Whimsical Wednesday: Humorous Metal Stamping Ideas

Here at Blue Door Beads, we feel very fortunate to be able to do what we love for a living. Supporting people in their creative endeavors and showing them how to make beautiful jewelry are two things that made us truly happy, and we especially love it when we — and our customers — can have a sense of humor while being creative!

With so many negative things going on in the world around us, it can sometimes be difficult to remember to make time for things that make us smile or laugh. As a way to remind ourselves and those around us to make time for silliness, we decided to dub today “Whimsical Wednesday,” and in honor of our newly-declared “holiday,” we have devoted today’s blog post to funny & sweet metal stamping designs. Hopefully the projects pictured below will make you at least make you smile, but we hope some make you laugh out loud! Enjoy!

Lydia made these during an early-morning private metal stamping lesson. Can you tell? Created by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

Lydia made these during an early-morning private metal stamping lesson. Can you tell? Created by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

Created by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

Created by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

take_it_slow

Created by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

zombies

Created by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

i_pick_you

Created by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

wheelie

Created by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

strong_enough

Created by Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.

Stamped forks found on Pinterest and credit given to SassClassAndASmartass on tumblr (account no longer active)

Stamped forks found on Pinterest and credit given to SassClassAndASmartass on tumblr (account no longer active).

One of our all-time faves! Stamped spoon by BabyPuppyDesigns on Etsy.

One of our all-time faves! Stamped spoon by BabyPuppyDesigns on Etsy.

Naughty doggy! Necklace by TrudyJames on Etsy.

Naughty doggy! Necklace by TrudyJames on Etsy.

We thought this was a creative way to stamp a simple piece of copper! Bacon necklace by GoldenStateJewels on Etsy.

We thought this was a creative way to stamp a simple piece of copper! Bacon necklace by GoldenStateJewels on Etsy.

Mustache necklace by BrazilleNutCreations on Etsy.

Mustache necklace by BrazilleNutCreations on Etsy.

Sweet sunshine-shaped pendant by KottageKreations on Etsy.

Sweet sunshine-shaped pendant by KottageKreations on Etsy.

You can purchase everything you need to create the projects above at Blue Door Beads. Hope to see you soon for some stamping fun!

You can purchase all of the tools you need to create the projects above at Blue Door Beads. Hope to see you soon for some stamping fun!

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Student Projects from Our Metal Stamping Class

Although these photos are also in our Make & Create gallery, we were so impressed with what our students created in our Metal Stamping class this past Saturday, we felt they deserved their very own blog post! Can you believe they made all of these pieces in just 2 hours?! Such talent!

A subtle squirrel-and-initial combo will make for a sweet, dainty necklace.

A subtle squirrel-and-initial combo will make for a sweet, dainty necklace.

"Love, laugh, purr" for the cat-lover in your life, and one should always "dream big." We love the messages, plus the mix of fonts and sizes!

“Love, laugh, purr” for the cat-lover in your life, and one should always “dream big.” We love the messages, plus the mix of fonts and sizes!

Celestial earrings are the perfect jewelry for daytime or evening.

Celestial earrings are the perfect jewelry for daytime or evening.

"Reach for the stars." LOVE!

“Reach for the stars.” LOVE!

This student made a necklace for her niece. A beautiful, thoughtful gift!

This student made a necklace for her niece. A beautiful, thoughtful gift!

We like this students' variety of pieces: pendants that say "endure, "fly" and "create", plus two journal covers for a "create" booklet pendant. Textured circle charms and square squirrel charms complete the collection!


We like this students’ variety of pieces: pendants that say “endure, “fly” and “create”, plus two journal covers for a “create” booklet pendant. Textured circle charms and square squirrel charms complete the collection!

Holiday Gifts With a Personal Touch

During the holiday season, there are times when we get so caught up in obsessing over getting someone the perfect gift that we forget the real joy of gift-giving. (We refuse to call it “gifting.” So there.) Giving someone a gift is a gesture of your appreciation for what they contribute to your life, and it should be a pleasurable experience! That’s why we’ve compiled this short list of truly personal gifts you can give this holiday season — not only are they fun to make, but they’re fun to give, as well! They sure beat fruitcake, anyway.

Hand-Stamped Pendant(s)
Ingredients: metal blanks in a metal of your choice, letter punch set, hammer, bench block, liver of sulfur (for adding a patina), jump ring(s), and cord or chain.

These cute little necklaces are all the rage right now, and we can see why! Sweet and delicate, initial pendants/charms can be worn alone as a statement of the wearer’s initial, or clustered together to represent kids, grandkids, etc. Although we don’t recommend using sterling silver charms for your first project, after a bit of practice, you can easily graduate to high-quality metal blanks and create elegant gifts in no time! Add charms in different shapes for some variety, or create an interchangeable necklace like Wendy Mullane’s pregnancy count-down necklace (at right). Create the same type of necklace for a graduation or wedding count-down (“7 months left!”), or another momentous occasion. This necklace is wonderfully personal and shows you are sharing in the wearer’s excitement!

Custom Key Chain
Ingredients: key chain blank with bezel, Diamond Glaze, photo or scrapbook paper.

We feel that key chains are under-rated. We here at Blue Door Beads love our key chains, and we love the daily smile we get from taking them our of our pockets. Lydia made the key chain pictured at left as a way to commemorate her semester in France during college, and one of her students recently created a custom key chain using a photo of her first grandbaby. Simply trim your image to fit the bezel, tack it down with a bit of Diamond Glaze, coat the entire image with glaze, then wait for it to dry. Voilà! Instant memento.

Birthstone Necklaces
Ingredients: gemstone(s), wire, chain or cord, and a decorative charm if desired.

It’s hard to go wrong with birthstones, as long as you know the recipient’s birthday. (That’s what the Birthday Reminder app on Facebook is for!) If you do a quick search online, you will find there are different birthstone charts you can use as references, varying from classic, to modern, to zodiac-sign-related. This style of necklace can also be modified to include birthstones of spouses, children, or maybe just yours and theirs — the perfect BFF necklace!


Hand-Stamped Garden Markers

Ingredients: old cutlery (spoons & forks work best), letter punch set, hammer, bench block, liver of sulfur (for adding a patina).

Since not everyone wears jewelry, the garden marker is a great unisex, any-occasion gift that can be romantic, humorous, or helpful. (Was that basil you planted, or parsley?) Don’t worry about getting letters perfectly straight — a little wonkiness adds to the charm and the organic feel of the markers. Be sure to do your stamping in an area where it’s OK to make lots of noise. Unlike metal charms, cutlery is typically a lot thicker, and you will need to be more forceful with your hammering to achieve good results. Once you’ve stamped your markers with the names of various herbs/flowers/etc., or a fun phrase or two (Lydia has a marker at home that says “Watch Me Grow,” but you could easily stamp “Grow, Darn It!”), put them in a gift box with a few packets of corresponding seed packets, and you have an easy gift for the holidays!

We hope this list of personalized gift ideas inspires you to make some heartfelt gifts this holiday season. We’re willing to bet that you’ll have so much fun making these cute creations that you’ll want to make a few pieces to keep for yourself. We promise not to tell. 🙂

Key chain photo courtesy of Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.
Hand-stamped pendant photo courtesy of www.vintaj.com

Birthstone necklace photo courtesy of Belleza Mia
Hand-stamped garden marker photos courtesy of The Faded Nest

The Versatility of Vintaj

We know there’s no way to control the silver and gold market, but dang! Those metals sure are expensive these days. Of course, we still love using sterling silver and gold-filled beads and components, but we are finding that we’re needing to use these accents a bit more sparingly. Otherwise, we would have no money left for other beads!

Components we have grown to love as affordable (and hypo-allergenic) alternatives come from the Vintaj Natural Brass Company.  Vintaj components & chain are solid brass made up of 85% copper and 15% zinc and are not antique plated. All Vintaj materials are nickel-free and lead-free compliant, making them great for folks with sensitive skin. Plus, the folks at Vintaj have really done their research when it comes to replicating ornate, intricate, and gorgeous Art Nouveau-style jewelry components. Another nifty factoid: all of Vintaj’s brass components can be polished up, transforming the pieces from antique chocolate brown to gleaming gold. Vintaj pieces can be stamped, riveted, bent, curled, strung, wrapped, and used in other crafts, such as scrapbooking and sculpture.  Pictured below are just a few projects you can create using Vintaj components. The possibilities are limitless!

1.) Stamp phrases onto metal blanks using letter punches.
Our Metal Stamping class here at Blue Door Beads covers all of the tricks and techniques you need to know when it comes to making clear impressions on metal. Vintaj Altered Blanks are just a few of the components you can use while stamping, but they are definitely some of our favorites. They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including leaves, birds, and more, as well as the standard circles and squares. Create personalized pendants to give as gifts, or to keep for yourself!


2.) Add color using Vintaj Patinas.

Vintaj Patinas are specially designed acrylic paints that adhere to metal. These bright, vibrant paints are terrific for when you want to add that perfect pop of color to your jewelry. Vintaj Patinas can be mixed together, painted on, sponged on, or dabbed on in a variety of ways. We have a rainbow of colors available here at Blue Door Beads, so come check ’em out!


3.) Encase beads, cabochons and other items in Vintaj filigree wraps.
These cool components are beautiful on their own, but they are also wonderful components for wrapping around large pendants or beads, especially ones that possess a flaw or crack that you would like to hide. Use round nose or bail-making pliers to bend the entire filigree, or just a portion. Attach chain, charms, or whatever else you’d like.



4.) Rivet bead caps, charms, and other items to Altered Blank Canvases.
These large-scale altered blanks are great for creating wall-hangings, ornaments, journal covers, and other fun & funky non-jewelry items. Punch holes in a canvas using metal hole-punching pliers, then grab a hammer, a bench block or anvil, some Vintaj rivets, and start riveting your little heart out!

For more on how to work with the Vintaj line, including patinas, rivets, filigree wraps, etc., visit Vintaj’s blog. Their videos and written how-to’s are so helpful and inspiring, we’re sure you’ll want to start working with Vintaj ASAP. When you’re ready, come to the shop, and we’ll get you started. 🙂 Bead boldly!

Photo of stamped pendants courtesy of Lydia Chapman for Blue Door Beads.
Photos of “Weathered in Nature” necklace, “Festive Mulberry” necklace, and “Family Journal” courtesy of http://www.vintaj.com.