Hand Stamping Tips and Techniques
SUPPLIES & TOOLS:
- Metal stamping blanks – flat metal pieces that come in various metal types, shapes and sizes.
- Metal stamps – individual steel stamps that come in various fonts and sizes for letters, number, shapes and icons.
- Steel bench block – flat steel block used as hard stamping surface.
- Stamping or ball peen hammer – used to strike metal stamps in to metal stamping blanks.
- Rubber mallet – used to flatten metal blanks after stamping.
- Masking tape – used to hold metal stamping blanks in place on bench block or can be used to mark stamp spacing.
- Fine Tip Sharpie Marker – used to darken stamp imprints and can be used to mark stamp spacing directly on metal blank or on masking tape.
- Metal hole punch – used to punch create holes in metal stamping blanks for jewelry making.
- Metal polishing cloth – used to clean and polish metal blanks after stamping.
- Steel wool – used to create a matte or textured finish on metal blanks.
- Dapping block – used to form metal blanks in to domed shapes.
Tape metal stamping blanks to bench block at top edge before stamping.
When starting out, be patient, it takes a little practice to get a consistent stamping result.
Practice on metal scraps to get familiar with the tools.
Try to hit the stamp only once with a firm hard hit with the hammer. More often may cause a blurred look when it doesn’t line up with the first hit. Depending on softness of metal sometimes it will take striking the stamps 3-4 times with ball peen hammer to create imprints. Keep the stamp lined up in the same position to avoid blurring the image.
Be sure the stamp it not leaning to one side when stamping, it needs to be straight up and down to get a clean, even finish.
Enjoy the handmade look, the casual look to letters especially, that’s part of the charm of this crafting technique.
Use the rubber mallet to flatten metal stamping blank. Stamping may create unevenness.
When using letter stamps pick out all the stamps that will be needed to form the words and line them in the order they will be needed. That will help avoid misspelled words.
To keep the lines straight use the Sharpie to mark a line which will be wiped off later or use masking tape, lining the stamps up with the edge of the tape.
Add color or dark finish on the letters so they stand out. A fine tip Sharpie Marker works well and the excess can be cleaned off the metal with a paper towel dampened with rubbing alcohol.
Use metal polishing cloth to remove excess marker and clean/shine metal stamping blank.
For a matte/textured finish, use steel wool across metal surface.
Use metal hole punch to create holes for jewelry making.
Use dapping block to form metal blanks in to dome shapes.
Be creative, try the stamps on wood, leather, polymer clay and other surfaces.