Complete Guide to Metal Stamping
Handmade Jewelry

Metal stamping onto pewter blanks, to create custom handmade jewelry, continues to be a technique that is going strong. Metal stamping is an affordable way for small business owners to produce collections of jewelry that are customizable, affordable and help them differentiate their brands

Nunn Design customers who offer jewelry using cast pewter stamping blanks have the opportunity to grow their businesses and expand their collections.

Here is a complete guide. We have covered the basics on:

  1. How-To-Steps for Metal Stamping Handmade Jewelry!
  2. Tools Needed for Metal Stamping Handmade Jewelry!
  3. Complete Educational Guide to Metal Stamping Handmade Jewelry!
  4. Pewter Stamping Blanks for Metal Stamping Handmade Jewelry!

1. How-To-Steps for Metal Stamping Handmade Jewelry!

• Clean the Flat Tag
Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blanks are cast in lead-free pewter and plated with copper, 24k gold and .999 fines silver. A secondary plating process of adding oxidation to the tags creates an aged finish to the precious metal.

Only use a wet wipe to clean the surface of the stamped tag, not a polishing cloth. If you do use a polishing cloth, and really go to town with polishing, you will eventually rub away the plating.

• Secure the Tag
For best results, tape your Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blank onto a steel block for stamping. This will provide a firm and flat surface.

• Mark the Tag
You will not want to use any type of permanent pen or Sharpie Marker on the Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blanks when marking your tags. Permanent Markers will not be removable when you go to clean the surface.  Use a pencil to provide a stamping guide.

• How to Hold the Hammer
When using your stamping hammer to make your impression, grip close up to the hammer’s head. This will allow you to strike with less impact, more of a “bing” than a “bang”. For best results use an 8oz Ball Pein Jeweler’s Hammer.

• How to Hold the Stamping Tool:
When “binging” the Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blank, you should be certain that the metal stamping tool is held firmly (but not too tightly) with your fingers and held upright. Resting your fingers on the metal stamping base will also allow you to keep the stamp steady and to not slip when binging.

• “BING” once
When you “bing” – do it initially just one time. If you “bing, bing” you run the risk of the stamp slightly moving and creating a shadowed image.

• “BING” again if necessary
If you “bing” and it isn’t enough of a “bing” to provide a good impression, you can line up the stamping tool in the impression and “bing” again to provide a deeper impression.

• Stay away from the edge
Metal stamping forces the metal to move, it doesn’t just go someplace else. If you stamp too close to the edge of the Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blanks, it will distort the shape and potentially chip the plating. Stay away from being too close to the edge.

• “BING” vs “BANG”
If you “bang” too hard, you could chip the plating both on the surface and on the backside of the blank. Don’t get me wrong, you do have to “bing” with some meaning, you just don’t want to smack the heck out of it. Once the blank is smacked there is no going back or correcting.

• Darken the Impression
When darkening your impression, use a Fine Tip Sharpie Marker within the recessed stamped area. Before you darken your impression with the Sharpie Marker, have a Q-Tip and rubbing alcohol at the ready. You will want to act quickly to remove the permanent ink from the non-recessed areas. DO NOT use a polishing cloth, for it will remove the precious metal plating from the cast lead-free pewter.

• Support Raised Tag Surfaces
If you have a surface that does not have a flat back, you will need to place something underneath to prevent the tag from collapsing in the center when stamping.

 

• Fixing “Mistakes”
If you have tags you aren’t happy with, you can cover them with colorized resin!

 

Here are a couple tutorials on applying colorized resin to flat tags!

• Make a Punching Buffer
If you want to punch additional holes, cut a small piece of card stock to prevent the punch from damaging the flat tag. The card stock provides a buffer.

• Register with an Indent, Line Up, Punch:
Before actually punching your hole you can press down slightly without the card being in place. This will provide an indented area so that you can easily line up your punch into the hole while the card stock is in place (making it hard to see).

• Bending Flat Tags
We do not recommend bending the Nunn Design plated pewter tags. The plating can easily crack when being bent with nylon bending pliers.

• Practice, Practice, Practice!
Metal stamping, like any other art form, takes practice. Allow yourself the time to learn this new craft. Otherwise, you just won’t have any fun making beautiful jewelry.

2. Tools Needed for Metal Stamping Handmade Jewelry!

  • Economy Block uppercase, Lowercase and Numbers Stamp Set 1/8” (3mm).
    For $35.00 you can get a full lowercase and uppercase alphabet set with 0-8 numbers (the 9 is a 6 upside down). This is a great starter set to start practicing with.Lisa’s Tip: These economical stamps are not marked. It helps to use a black, white or metallic permanent pen to put a dot on the side of the stamp where you should hold your thumb to ensure the letter will be facing the correct direction.Lisa does have higher-end stamps that are a bit sharper and ground down to the letter. This extra attention to detail and quality makes it easier to see exactly where you are placing your letter, resulting in better stamping results! You can view other stamping sets on her website.

  • 4” x 4” Steel Bench Block
    For $19.95 you can purchase their steel bench block, which are made from high quality tool steel and ground smooth. This surface makes an ideal for metal stamping.

  • 1 lb Brass Head Mallet/Hammer $26.50.
    This hammer features a solid brass, one pound head. A brass hammer of this size is perfect for hammering ferrous or non-ferrous metals, and is excellent for stamping and dapping. The heavy brass head gives the user a nice “dead blow” (less bounce) which assures better performance when dapping or stamping.

3. Complete Educational Guide to Metal Stamping Handmade Jewelry!

Lisa Niven Kelly, of beaducation.com is an artisan passionate about metal stamping. She was the first within the jewelry making industry to offer an online platform for educational jewelry making classes, tools and supplies.

Lisa is very generous with her education. Just a quick read though her Top 10 Tips for Metal Stamping will provide even the more advanced metal stamper with some good reminders.

Here are a couple other places to learn more from Lisa:

  • Lisa’s Books!

4. Pewter Stamping Blanks for Metal Stamping Handmade Jewelry!

Nunn Design is the industry leader on cast pewter stamping blanks. With a large range of on-trend shapes, textures and precious metal plating, it is clear why it is the choice of so many handmade jewelry makers.

Here is a run-down on the process of how we go about manufacturing our line of flat tags:

  • Nunn Design Metal Stamping Flat Tags are cast in the USA with imported lead-free pewter.
  • After casting, flat tags are cleaned and plated for metal stamping and engraving in the USA with precious imported metals. Copper, 24k gold and .999 silver.
  • Next we quality control, count and package the flat tags into easy to purchase quantities.
  • Loops are sized to fit the many jumprings offered within the Nunn Design Collection.

Decorative Flat Tags

These flat tags are great for metal stamping and come with a loop for easy attaching!

Classic Flat Tags

This small collection of options provides a more contemporary look. The tags are very thick and have squared edges.

Crest Tags

This collection of tags is created with raw pewter that is oxidized. Each tag is sized to fit within Nunn Design Bezels, allowing for the maker to customize and then drop them into a bezel to finish them. Great for Embroidery Jewelry!

Hammered Flat Tags

This is a very popular look, but without having to hand texture each and every flat tag by hand!

Organic Tags

What can I say about these, other than they are awesome!

Ornate Flat Tags

I love these because they can be used as a bezel or flat tag!

Primitive Flat Tags

This collection of flat tags has a very rustic and wonderful look. The backsides are flat, allowing for ease in metal stamping.

Metal Bead Pendants

The Metal Bead Organics are super fun statement pendants. They have a 2mm hole going through them for easy stringing!


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Nunn Design has been supplying jewelry artists with findings for over 20 years. Shop wholesale jewelry findings for creative jewelry makers.

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Please visit our Where to Buy Page for a listing of online stores that sell Nunn Design Findings retail.


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