Hammer Time!

Another item on my craft list for my Mum’s wedding, was a present for the Bride and Groom.

I have written previously about my occasional hesitance to give homemade gifts and considering the bride and groom were already surrounded by my handiwork at the reception, I was worried there’d be a little over kill on the craftiness.

But this couple already had enough towels and pots and pans and I don’t think they wanted a smoothie maker or other classic wedding gift garb, so there you go, another project on the books.

On the magical Etsy, I have seen a lot of hand stamped jewellery that I thought was pretty and sentimental without being overly blurgh. My boyfriend has commissioned pieces for me in this style, that I thought were mega beautiful gifts, so I began scheming.
(A very hopeful side note for Londoners: I heartbreakingly lost the bracelet he got me with David Bowie lyrics on, tramping about somewhere, so keep eyes peeled please!)

With the aid of google-a-tron I looked into hand stamping and it’s actually very easy.

photo 4


Kit List
– letter stamps
– blanks
– masking tape (low tack is better)
– steel block
– mallet (copper is better but I used rubber)
– industrial sharpie
– polishing cloth
– MC Hammer style trousers

photo 2This does seem an extensive kit list and the pricer bits are the steel block and the letter stamps- I got both these from favourite online craft stop Fred Aldous. For these small jewellery projects the mini steel block is large enough and you can get the letter stamps in a variety of sizes and fonts. I used nickel blanks as these are quite skin friendly and not as expensive as silver or brass ones, I found Etsy was great to get blanks in a variety of  metals, shapes and sizes. I chose blanks with pre drilled holes, but if you can do this yourself they will be even cheaper.

Now, this process is noisy, in that enjoyable bashing kind of way (and don’t forget to factor in having ‘Hammer Time’ playing loudly on repeat too), so if you live in a fairly swanky block of flats as I do, you might want to offer some thought to when the best time to pursue this particular hobby might be.

I tired a couple of way to reduce noise, first was to put my steel block on my cutting mat, a top my desk (still pretty noisy, but better) or to put my cutting matt + steel block on the carpet and bash from there (a considerably less noisy, but not so health and safety conscious).

photo 1Directions or (HAMMER TIME!)

– tape your blank to the steel block with masking tape.
– decide on your design… it’s worth working out the spacing of your letters before you stamp
– hold the letter stamp in place
– have a big old bash, watching your fingers and thumbs. The more you bash the deeper and clearer the indentations will be. Don’t be tempted to lift and have look, as it’s surprisingly hard to replace the stamps once you do, a lesson learnt.
– once you are happy you’ve bashed enough, take your sharpie and colour over your design, pushing down into the grooves. Have your polishing cloth on hand.
– wipe away the excess ink, speed and elbow grease are key here.
– now you should be left with your lovely lettering!

I added my stamped plates to old style friendship bracelets, the same as in this former post, knotted from embroidery thread.

As you will see the stamping method isn’t too girlie so can be a gift for your favourite guys or gals.

image (1)

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