Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? It is! There are thousands of writers busting out novels in the 30 days of this month. I am pretty involved in my local region – I’m not writing a novel this year, but I still help get the events off the ground – and, I contribute to the silent auction. I made up this quick stamped keychain as an auction item, but if you’re looking for gifts for guys, gifts for writers, or gifts for just about anyone – a personalized piece like this isn’t girly, and handmade is always awesome <— says the girl who makes stuff. ;)
I’ve got a great metal stamping for beginners tutorial that is FAR more detailed than today’s post. I’ll give you a stamping overview today, and some links where you can find these products (and a quick note – I do benefit if you choose to make a purchase using these links), but you can put your own spin on this piece and make the perfect gift for anyone on your list by using their favorite phrase, an inside joke, a lovely sentiment, or whatever they’re into.
What you’ll need to make a hand-stamped keychain:
- Stamp set – you can go basic, or you can use my favorite font, Newsprint
- Bench block and hammer
- Round soft strike pewter blank
- Stamp-straight tape (or washi tape, which is what I use when I run out)
- Permanent marker and polish pad
- Optional design stamps
- Split ring and key ring
First – the stamping. I plot out how I’m going to space my letters with tape, and I mark them to stay as close as I can to the plan. I do get a little off-center sometimes, but that’s because I’m a little rusty… I love stamping, I need to get back into it more regularly, for sure!
So, stamp your piece. If you’re new to stamping, pewter is a great metal to work with because it’s a soft strike material. Plus, it’s nice and heavy, so it feels more substantial. You want to hit each letter just once with your hammer.
Next, darken your letters. My preferred method is a permanent marker, but you can use acrylic paint – or you can even truly oxidize your piece. This is quick, easy, and the least amount of mess for me, though.
Now, polish it. You should be able to remove ALL the ink from the raised surface.
Finally – assemble the key ring. I recommend you use a split ring, so that over time the charm doesn’t detach from the key ring.
So, what kinds of things might you stamp for the people on your gift list?