One reason I love to make personalized jewelry is that it makes me feel like I get to know the customer who is trusting me to make a special momento. Remember, not all of the personalized pieces I make have just an initial.
Some are much more personal, such as the inspirational “Yes ♥ You ♥ Can” I recently made for someone who was preparing for a long recovery from surgery. Also, coordinates of a newlywed’s wedding location. I liked looking up the coordinates to find out exactly where the big day took place.
To create a personalized disk or bar necklace, bracelet or ring, I hand stamp them with individual metal character stamps. I have around 200 stamps that include the alphabet in 3 different fonts, numbers, and a variety of symbols such as #, @ and ✩.
So, how do I hand stamp metal bars and disks? It’s really quite technical…I use the metal stamps, a stamping block, a chasing hammer, double sided and painter's tape.
OK, so it isn't that technical, but it takes a great eye for spacing, a strong arm and steady hands.
5 Steps To Hand Stamp Jewelry
1. Place the prepared metal bar or disk on the stamping block. To keep it still, I use a small amount of double sided tape on the block. (For an extra behind-the-scenes peek, we hammered this wire into the bar that will be stamped.)
2. Determine spacing. Here’s another very technical part – I use my expertise to “eye-ball” where the characters need to begin in order to allow consistent spacing without running out of room. I’m not going to lie and say I’m perfect and get every character right the first time. Sometimes my judgement is off and I have to reevaluate my “eye-balling.”
3. Mark it. Using a marker, draw lines around the area on the metal where the characters will be placed. This will keep a frame of reference so you'll know how much room you have left. Don't worry about the mark, it will rub off easily with a soft cloth.
4. Tape it. To help keep the letters straight and not looking as if they are falling off a mountain, I use painters tape. I can put this tape on the metal and it doesn’t leave residue when I remove it.
5. Start stamping. Place the end with the letter on the metal and hammer the end of the stamp with one strong hit. Continue with each letter and try to keep them evenly spaced.
Once finished, I have a beautiful and shiny momento for someone to cherish for a lifetime.
I hope this shows how much love and attention I put into each stamped piece of jewelry and how much it means to me that I'm able to make it for my customers.