A Stamper’s Dozen: 13+ Ideas for Stamping Metal Jewelry and Personalized Gifts

I can’t think of any one jewelry-making technique that can add as much personality and meaning to your designs as metal stamping, can you? With just a few whacks of the hammer and a set of alphabet metal stamps, you can add any message (love, encouragement, personalization) or milestone date to a stamped pendant, bracelet, or any other piece of jewelry.

Here are some of my favorite ideas for making meaningful stamped metal jewelry (or even wood! Read on…) and other gifts.

1. Victorian-style friendship bracelets: Stamp a different friend’s name or initials on a charm or small tag and attach them all to a charm bracelet. Add their birthdays to the back for a handy reminder.

2. Bridesmaid earrings: Stamp the date on the back of one earring and the happy couple’s name on the back of the other; then decorate the fronts with stamped flowers, hearts, birds, other symbols, or the recipient’s name or initial/monogram. Then she’ll have pretty everyday earrings with a secret sweet reminder just between friends.

Stamped ID-Style Bracelets by Lisa Niven Kelly
Stamped ID-Style Bracelets by Lisa Niven Kelly

3. Encouragement jewelry: For a friend battling an illness or a personal challenge like weight loss, divorce, or marathon training, stamp words of encouragement or an uplifting, encouraging quote or Bible verse on a pendant or cuff bracelet. Like the earrings above, you can stamp the message inside or on the back of the jewelry; then either create a decorative design on the front or leave it plain/textured so the personal message remains private, whispering encouragement every day.

4. Silverware: I gave “I love you” stamped spoons to several family members last Christmas, and they were a big hit. Since I moved 750 miles away a couple of years ago, we miss each other so much; now every morning when they stir their coffee with their special spoons, they’re reminded I love them and I’m with them. You could also stamp baby names and birthdates on baby spoons for sweet shower gifts, or “Mr.” and “Mrs.” on spoons for a wedding gift, or children’s names on their own special flatware. I’ve seen many artists’ versions of hostess gifts that feature stamped words, such as “yum” and “eat seconds” or specific terms like “brie” and “gouda” etc. on a set of cheese spreaders. So many possibilities for one-of-a-kind designs.

5. Key ring tags: My “little” (younger, but 6’4″) brother is very, very special to me–but not the kind of guy who’d want an “I love you” spoon–so I stamped “I <3 U” on a tiny tag for him to put on his key ring. It’s so small that no one else will likely see it, but it’s there to remind him and I like knowing he has it with him every day.

6. Guitar picks: Stamp a special date, message, or monogram on a guitar pick for a musically inclined friend or loved one. You could also make a memento of a special concert by stamping the details on a guitar pick; frame it, tuck it in a wallet, or punch a hole in it and attach it to a key ring with a split jump ring.

7. Collar stays: If your guy wears dress shirts, buy or make metal collar stays and stamp sweet nothings on them, such as “I love you,” “my man,” “hey handsome” (or sexy, or cutie), “#1 Dad,” or “Mr. Big.” He’ll remember your words of love or support every time he buttons his shirt or tugs on his tie. You could do the same with a shoe horn, golf markers, money clip, or special metal pen.

8. Prayer “dog tags”: Make dog-tag-style tags with the name or names of loved ones serving in armed forces for all of the friends and family who want to remember the soldiers in their prayers.

9. Speaking of dog tags: Make stamped metal tags (bone-shaped for your pup, fish-shaped for your kitty, perhaps?) to identify your fur babies and help them get home safely should they wonder off. Include their name, your name, address, and phone number, plus any other important health info like vaccination info, “needs medicine,” “has microchip,” or allergy warnings.

10. Knitting or crochet needles: Sassy sayings would be extra fun on special knitting or crochet needles, especially if you make the needles yourself. You can stamp on metal or wooden ones using the same metal stamps and technique.

11. Beads: Stamp designs or messages onto pairs of flat metal shapes; then dome the shapes using a dapping block and punch. Solder or glue them together to make one-of-a-kind ball charms; insert a small metal ball or two inside the bead before securing it closed to create metal chime beads.

12. Charms: One of the quickest and easiest stamped metal jewelry ideas is making charms. Stamp one letter on each charm to spell out a name or nickname, date, or short message, and then attach them to a charm bracelet with jump rings. By stamping just one letter, you don’t have to worry much about alignment or placement. Stamp “Class of 2013” or “Go Tigers!” (or “Geaux Tigers!” if you’re down here in Louisiana) or other mascot for a graduation bracelet.

stamped pendants by Lisa Niven Kelly
stamped pendants by Lisa Niven Kelly

13. Family bracelet, key ring, or Christmas ornament: With a large enough collection of design stamps, you can stamp a whole happy family scene–a mom and/or dad, a kid or a few, your cat/dog/piglet, and a house with birds, flowers, trees, and sunshine.

Other stamping ideas: USB drives (stamp the cover half, not the vital half, or you could crush important interior bits), compacts (not the mirror side!), business card cases, julep cups, bar tools, lipstick cases, hair combs or brush handles, jewelry boxes, plant markers, music boxes, any kind of bezel, bookmarks, photo frames, baby rattles, grill tools (and kitchen tools, and office tools, and garage tools, and garden tools…), tooth fairy boxes, metal toothbrush cases, refillable metal lighter covers…

Metal-Stamping on Wood

You can also use your metal stamps to stamp personal messages or funny sayings on wood. Personalize wooden jewelry or key rings, trinket boxes, drum sticks, tool handles, golf tees, chopsticks, hair sticks, knitting and crochet needles, artists’ paintbrushes, coasters, kitchen spoons, walking sticks, and more. Darken the impressions with a fine-tip marker to create a wood-burning effect.

Metal Stamping Tips

When stamping metal jewelry or making other metal-stamping projects, remember:

  • place whatever you’re stamping on a steel bench block to get the best metal stamp impressions
  • dab your stamps on an ink pad and use them like rubber stamps on paper to practice placement and spacing if you’re new to metal stamping or are using a new stamp set unfamiliar to you
  • mark inside stamped impressions with a Sharpie and wipe off excess to help the impression show up better
  • use clear tape to give yourself a straight line with which to line up your stamps

Metal stamps can also be used for texturing metal, by repeating a single metal stamp such as a star, an X or plus sign, or a simple line stamp (like a flat-head screwdriver).

For more ideas for stylish and meaningful stamped metal jewelry and metal-stamping jewelry projects, get Lisa Niven Kelly’s classic best-selling book Stamped Metal Jewelry, which comes with a bonus DVD, or the 10 Fun Projects Stamping Metal and Wire eBook–or save a bundle when you get both of these awesome resources along with another popular stamping book, New Directions in Punched Metal Jewelry, plus a set of alphabet stamps, metal blanks, some hammers, and more in our Metal Stamping Collection!

What’s your favorite stamped-metal jewelry creation? Share in the comments below. One of you will win a sampler of metal blanks and an alphabet stamp set like the ones shown here, courtesy of our friends at ImpressArt! (Comment now through Sunday, February 24, to be entered to win.) This contest has ended, but we’d still love to hear your ideas below!

Resources: ImpressArt “Newsprint” alphabet stamp set and various blanks

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Blog, metal stamping jewelry
Tammy Jones

About Tammy Jones

I'm the editor of Jewelry Making Daily. I also have my own handmade jewelry business on Etsy, Southern Baubelles. I love working with metal clay, found objects, silver, copper, brass, enamel, resin, and genuine gemstones. I also enjoy knitting,ย paper crafts like card making and scrapbooking, cooking, traveling, the seashore, and snow!

109 thoughts on “A Stamper’s Dozen: 13+ Ideas for Stamping Metal Jewelry and Personalized Gifts

  1. I created a plaque for my wife using the dialog from Alice In Wonderland when the Mad Hatter asks “Am I Mad?” I would love to win the set of stamps in the contest.

  2. Metal stamping intrigues me more than anything I’ve run across in a long time. The possibilities seem endless…I can’t wait to start “leaving my mark” all over the place!

  3. I make garden markers out of recycled silver plated, vintage spoons. The diversity of the scrolling and the sizes and shapes of the silverware add to the colored patinas and rainbow effect I get afterward. Different sized stamped fonts make for a cool, eclectic gift! I have been in the market for a new “script” or lowercase stamp set, so this is the perfect contest for me. Love this blog, too.

  4. I make bangle bracelets using metal sheet cut in 1/4 in strips then stamp words of encouragement, special memories, special dates or love messages as well as using the stamps for texturing techniques before shaping and soldering closed. These bangles make very special gifts and also are noticed by others when being worn helping in conversation start ups or to let others know I am a metalsmith. Love stamping and love any new stamps I can get my hands around.

  5. I love metal stamping. One of my favorite pieces is a copper and brass ring that I riveted and stamped with a swirl stamp. I form folded the flower. I also love the Initial pieces. For a mother. I love to stamp the initials of their children on a necklace and wire wrap a swarovski crystal hanging from each personalized initial disc. These are so precious and loved by all the mothers/grandmothers out there! I would love to win this wonderful prize! Thanks! Nancy M

  6. I have been making “school spirit” necklaces and keychains. I stamp the school initials and year of graduation on metal disks and leather. Then I add beads in the school colors. This can be made for high school and college students. I have even made some for Middle and Jr. High anticipating their graduation date in the future.

  7. I haven’t done any metal stamping yet so this would be the perfect opportunity to start. Then I would make either favors or something for the centerpieces – my husband and I are celebrating our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a party in September. Thank you for the contest.

  8. I discovered stamping just before Christmas & made necklaces and/or key chains for family & friends using washers from the hardware store. I add charms and/or beads & make them as personal as posible. I am 62 years old & having an absolute ball with my metal stamping! I would love to win some more stamping items!

  9. Favorite Stamped Project – I made my first tie-tack as a Valentine’s gift for my husband. I filed & sanded a wood heart made from a fallen branch from our curly willow tree. A banner in silver was added diagonally stamped with John + Karen, as one would engrave on a tree. I adore stamping partial quotes to bring extra pondering to the art piece. (wish I could upload a photo for you)

  10. I use metal stamps to add names, etc. to my lampwork beads.. Just have to use the stamp when the bead is the right temperature and after I rub the letters with black permanent marker… My grandkids love having their name on a bead or two!! Would LOVE to win!!

  11. My favorite stamped piece is a mother/daughter necklace I made for my Mom and me. On a sterling silver heart charm, I stamped our saying and filled it in using cranberry colored alcohol ink. Laying in front of the heart is a cross and dangling from one side of the heart/cross cluster is an antiqued gold rose to represent my birth and the other side of the cluster has a wire-wrapped swarovski teardrop pearl representing her birthstone color.

  12. I love the idea of stamping on wood. Easier to cut than metal and you don’t need lots of specific tools-and you doin’t need to worry about chemical/metal skin problems. I would love to win the alphabet letters-thanks so much for offering such a generous prize.

  13. Hi, my favorite stamping idea is to stamp onto metal washers. One idea for the washers is to stamp a couples name and date of marriage for a personal gift. I then use colored sharpie markers to make designs or just color them in bright colors. I then use a small black sharpie to make the letters more visible. You can even use two washers with each persons name on each. I then just drill a hole in them and hang them together on a chain. I would love to win a stamping set since mine a bit old and have seen better days. Thanks!

  14. I made a set of charms for a charm swap – to benefit the BoC (Beads of Courage): stamped washers with a ceramic charm. They are adorable and I fell in love with stamping!

  15. I love all the popular trends with stamped metal jewelry! I recently got my first set of stamps and a few practice blanks. I had no idea how scared I would be of hitting my hand with a hammer! Practice practice, I will get better! I can’t wait till I can be making beautiful cuff bracelets, that is my goal!

  16. I would soooo love to win the stamp set… I discovered metal jewelry not so long ago, and have been watching videos and buying tools to start. These would be a great addition to my small but growing tool collection! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. These are some great ideas. I haven’t been able to afford a decent stamping set yet, and have been dying to try this. I especially like the personalized necklaces and keychains that I have been seeing around, so this would be what I would create first.

  18. I’ve been studying this fascinating craft for months and would love to have the tools to it well! It’s not a very elegant thought…but, yes…I’d love to have my name picked for this. Good luck to everyone who enters, but my fingers are crossed for me!

  19. I really like the metal tags stamped with words or sayings and placed in bangle bracelets or found object pieces. The words give another level of meaning to some pieces.

  20. I stamp phrases on the spinners I make for my spinner rings.

    The “I am enough” phrase in a couple different fonts goes over really well.

    The “marry me” rings go over really well too…having the right stamp font and design fonts really make the difference between just a plain old generic stamped item to a personalized item that has personality.

  21. I love metal stamps. What a great way to add sweet details to otherwise plain metal bits. I made a stamped tag for a father’s day gift I made for my husband last year and he absolutely loves it. I would love to get some different fonts to play with, or even little designs to add some pizazz to my jewelry.

  22. One of my first stamping projects was a thank you gift for a cousin. It was a pendant made with copper and crystals. I stamped ‘Teatime’ on it, to celebrate her enjoyment of tea. She appreciated the personalization of it. I get alot of satifaction putting words and messages on my jewelry.

  23. I’d love to win a set of alphabet stamps! So far my stamping has been limited to the one stamp I have (a little crown/tiara), which I stamped on a pendant blank as part of a necklace for a little girl. (Secret Santa-type thing.)

  24. I made a copper hammered, textured stamped bracelet for myself and my sister in law. Loved them both. I’d soooo love to win this to try more stamping, though.

  25. I actually just bought my first set of stamps today. I started playing around with it on a few not-so-great blanks I had. I still need some practice, but I can’t wait to get some nice blanks and start making some cool pieces to add to jewelry. I would love to win this stash of goodies, it would be a great start for my collection!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I am amazed at the different applications with metal stamping. They would be great to personalize a piece of art or simply to use to send a message to the admirer. The ideas are limitless. But due to my current spending budget, I have only been able to drool over them! Perhaps, I will be lucky enough to win a set. *fingers crossed*

  27. I made a grandma’s bracelet for my sister-in-law, and stamped tiny domed disks with each child’s initial and hung a Swarovski crystal birthstone with each one. I would love to add a second stamp set to my stash and play with a new font! Thanks for this wonderful opportunity!

  28. a set of name tags that I recreated for myself and different people. right now, I’m using basic letter stamps from a hardware store, but I would love to pretty up my designs and expand possibilities, if I won.

  29. I have just recently started making metal jewelry, with a metal embosser which I love, but I haven’t yet started stamping. I will have to start looking for tap & die set!

  30. Would love to win these. I would want a set in capital letters in an antique flowery font. If that is possible? Don’t have a set and always wanted them but my local bead store does not carry them so I have never seen them except online. Thanks for the chance. Good luck everyone. Bonnie Vance cougarspitfire@hotmail.com

  31. I usually end up engraving on things,if I wish to personalise them it is time-consuming and can be unpredictable as, if you lose concentration, and don’t keep the pressure even,sometimes the engraver slips, and hand engraving is just as hard, especially if you don’t have your own tools so you don’t know how sharp they are- I would love to try stamping, then I can make many many new designs which are personalised, and presents too

  32. I’m new to stamping and while I have yet to actually create anything stamped, I have some really great ideas rolling around my noggin! It would be wonderful to have a ‘kit’ like this – so many things I could do with it!

  33. My friend, Jan Montarsi, just posted this link on his FB page. Can’t believe I almost missed the deadline. I work mostly in polymer, but would love to make charms to go with bracelets and necklaces. Plus these could be used directly with polymer.

  34. My favourite stamped creation is the silver clay dog bone nailed to a tree in our back yard to mark the spot where my faithful studio dog (a pom who lived to be 19 years old!), Jasper Johns, is buried. I create a lot of meaningful jewelry for others. Remembrance jewelry is one of the most meaningful. I would make good use of this stamp set… making more memories for others.

  35. I love the idea of encouragement jewelry – a little reminder to perk up the days when it’s hard to keep plodding on. I’d like to make myself some stackable rings with words of encouragement, so I can wear whatever mix I really need for the day. Need some stamps first, though! ๐Ÿ˜€

  36. Liked your ideas, especially stamping in silverware. Have you tried stamping on leather? Could you use regular metal stamps or would you suggest leather stamping tools only? My sister and I want to try our hand with scrap leather and just wondered…

  37. I have a basic letter stamping set and have thoroughly enjoyed it. For Christmas I helped my boyfriends son make a necklace for his mother. I made the components and he did the stamping himself. You should have seen the excitement in his eyes as he put his name on one piece, his brother’s on another and “mommy” on the last one. He could hardly wait to give it to her. I’m forbidden to do any hammering for a few months since I just had shoulder surgery, but I’d love to get back in the swing of things (pun intended) with a new stamp set when I recover! What a thrill that would be. Thanks for a fabulous forum to learn and find inspiration!

  38. Congratulations SylviaM@14, Random.org picked number 66 and that’s you! Watch for an email from me.

    Thank you all for participating and for being part of JMD. Good luck in our next giveaway starting next week, for a bunch of goodies from Nunn Design’s Winter 2013 Collection!