Today’s 20-minute stamped bracelet project has been sponsored by ImpressArt.
I love metal stamping. If you read here often, you know this is true. I have been stamping for 3 1/2 years now, and I think it’s just getting more and more fun – especially as new products and patterns are released! I spied the new pattern stamps on the ImpressArt website a couple weeks ago, and it really got me thinking outside of letters and general icons. I had the idea that I could use a big pewter blank as a tiny canvas of sorts, and stamp a whole nature scene. I love the end result, and I’ll share with you today how I made it and give you some pointers for using design stamps, too!
If you’ve been curious about how to stamp jewelry, I have a comprehensive post covering beginners’ essential tools and starter techniques in a post I wrote a few years back on how to make hand-stamped jewelry. I’ll be talking about the basics today, too, but if you find yourself curious, wanting more detail, or even wishing you could see a video, that post has even more of what you’re looking for. But back to the project at hand – let’s talk supplies! Once you’ve got your metal stamping supplies, there are only a few more jewelry components you’ll need for today’s bracelet project.
- For today’s project, I used the following:
- Bench block and 1 lb. brass stamping hammer
- ImpressArt Softstrike Pewter 1-1/2″ Oval Tag
- ImpressArt SoftStrike Pewter 1/2 Tag
- ImpressArt Lollipop font (including the 4mm flower in the set)
- ImpressArt 6mm Vertical Lines design stamp
- ImpressArt 6mm Circle design stamp
- ImpressArt 6mm Vine design stamp
- Permanent marker and polishing pad (you can use acrylic paint and/or a polishing cloth instead if you prefer)
- Washi tape to secure my work (ImpressArt makes a specialty tape for stamping, their StampStraight tape that’s great for beginners)
- 5 inches of chunky cable chain
- 1 – 12mm jump ring
- 2 or 4 – 7mm jump rings
- 2 – 4mm jump rings
- Beaded charm (make your own or find your favorite nature-themed charm)
- 15 mm lobster clasp
- Long nose pliers
- Bracelet bending pliers
- Depending on your chain, wire cutters
Design stamps can be difficult if you’ve only ever worked with letter stamps, so my solution to that is to use SoftStrike blanks. I Love, LOVE stamping on pewter. It’s got a nice weight to it, and it takes an impression SO well. It’s a nice soft metal! So if you’ve struggled in the past with designs, try pewter. I’ll walk you through the design elements below!
I started making the cloud by using the 6mm circle, mostly on an angle so that some edges din’t come in contact with the blank. My central circles are a little more “whole” but by the time I worked my way outward, I got the hang of it. Next, I used the vertical lines to add a grassy field along the bottom. I stamped vines coming out of the grass, and finally, topped off each with the flower from the Lollipop font set (which I also used to stamp “happy” – but of course, add whatever elements and words speak to you!) I really like the idea that individual stamp shapes can be combined to make something more organic, like this nature scene.
Next, I used my bracelet pliers to bend the blank. This step isn’t absolutely essential – you can wear the tag flat. But curving it like this lends a boutique look to it – taking it from handmade to the next level.
I finished it off by connecting the chain with jump rings along the left side. I used two jump rings to make double-sure it was secure. There are other ways of strengthening your rings, though – you can use a split ring instead, or if you’re into soldering, that would also make sure it stays put! At the end of the chain, I attached a lobster clasp. On the right side of the tag, I attached a large jump ring. Personally, I love the look of the clasp at the side like this, but if it’s not your style, you can make yours more traditional but cutting your 5 inches of chain into two pieces, and attaching the clasp at the bottom instead.
At the last minute, I decided that this bracelet needed a little something extra, so I stamped a tiny 1/2 inch pewter tag with a heart, and make a beaded charm to attach to the left side of the floral tag. (I don’t have a photo step-by-step today for charm-making, but if you’d like to learn more about that, then be sure to check out my beaded charm video tutorial!)
I feel like “happy” was really the right word for this one, because it’s such a happy piece! Keep thinking spring, everybody – it will be here in a few more days!