How to hand stamp metal jewelry

Written by lee weal
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How to hand stamp metal jewelry
A set of metal stamps. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Unlike mass-produced, machine-made jewellery, no two pieces of handmade jewellery are exactly alike. Hand-stamped metal jewellery is particularly unique as the stamping provides an organic, personalised look and feel. Hand stamping requires some skill combined with practice and precision to transfer words or images cleanly onto a metal blank. Using the right tools is also key to producing the desired results.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Metal blanks
  • Metal stamps
  • 1- or 2-pound hammer
  • Steel bench block
  • Ruler (optional)

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  1. 1

    Place the bench block on a strong, sturdy table. If the table is flimsy or not well-constructed, it will absorb the hammer blows, causing the impression to be blurred or ill defined.

  2. 2

    Center a metal blank on the bench block.

  3. 3

    Determine where the impression should appear. For example, stamped letters might begin near the left edge of the metal blank, but a flower image might be stamped in the middle of the blank. If necessary, use a ruler and light pencil to mark a straight line or use the edge of a piece of paper.

  4. 4

    Holding the stamp perpendicular to the metal blank, place it lightly on the metal blank with a firm and steady grip.

  5. 5

    Grip the hammer approximately midway between the head and the end and give the stamp one sharp blow. Holding the hammer in the middle will give you more control as opposed to holding it at its end. It may take some practice to know exactly how much force to use to achieve a clean impression. Too little force will leave too light an impression; too much force will cause the impression to be too deep.

Tips and warnings

  • Beginning crafters should practice stamping on a piece of paper or inexpensive piece of metal.
  • Unless your hand is very steady, avoid striking the metal more than once. If your aim is slightly off, you may wind up with a ghosted or blurry image.

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