With a few easy-to-use metal stamping tools, you can transform strips of aluminum into unique cuff bracelets that will spice up any jewelry collection. Metal stamping is a process of embellishing strips or sheets of different metals, including steel, brass, copper and aluminum, according to Advantage Fabricated Metals. Design your own line of stamped aluminum bracelets to give as holiday gifts to your friends, family or yourself.
Items you will need
- Thin sheets of aluminum metal
- Metal shears
- Heavy book
- Sand paper or metal file
- Steel or nylon stamping block
- Metal stamps (letters, numbers, symbols) or kit
- Jewelry hammer
- Wooden rod or dowel (wrist-sized)
Cut your aluminum sheet into strips that measure about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide, or another width of your choosing. Aluminum metal that lays down evenly is the easiest to apply decorative stamps to, so you may want to lay a heavy book over cut strips to help them flatten out. Remove any jagged edges from cut aluminum strips with a metal file or sandpaper.
Sketch out on paper the words, numbers or designs you want to stamp on an aluminum bracelet. Experiment with different designs and lay them over a flat piece of aluminum to get an accurate idea of how things should be sized and spaced.
Put a flat strip of aluminum on the stamping block and lay your sketch paper on top to serve as your stamping guide. Tape the paper down to hold the stamping design in place, or you can choose to draw directly on your aluminum bracelet strip with a lead pencil or marker.
Hold a metal stamp, such as a letter, number or symbol, with the stamp side facing down over the aluminum sheet where you want the impression of it to be. Use a jewelry hammer to gently strike the top of the metal stamp into the aluminum strip. Discard your scrap paper once the design is complete.
Lay your flat strip of stamped aluminum over a wooden rod or dowel, which will be your template for creating a bracelet, and hold it there so that one side is more exposed than the other. Gently tap the strip of metal around the dowel or rod with the jewelry hammer, working from one side to the other to maintain a symmetrical look. Continue this process until you create a cuff bracelet that fits comfortably on your wrist and is easy to slip on and off.
Practice on scrap metal before stamping your aluminum bracelets.
Hit each stamp just once to get a crisp, clear impression, unless you're going for a more faded effect.
Create a shadow effect in your impressions by tapping the metal stamps twice.
Make sure you're holding metal stamps the right way. If not, you may end up with upside-down letters, numbers or other designs.
A weak hold on your metal stamps can result in incomplete or flawed impressions.
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