I am a total sucker for personalized items. As I type this, I'm drinking coffee out of a mug with a big gold "G" printed across it—I just can't help it. Personalizing potential is one reason that I love doing projects with stamped jewelry. I made these hand-stamped necklaces a few months ago, and I still wear them all the time. So I thought it would be fun to make an initial bracelet as well. The other thing I love about stamped jewelry is that it looks really professional, so unless you confess your little DIY secret, everyone will think you special ordered it from somewhere. Sneaky.
– gold coin discs (with holes already punched)
– gold chain
– jump rings
– lobster claw closure
– jeweler's bench block
- letter or number punch stamps (I used 6mm size stamps)
– needle nose pliers
– jewelry wire cutters
– rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol) and black marker (optional)
First you'll want to tape the very top and bottom edge of your coin onto your jeweler's block. This will keep your coin from sliding as you stamp and will give you a guide of where to place your stamp (so make the gap just taller than your letter will be). You technically don't have to have a jeweler's block, but I highly recommend it since you will get a much cleaner impression with the extremely hard surface under the coin.
Next, select your letter punch stamp and place it stamp-side down onto the middle of your coin. Use your hammer to stamp your first letter (see this stamping post for technique tips). If you want to make your letter more visible, take your black marker and color in the lines of the letter. Put a small dab of the rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or cotton ball and wipe off the excess marker. That step should remove the marker from the top of the coin, but leave the ink in the letter indent.
Repeat process with each letter until you have all your initials stamped.
Use the jump rings and needle nose pliers to connect your initial letters to each other. Take the wire cutters and cut your two pieces of chain to the desired length. Attach each side to your initial grouping with two more jump rings. Connect your chain ends to the lobster claw closure with two additional jump rings, and you're done!
For any stamping project, I definitely suggest stamping some inexpensive practice blanks first, so you get into the stamping rhythm and know how hard to hit the stamping punch (and buying a multipack of discs so you have a few extra is also a good idea). I did one bracelet with my guy's initials, but you can also do your own initials or a combination of two names (like the "M & C" one for my kitties), or even a series of numbers that represent an important date. This bracelet makes the perfect personalized gift as well, and it would be extra cute for a group of people to all have one (like best friends or a bridesmaid's gift). Happy stamping! xo. Laura
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.