmas in July week here at Happy Hour.  I may have mentioned this, oh, a million times by now. I got a wonderful gift myself – ImpressArt Metal Stamps sent me a few products to try out, to let you know what I think!  I turn down a lot of review opportunities here, because I don’t love the idea of sneaking posts in just because someone has given me free product for it, but I LOVE metal stamping (which you already know if you read here often) so I think this is a really fitting review.  Full disclosure: I wrote this post using products I got for free.  I prefer to keep it real enough not to hide that fact in a footnote at the end of my post.
That being said… they are metal stamps.  Nice ones.  What’s not to love?
Now, of course, you can make some beautiful gifts if you get into metal stamping.  I have made some really fun things that I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks, but with this week’s Christmas theme, I want to share an inexpensive idea that’s perfect for beginners to practice their stamping skills: hand-stamped gift tags.

I promise, I will show you what I put in the box really soon! :)  I will also get to the full tag tutorial after I take just a minute to give you my thoughts on these metal stamps.

This is what ImpressArt sent me.  This font is a really fun one called Scarlett’s Signature.  They actually have a pretty amazing selection of fonts and design stamps… the horseshoe is perfect for the Colts fan that lives in my household. ;)

Now, you may recall my post a while back on metal stamping for beginners.  I advocated picking a basic font to make sure you enjoy stamping, before you invest a lot of money into extra fonts and frills.

Did you do that?  Did you love it??  

If you did – the next step is to play with new fonts and some designs!  They can be a little more tricky to work with – especially the more elaborate design stamps.  But it’s the next thing you want to do to take your stamping to the next level.

Here’s what I thought about the difference between my basic set and the Scarlett’s Signature font from ImpressArt, and the first is obvious – if you love the font, that’s what matters.  Your basic font is just that: basic.  There will be some projects you just want to dress up a little more.  The second thing I liked about ImpressArt’s letter stamps is this:  The side you hold toward you has their logo on it, so that when you’re switching from letter to letter, you don’t have to keep pausing to make sure you have your stamp right-side up.  You would think this wouldn’t make a huge difference, but getting in your groove is half the battle when you’re starting out and working to get a consistent impression.  The difference it made when I was using the design stamp was much bigger – I will never buy another round design stamp again after having used their square one.  It lines up so much better, and you know without checking and double-checking that you have your design straight.

I was also sent a basic bench block – which makes for a good starter piece.  It has rubber feet on it to cut down on the noise and give you more stability, but I like my heavy-duty rubber base bench block better.  There are some habits you just can’t break. :)
And last… that is one strange-looking hammer, right?  I have always used the hammer from my tool box and it has served me well.  I tried this new one out and it felt funny in my hand for about two strikes, at which point, I understood exactly why it was designed that way.  Of everything I was sent… I could rave about this hammer for paragraphs (I’ll spare you).  Suffice it to say that I stand corrected: you want this hammer in your starter set.  It takes away all the fear of hitting your finger and gives you more control.  Love, love, love it.
Bottom line:  Buy the hammer.  Do it.  You won’t regret it.  Get the letter stamps if you’re in love with any of their selection of fonts, and you’ve practiced enough to know that jewelry stamping is something you want to do.  Get one of their square-base design stamp over a round-base one when you’re ready to add some variety – but only when you feel ready for the next challenge.  
ImpressArt Metal Stamps is also sponsoring a prize package in Monday’s big giveaway, so be sure to come back and enter to win it!  (And yes, the hammer is part of the package, LOL!)
Now – who’s ready to make some gift tags??
You can use any font for these, so if you haven’t upgraded to a fancy font yet, that’s no problem!  If you’re just trying to get the hang of something different, this is a great project to do, because you’re using recycled metal for it.  My can would have been worth a whopping ten cents deposit, but instead, I cut the top off with my miscellaneous scissors (don’t use your fabric ones or your paper ones for this, LOL).  And a note about common sense – edges from cut up aluminum cans can be really sharp, so do be careful while you’re working, and be careful about whose gifts these tags will go onto.  Not a wise choice for a kiddo, for example.

I just cut into my can, and cut some strips.  I wasn’t terribly concerned about uniform size, and you can trim up the edges later, too.

You may want to use a jewelry file on those sharp edges.  Your call.

I didn’t photograph myself stamping here – but if you want a referesher – visit my beginners’ tutorial.  Stamping on thin aluminum like this is very different from other metals – it’s much softer.  You won’t need that same firm tap – try doing 2 or 3 very soft taps on the stamp to get your impression.

After I stamped my message, I trimmed up the tag and rounded the edges slightly.  I have a set of pliers that lets me pop a hole in most metal blanks, so I punched holes on the sides to tie my tag on.  Since the scissors didn’t struggle with the aluminum, my guess is that a very small diameter paper punch would probably also do the trick (though I can’t say with certainty, since I didn’t try it).

I had to try a couple methods of making the letters contrast here.  It turned out that you can NOT use a sharpie to darken your letters, unless it’s a super fine tip and you don’t get any ink outside the letter impression.  It stains the aluminum.  So what I did instead was to fill it in with acrylic paint, and wipe off the excess with a damp paper towel.  Which was actually pretty cool, because then I could make it any color I wanted!

Then, I filled the box with this… for my Colts fan. ;)  This is just an aluminum jewelry blank on a leather cuff.  I attached it by using my hole punch on the blank and on the cuff, and using tiny brads from the scrapbook department.  You’ll notice that I haven’t quite mastered the steady hand that design stamps require… the horseshoe has quite a bit of detail.  But the good news is that I can keep practicing!

But I liked the design so well, I made a similar one for myself!

A stamped gift tag is a really great way to finish off a stamped gift inside!

Thanks for dropping by today, and for sticking with me through this whole post. ;)  I’m going to introduce the fantastic sponsors for Monday’s giveaway tomorrow, so please show these great businesses and bloggers some love by coming back to comment and thank them.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!

Disclosure – I received supplies from ImpressArt Metal Stamps for the purpose of this review.  The opinions in this post are my own.

I link up to these great parties!

Comments

  1. This looks like so much fun. Good way to get out agressions using a hammer too I guess. :) Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am amazed at the versatility you have. Just with metal stamping alone, you seem to cover off every idea out there, lol.

  3. Kara at Petals to Picots says:

    I have always wanted to try hand stamping. Great info!

  4. Morena Hockley says:

    I made my first gift to give away last week and the recipient loved it. I still had to scrap my first effort though. I just need to keep practicing. Thanks for the tips!!

  5. Kadie says:

    How clever are you to use a pop can?! I love it!! I am so excited for the giveaway. The stamps and hammer sound fantastic!

  6. Full Circle Creations says:

    I love this! Wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing at the All Star Block Party.

    Holly

  7. This is such a cute idea! Look at you being all clever and thrifty. I never would've thought about using the pop can. Brilliant!

  8. Caitlin Schlamb says:

    RAD!! thankyou!

  9. Jessi Wohlwend says:

    Super cute! I've seen some awesome metal stamped stuff out there and it's making me want to try it myself. Thanks so much for sharing this at The Fun In Functional!

  10. Donna Wilkes says:

    I will have to restrain myself from running out to try this craft, but it really appeals to me! Love the bracelets and the gift tag. Came over from Peas.

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  11. Angie Ramirez says:

    OH i love it!! Impressart sounds fantastic… I have always wanted to try stamping jewelery!

    Great review & post!

  12. Jen Temcio says:

    My Goodness you have A LOT of patience!! I would like to try this out – makes SUCH a BIG statement on a gift to personalize it this way. I love the idea so I am going to certainly check this out RIGHT NOW! Thanks so much.
    jenny at dapperhouse

  13. April says:

    That looks so fun! I have been wanting to try these!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Evelyn says:

    As usual I am amazing of what you come up with:) I love these small projects that I can do in a day. And this makes me wish to try the metal stamping (something I have never thought of before). Super great bracelets! Thank you for sharing at Freedom Fridays.

  15. Camille says:

    I've been wondering how people stamp metal! Awesome! Because, I NEED another craft… ha ha! :-)

  16. Thanks for linking up to last week's Tuesday Confessional! You've been featured and pinned. Head over and see for yourself!
    http://www.craftyconfessions.com/2012/07/features-from-last-weeks-tuesday.html
    ~Macy

  17. marissa says:

    Thanks so much for linking up this is fantastic. It is such a fun idea. Just another reason why I need a stamp kit. Next time some one asks me what I want for a present I have to remember! I wanted to let you know that I'm featuring this today feel free to stop by and grab a button. I can't wait to see what you have to share this week.

    Marissa
    http://raegunwear.blogspot.com

  18. Kadie says:

    Hey girlie, you know how much I love these! I will be featuring it at our party tomorrow. Anything that has to do with DMD has to be good right?!

  19. What a creative idea!! I love it! I am featuring this at todays link party!! WAHOO!

    http://twoyellowbirdsdecor.blogspot.com/2012/08/thursdays-temptation-27-fabulous.html
    Jill

  20. Tonna says:

    So cool & creative!!!

  21. What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of soda can crafts! Check it out here: http://www.favecraftsblog.com/recycled-soda-can-crafts/

    Have a great day!

  22. stephanie says:

    I love your site, out of curiosity, is the acrylic permanent? I too used acryic paint for stamping but wanted to throw my pieces in a tumbler for polishing and was afraid of the outcome…any thoughts?

  23. Victoria Hepden says:

    Hiya.i found u on Pinterest just at the right time as I want to start metal stamping!yr projects &
    Web page is just so inspiring & as a busy mum of 4 I
    Love the way they can all be done in a short space of time.
    You are one super talented lady!keep up the good work!
    Victoria x

  24. DEBBIE SOUTHERLAND says:

    This came at a great time for me Thank U keep up the great work !!!!

  25. Awesome! You could be my best friend! ;)

  26. Timber
    Twitter:
    says:

    How do you remove scratches after stamping? I seem to always have scratches on my metal and haven’t found a cheap way to remove them.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Hand-Stamped Gift Tags from Happy Hour Projects [...]

  2. [...] hand stamped gift tag idea from blogger Happy Hour Projects admittedly requires a full arsenal of specialty stamping [...]

  3. [...] })(); I gave you a little preview of this bracelet a while back when I was talking about metal stamping.  I’ve worn it several times now, and gotten a few nice compliments (followed by every [...]

  4. […] horseshoe is from ImpressArt Metal Stamps.  (If you’d like to read more about ImpressArt, I reviewed some of their stamps earlier this month.)  If you’ve been struggling as a beginner with metal stamping, another […]

  5. […] – Washi Tape Tags  |  2 – Magazine Tags  |  3 – Metal Stamped Tags  |  4 – Polymer Clay  |  5 – Toothpick Trees  |  6 – Ornament Frame  |  7 […]

  6. […] metal stamps letter a while back but never used them. Again I had a great tutorial that I found at Happy Hour Projects. She gives some good tips about stamping too, so check out her blog. I didn’t use the brand […]

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