One benefit to being a jewelry designer is I already had all the tools I needed for this DIY hand stamped tag project. As a Christmas gift, I wanted to create a hand stamped heart tag for my nieces’ cat, Lily. I also wanted to create a keepsake pet tag for my good friend whose dog crossed rainbow bridge just before the holidays. Each year I try to incorporate as many handmade Christmas gifts as my schedule permits and this project was both quick and easy.
These pet tags are so easy that even a beginner can do them in less than a day. They also make great gifts to give for birthdays, holidays and even as stocking stuffers. In just 5 easy steps you’ll have the perfect last minute gift to give! So let’s get started.
Step 01. Gather Supplies
Although I purchased most of my supplies many years ago for my jewelry business, you can find most of what you need at your local Michaels store. But if you prefer to order online, I’ve also included links below for your convenience.
I’ve had this particular stamping block for years but I had noticed long ago it has an oiled surface. So to protect my counter (where I typically do my stamping) I like to keep the envelope it was mailed in under the block. I also store it this way too.
For this project you will need:
- 3mm (1/8″) letter stamps
- Stamping bench or block
- Masking tape or painters tape
- Stamping blanks
- Black sharpie marker
- Jewelry cloth (optional)
To be honest I just used my husbands hammer. It worked like a charm and I didn’t spend anything extra to finish this project. I also chose to use blue painters tape because it was easier to see against the shine of the silver tag.
Step 02. Prepare Your Stamping Blank
Before you start stamping, use painters tape or masking tape and tape your stamp blank down to the stamping block.
By taping down your stamp, it’ll keep it from moving around as you stamp each letter. If you prefer a more organic look to your letter stamps then don’t use the tape and just dive right in and start stamping.
Step 03. Start Stamping
Before you start stamping be sure the letter punch is in the right position. For example, if you are using the letter “L” you wouldn’t want the letter to be stamped upside down. So be sure your letter(s) are positioned correctly before hitting that hammer onto the letter punch.
One misconception when stamping is that you have to hit the letter punch hard. That is not true. Most blanks and especially the ones you find at your local craft store are pretty thin. So you shouldn’t have to hit the letter punch too hard. Rather give it 3-5 firm taps with a heavy hammer and that should work perfectly for you.
Step 04. Give The Letters “Dimension”
The easiest part of this whole tutorial is giving the letters some dimension. This can be accomplished by using a fine-tip black permanent sharpie to color in the letters and/or numbers. Give it a few minutes to dry and if you happen to get it outside of the letters, just take a soft jewelry cloth and buff off the extra marker lines.
Step 05. Attach Rings
The last step is to attach a jump ring that will be used to put the tag on the collar. What I like to do is add a smaller split ring to the tag and then use that smaller ring to attach to a slightly larger split ring. This helps the tag lay correctly when worn.
While this may seem like the easiest step in the process, let me tell you those little split rings can be frustrating to attach! So be forewarned to have a little patience while attaching the rings.
This is Lily, my nieces’ cat. While it’s a little hard to tell, I did glue a 3mm flat back light amethyst Swarovski crystal near the bottom of the heart tag. By the looks of it I’d say Lily she loves her hand stamped tag!
If you are inspired to create hand stamped dog tags (or cat tags!) don’t forget to share by tagging me on Instagram and using #btdinspired, I’d love to see your work (and I just might repost your photo)!
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