Let’s Talk Metal Stamping Flat Tags!

Metal Stamping Flat Tags

Small independent makers can thrive within the category of customization by metal stamping on Nunn Design Flat Tags.

The backstory behind the development of Nunn Design Flat Tags goes way back. I wanted to make myself a necklace with my children’s initials by metal stamping on sterling silver tags. It was a big trend even 15 years ago, so I bought myself some tags and an alphabet set. I was super excited to make my necklace and managed to ruin a good $30.00 worth of sterling tags (I was buying them retail!) by executing some pretty bad metal stamping. Now, did I watch any videos? Read any tutorials? NO! I just started doing something that looked fairly easy, but it wasn’t.

So, I started to explore what it would take to create metal stamping tags out of pewter and plate them with precious metals. This would allow for Nunn Design to come up with a lot of different shapes, textures and sizes at a more affordable price point.

I’m happy to report that this category of jewelry findings has been a very large success for us. I’m glad I messed up on those sterling tags years ago. It lead to something that many of us now benefit from!

Let’s explore the category of metal stamping flat tags.

Let’s Talk Metal Stamping Flat Tags!

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.

For this post, we are focusing on seven different categories of Metal Stamping Flat Tags that Nunn Design has to offer.

  • Flat Tags by Shapes
  • Classic Flat Tags
  • Crest Tags
  • Hammered Flat Tags
  • Organic Tags
  • Ornate Flat Tags
  • Primitive Flat Tags

Let’s explore the options within the Nunn Design line-up of tags! Click on any of the images to link to more detailed information and to shop the Nunn Design Website.

Flat Tags by Shapes

This category of Metal Stamping Flat Tags has rounded edges, making them look less machined with softer and smoother edges.

Nunn Design Circle Flat Tags Nunn Design Rectangle Flat Tags

Classic Flat Tags

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

Nunn Design Classic Flat Tags

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.

Crest Tags also allow for the maker to choose where to place their own holes, providing more flexibility of use and creativity. Learn how to add additional holes to your Nunn Design Metal Stamping Flat Tags in this tutorial: How to Punch Additional Holes in Nunn Design Flat Tags.

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.

We hope you enjoy creating with Nunn Design Flat Tags! So many to choose from!

Shop Nunn Design Flat Tags

Metal Stamping Tips:

At a risk of a super long post, I want to give you a couple of tips here on how to metal stamp with success with Nunn Design Flat Tags. For those of you like myself, maybe you won’t read a tutorial, but maybe some visuals will help you have success!

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. “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.

7. “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.

8. 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.

9. “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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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!

13. 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.

14. 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).

15. 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.

16. 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.

Let’s Talk Series:

We hope that you will use this series as a resource when preparing the copy to describe your own jewelry made from Nunn Design Findings. It is becoming more and more important to be completely transparent with how and where your jewelry is being made. Consumers want to be aware of what they are purchasing and who they are supporting. It is our jobs to provide correcting information and descriptions.

To review other posts in this series, here is what we have talked about:

Thanks again for joining us!

Shop Nunn Design Flat Tags

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