Friday, October 9, 2015

"You are my Sunshine" Stamped Metal Bracelets

I have recently become smitten with metal stamping.  I have found so many fun items on Etsy and project ideas on Pinterest, I just had to try it for myself. It is a fun way to personalize items. I love how it can range from very simple, to extremely complex with patterns and texturing.

I made this easy stamped bracelet for my first project. I have been singing, "You are my sunshine" to my children since they were babies. I already have the first line hanging up in their playroom and thought it would be perfect for a bracelet for my daughter. The key was to find something short and meaningful. It is amazing how fast you run out of room while stamping!

 As with most new craft endeavors, it requires a little practice and a few supplies to get started.

I suggest getting a nice and stable steel stamping block, tape, metal stamps in the font of your choice and a good metal stamping hammer.

I also tried this project with a small regular hammer and found that the stamps slid more and it was not as clean an imprint  (more double impressions). The specialty hammer gave me better control, a larger strike surfuce and didn't require much energy to make the imprints. Either will work, of course, but the specialized stamping hammer does have some benefits.

Since I wanted to create a bracelet, I also used a bracelet kit which included a bending form and metal stamping blanks.

To get started I selected my phrase, "You are my sunshine", removed the protective film on the metal blank, and used the tape to mark out the spacing. Check and double check that the stamps are turned the correct way. This was the first time I used the Bridgette font and I had a few mistakes!

Hold the stamps securely against the blank and give them a firm tap straight down. Getting the technique down was the hardest part.

But, save those mistakes and use the blanks for practice next time!

After stamping out the phrase, just remove the tape and rub a sharpie into the indentations. Rub away any excess ink and the lettering will stand out just a little more.

Then I used the bracelet form to bend the blank into cuff form.

Overall this was a quick and fun project. Once you invest in the initial supplies (stamps, hammer, etc.), the blanks themselves are pretty inexpensive. So, what would you put on a bracelet?

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