How to Make a Stamped ID Braceletcomments (14) October 12th, 2009
I love anything with type on it. Being a writer, I guess that's not a shocker. When I learned how to make stamped jewelry, I was able to bring together my love of wordplay, crafts, and jewelry. For breast cancer awareness month, I thought I'd make my mother, a breast-cancer survivor herself, a little reminder to remain the bawdy and vibrant gal I'd like to think I take after.
- approximately 2 inches sterling silver rectangle wire
- 1/16-inch letter and number stamp set
- bench block or anvil
- horse cutters
- 2-bit metal hole punch
- metal file
- liver of sulphur
- cold water
- cotton swab
- steel wool
- chain-nose pliers
- three 6mm heavy jump rings
- small toggle clasp
- 5–6 inches sterling chain
- pink ribbon sterling charm
Step 1: Plan your message for the bracelet. I chose "LIVE OUT LOUD." Count all the characters, including spaces; I came up with 13 for mine. For the purpose of the ID bracelet, it's good to keep your message short since you are creating a bar that will be attached to chain. Starting 1/4 inch from the edge of your rectangle wire (flat sterling wire), start stamping. I've inadvertently stamped letters sideways or upside down, so it's important to pay attention to the direction of the stamp. Most stamp sets have a groove in them to let you know which way is down (the groove on my set indicates the bottom of the letter). Position the stamp in the middle of the wire and with one good whack of your hammer, hammer the letter into the wire. Try to hammer straight down, not at an angle. Place your next letter close to the first and repeat the process. Work your way across the wire, making sure to leave a space between words.
Step 2: When you are done stamping, it's time to cut your wire. Cut off excess wire, leaving the same 1/4-inch space as you have on the other end. This is thick wire, so I recommend using horse cutters, which will cut right through the silver. Place one end of the stamped bar under the bigger hole of the metal hole punch. Slowly twist the bit until it punches through the wire. Slowly untwist the bit. Do not try to pull the bar off the bit; the bit could break. With a metal file, file the rough edges of the bar until the ends are rounded and smooth.
Step 3: Grab the bottle of liver of sulphur, a less-toxic version of Silver Black. Fill a bowl with 1 cup of cold water and 1 tablespoon of liver of sulphur. It will smell like rotten eggs, let me warn you, but what price beauty, am I right? Swab the solution over the letters. Let it really get into the nooks and crannies of the letters. Wait for the solution to dry on your stamped silver bar. When completely dry, lightly polish the surface with steel wool. This will shine the surface and make the now-darkened letters really pop.
Step 4: Attach the rest of the bracelet. Think about the recipient. Is she smaller or bigger boned? With chain-nosed pliers, twist open a jump ring, and slip on the hoop component of a toggle clasp. Also slip the jump ring through one hole of the stamped bar and twist closed. Twist open another jump ring, slip it through the other hole on the bar and through the end link of your chain. Wrap the chain around your wrist and eyeball the length, keeping in mind that you will be adding the toggle clasp and a jump ring to the end of your chain. Chain length will vary based on the length of your stamped bar and clasp and wrist size. For my bracelet, I needed 4-3/4 inches of chain to finish the bracelet. Clip off the excess chain. Twist open a jump ring, and slip through the last link of the chain and the loop of your bar toggle component. Twist the jump ring closed. Now just drape the bracelet around the wrist of a loved one and secure with the toggle clasp.
Live (and craft) out loud!
Note: Most of my supplies came from Fusion Beads.
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