How to Mark Metal Stamps

Written by charity parrish
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How to Mark Metal Stamps
A metal stamp can be used in a stamp press. (antique embossing stamp detail image by Scott Williams from Fotolia.com)

Though specialised manufacturing machines can fabricate custom-marked metal stamps, these machines cost tens of thousands of dollars. For as little as £48, engraving and branding companies create custom-marked metal stamps that open the door to a new realm of crafts and projects. You can use your marked metal stamp to place your custom design on a variety of materials, including metal, wood, leather or paper. Press your personalised logo into your metal tools, stamp a decorative design onto unfinished wooden furniture and emboss book covers with titles and pictures; the use of metal stamps offers a variety of creative applications.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Graphics manipulation software
  • Custom design

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Create your custom design using a graphics manipulation program that supports vector graphics. Use Adobe Freehand, Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Flash, Microsoft Expression Design, Microsoft Visio or CorelDRAW if you already own one; choose from the free options in Google Docs or OpenOffice.org Draw if you do not.

  2. 2

    Save your custom design at a minimum resolution of 300dpi with the file extension .eps, .pdf, .ai or .svg. Select one of these file extensions from the "Save Type" drop-down menu on the save screen, or type your desired extension on to the end of your file name.

  3. 3

    Locate an engraving company that makes custom metal stamps. Search the Internet or your local yellow pages for branding or engraving companies. Ask them about their prices, return policies, preferred design submission methods and the time required to make your stamp.

  4. 4

    Place an order for your custom stamp with your chosen company and send in your custom stamp design, per the company's submission instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • Custom stamps cost anywhere from £48 to £195, depending on the size and complexity of your design. Request an individual price quote from a company before placing your final order.
  • Ask the company for a proof sheet that shows what your completed custom stamp will look like.
  • If you'd prefer not to personally create your custom design, many companies offer custom graphics creation services for an additional fee.
  • Discuss all set-up fees and charges with the company, because some engraving companies may charge an expensive one-time set-up fee.
  • Larger custom-marked stamps cost more than smaller ones.
  • If you plan to stamp metal, order a stamp made of steel.

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