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Sew Girl
"Over the years I have made several of these. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that these boxes -when used in the pictured position- are not strong enough on their own to hold very many books or magazines for very long. Eventually they will sag and become an eyesore. Preventing the eyesore from happening is simple - turn the boxes on their side once they are completed, and Voila! They are an EXCELLENT way to wrangle in all that clutter and chaos we often find throughout our home and office. There is also another way to make them strong and that is to REINFORCE THEM. Personally, I like to do this when I need to use the boxes for flimsier items like loose papers that have a tendency to curl on their edges if stored on their sides or when not packed tightly. Reinforcing the boxes means you can put a lot more weight into them even while they are laying flat like they are in the picture. I reinforce my boxes with a very thin wood that can be purchased at almost any hardware store - it is called Louon (my spelling is probably off but it is pronounced LEW-ON). It is very cost-effective and extremely easy to work with. Add to this that it is VERY VERSATILE and you have a great solution to making even very flimsy projects much more stable. I hope this helps! BTW USPS boxes are legal to use BUT ONLY if you PURCHASED them OR they are USED. IF you are thinking about using new boxes that were FREE from the USPS Priority Mail Services - then you would be breaking the law. New FREE Boxes MUST be used only for Mail. Boxes that are Purchased or Used should be OK."

How to Make Stamped Metal Charms

By: Rings & Things

Stamped metal charms are a great addition to jewelry craft projects and other homemade charms. They are also a fun embellishment for journals and other papercrafts. Follow this tutorial from Rings & Things to create your own.


Stamped Metal


Materials:

  • Nylon/steel block
  • metal snips
  • chasing hammer
  • utility hammer
  • rubber mallet or nylon hammer
  • 2-hole metal punch,
  • letter stamps
  • brass brush
  • 0000 steel wool
  • metal file
  • masking tape
  • ink pad
  • ruler
  • oxidizing agent or patina solution
     

Note: This technique works well for sterling silver, solid copper, and solid brass sheet or “dog tags.” Each metal will have its own unique characteristics, and if possible it is best to practice on a scrap of metal prior to making your actual project.

Instructions:

  1. Use your letter stamps with an ink pad and a piece of paper to pre-layout your script. Plan your letter layout and spacing for your metal tag.

    Metal Charm Stamps
     
  2. Using metal snips, indelible marker and a ruler, cut a piece of 24-gauge sheet metal to the desired size and shape.

    Metal Charm Cut
     
  3. File the corners and any rough edges and punch hole(s) into tag and flatten.

    Flatten Metal Charm
     
  4. Label one side of your steel block as “rubber” and one side as “steel.” The rubber side is used for flattening with a leather or rubber mallet. The steel side is used for hammering or stamping.
     
  5. On the “steel” side of your steel block, tape your metal tag in place with masking tape. This will hold your tag securely while you stamp, and can act as a guide for letter placement.
     
  6. If your letter stamps do not have a directional mark, place a dot with Wite-out® to indicate the top side of each letter. This will aid in keeping all of your letters directionally correct. Use your stamped paper guide to plan the position of the first letter on your tag.
     
  7. Line up the first stamp. In a standing position, hold the stamp perpendicular to the metal tag. With a utility hammer, strike the stamp firmly just once, straight down with one hard hammer blow. Repeat for each letter until your word or phrase is complete.

    Hammered Words Metal Charm
     
  8. If desired, add texture to your piece, such as hammering. Remember the antique patina will enhance any indentations on the metal.

    Textured Metal Charm
     
  9. After you have stamped and textured your tag, finish the edges by using the peening edge of a chasing hammer to lightly dapple all around the edges of the tag. File any rough points.
     
  10. Dip tag and findings (split/jump rings, head/eye pins, etc.) into the oxidizing agent or patina solution. Once desired patina has been achieved, rinse in cool water and dry. Use 0000 steel wool and brass brush to clean your piece.

    Metal Charm Oxidized
     
  11. Assemble into finished jewelry piece.


Tip: Have fun, and don't expect perfection; little oddities will give your tag charm and uniqueness. For additional decoration try adding design stamps, or metal forms you create yourself using 14 gauge stainless steel wire (available at hardware stores).


 

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I've always wanted jewelry with my name on it and recently I found an online store that sells them but they charge extra for stamping your name on the necklace. With this tutorial in hand I don't think I'll be paying extra for my favorite pieces anymore. Thank you

Thank you for the great tutorial. I recently bought a pack of letter stamps but haven't had time to try them out yet. Great tips for keeping letters straight. And labeling your steel bock is a great ideal, I never thought of that, and mines getting a little beat up. Thanks

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