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5 Tips for Making Hand Stamped Jewelry

Read our how-to guide to get started with metal stamping your own jewelry designs using metal blanks, stamps and hammer. We've included stamping tips, too!

Stamping is a great way to personalize jewelry for customers. Check out our 5 tips and tricks on how to make the best of your metal and stamps! This popular blog post was updated in 2019.

We love to hand stamp in our jewelry studio at Halstead! Customized stamped jewelry is hot and has been for years. Sterling silver blanks are bestsellers here and we have hundreds of metal blanks and tags to choose from, plus we also have all of the stamps and stamping tools to get you started.This is a how-to guide which also includes stamping tips, so have fun!

         

Metal Stamping Tool List

  • Letter/Number Set
  • Metal Blanks or Tags
  • Brass Hammer (1-2 lbs)
  • Steel Bench Block
  • Leather Sandbag (for noise reduction)
  • ImpressArt Stamp Straight Tape (optional)

               

      Hand Stamping Tips

      Stamping is fun and I have dabbled a bit in the studio. I am by no means an expert but for those of you getting started I can offer a few tips.

      Brass Stamping Hammer
      Brass stamping hammer

      1. Don't be shy 

      You really have to whack stamps with a heavy hammer. The heavier the hammer, the easier it is to get a clean hard strike. We recommend a one or two pound brass hammer but everyone has their own preference. 

      Note: Why use a brass hammer? Brass will not damage the ends of your stamps like a steel hammer well. Since brass is soft, hammering with one leaves marks on the head of the hammer rather than on the metal stamp.

      2. Heavier is easier 

      It was completely counter-intuitive to me, but it is true; it is much easier to get a clear impression on thicker gauge metal blanks and sheet. Thinner metals tend to just bend around the stamps outer edge and diminish the depth of the stamp design impression. I have the best luck with 22 gauge or thicker. Check out our article: What Jewelry Wire Gauge & Hardness Do You Need?[

      Sterling silver metal blank for
      hand stamping
      Impress Art Stamp Straight tape

       

               3. Alignment is tricky! 

      It's easier to curve names or words around the inner edge of a circle blank so that slight misalignment's are less noticeable. If you need a straight line, the ImpressArt Stamp Straight tape is pretty ingenious because it's basically an inexpensive electrical tape that you use as the bottom edge for your word.

      Directions: Align your blank then tape it down onto the metal block just below where you would like to stamp it. Slide your letter stamp down the surface of your piece of metal until you feel the bottom edge of the stamp design catch on the tape. Stop there with the stamp and then strike hard with the hammer one time. Alignment takes a lot of practice so don't get discouraged!

      4. You can stamp a lot of things 

      Don't feel limited by flat, smooth metal blanks and tags. With some practice you can stamp bangles, rings, cuffs, hammered metal and some textured metal, too.

      Sterling silver flat wire bangle
      Liver of Sulfur

      5. Liver of Sulfur is a girl's best friend 

      You will be surprised at the number of sins you can correct with liver of sulfur darkening in relief. Many of the stamp impressions that are a tad uneven or shallow will look great once you treat items with liver of sulfur to blacken the impressions. For optional coloring choices, Impress Art makes acrylic ink markers in black, brown, gold, green and silver. These markers highlight your stamped impressions quickly and easily!

               

      Bonus metal stamping tip!

      Once you've got the hang of hand stamping down, check out this article: 5 Ways to Elevate your Stamped Jewelry with New Techniques! Incorporate items, such as, fancy metal blanks, decorative wire or 14 karat gold soldering ornaments! These can really add to the perceived value of your hand stamped creations. This article will give you advice and tips on how to add these new techniques to your existing hand stamped jewelry line.

      We offer a great selection of blanks, hammers, letter font stamps and design stamps for this jewelry trend. Shop jewelry making supplies now at Halstead and happy stamping!

               


               

      Further Reading

      Guide To Hand Stamping Metal Blank Options

      Texturing Metal With Candie Cooper

      Types Of Jewelry Chain Link Styles

      Types Of Jewelry Clasps & Closures

      Glossary Of Hammers Used In Jewelry Making

      Got questions? Email our studio coordinator Erica Stice at studio@halsteadbead.com. We’d love to hear from you. Sorry, studio support is not available by phone. Emails only, please.

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