Recently, my cousin talked to me about a hand-stamped washer necklace she wanted (you know, one of those not-so-subtle hints for her family?) and together, we designed a piece that was really special to her using a quote from the book she read to her son ever since he was small. It’s probably one that you know, too – from Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. It came out just like she wanted, so today I’m going to be sharing a tutorial for how to stamp a washer necklace!
I work closely with ImpressArt, and they’re sponsoring today’s tutorial! I’ll leave links below to where you can check out the supplies I used in today’s project (including their newly-designed ergonomic brass stamping hammer). You will need:
- Ergo Angle Hammer
- Steel Bench Block (any size is fine!)
- 3mm Letter Stamp Set – this is Juniper in upper case
- 3 or 4 – 1.25 inch round washers (I recommend Alkeme metal, but aluminum works well for this project also)
- Polishing Cloth
- Blank Acrylic Paint Dabber
- 1- 15 mm jump ring
- Silver ball chain necklace (I used 18 inch, but you can choose your favorite length)
- Paper towel for your work surface
- Optional: tape for securing your washers as you work
Stamping on washers is a bit different than stamping straight across. I typically use stamp-straight tape for aligning my letters, but when you’re stamping on the round, that’s just not an option. What you can do, though, is center each stamp vertically, trying to align it with equal space to the inner and outer edges of the washer.
To get the letters spaced evenly and to stamp them straight, I rotate my entire block as I go. I’m used to aligning my stamps so that they’re always facing me, so this makes the process easiest for me. Stamp one letter, then rotate the block just enough to place the next letter.
Stamping can feel intimidating if you’re trying it for the first time, but it’s not hard at all! It takes some practice to perfect your alignment – and I use the term “perfect” pretty loosely. Stamping one letter at a time by hand will always mean that there are slight imperfections. But you will get the hang of how hard you have to hit each letter, and what kind of spacing you prefer by experimenting and practicing.
Just remember this: each letter gets one firm tap from the hammer, and mind the direction your stamp is facing. ImpressArt stamps have each letter or design stamped on the front of the stamp (facing you) so it’s much, much easier to stamp each letter right-side up. I’m reminded of how much I like that feature any time I try using my original economy stamp set again!
On each washer, I stamped one line of the quote. You can get larger or smaller washers to accommodate more or fewer letters, too!
To darken the letters, I often use a permanent marker, but with so much text, acrylic paint gets the job done much more quickly! I use a paint dabber, and rub it on the surface so that it gets into all the grooves. Wipe it off with a paper towel to get most of the excess paint, and then polish it back to a shine with a polishing cloth.
If you are using a permanent marker, you will just have a lot more polishing to do to remove the excess ink because it dries so much more quickly. Both methods work great on aluminum and on alkeme, which is a heavier alloy (giving the piece a higher-quality feel).
Finally, just connect the washers together with a large jump ring, and string them on a ball chain. I used 18″ which is a pretty traditional length, but you may of course try other length chains for the look that you like best.
Thanks for joining me today! I love metal stamping – it’s something I’ve been enjoying as a hobby for years. If you have any questions about today’s tutorial, feel free to check out any of the projects in my metal stamping category, or just leave a comment below!