These stamped metal cuff bracelets are so easy and always impressive. There’s quite a variety of options: metal, width, gauge, letters, fonts, design stamps, textures and so on. It’s impossible NOT to make something personalized and one-of-a-kind!
Follow the tutorial images for an overview of the steps it takes to make these fun stamped cuff bracelets. The steps are outlined below for you to print. Have any questions? Want to share your ideas? Leave us a comment!
Materials & Tools:
- Metal Strip (shown here: Aluminum 1/4×6″ 20ga and Copper 1×6″ 18ga)
- Steel Bench Block
- 1# Brass Hammer
- Letter or Design Punches
- Rubber Bench Block, optional
- Permanent marker
- Polishing Pads
- Bracelet Bending Pliers
- Straight Stamp Tape, optional
- File the corners of the metal strip. Your finished cuff bracelet will be more comfortable if the corner edges aren’t sharp. Use a flat file to gently round the corners of your metal strip. (img. 1) You can use a rubber bench block to securely hold your metal strip in place while you file the corners. (img. 2) Or, you can hold the end of your metal strip firmly in your hand while filing. Remember that the cutting action takes place as you are pushing away from you. (img. 3)
- Stamp your metal blank. Place your metal strip on your steel bench block. Use a heavy (1 lb.) brass hammer to strike the letter or design punch, making an impression in the metal. Note the position of the hand holding the letter punch: three fingers securely hold it in place and at least one other finger is braced against the bench block. This keeps your hand from moving around while you’re hammering. (img. 4)
- “Oxidize” with permanent marker. To quickly “oxidize” or darken your letters, use a black permanent marker to color in all of the impressions. Really get the ink in deep. This is easiest when the blank in flat. (img. 5)
- Clean with a polishing pad. Use a polishing pad to wipe off the marker. The ink on the surface of the metal will rub off, and the ink in the impressions will remain, leaving a nicely “oxidized” look. (img. 6)
- Shape the cuff bracelet. There’s a few ways to shape a cuff bracelet but using Bracelet Bending Pliers is really easy and gentle. Simply squeeze your metal strip in the nylon jaws of the pliers to start the arc. (img. 7) Continue shaping your bracelet with Bracelet Bending Pliers from the center to the outside ends until you have a fully curved strip. (img. 8,9)
- Shape a little more. The Bracelet Bending Pliers will make more of a circle (like a bangle) than an oval (like a cuff). So the last part of the shaping must be done by hand. Just be gentle and even-handed as you curve the ends into each other, making an oval that is comfortable on your wrist. (img. 10)
- You’re Done! These beautiful cuff bracelets are easy to make and are always going to be one-of-a-kind. Try lots of different stamps, hammers and tools for textures and designs. Try different widths and gauges of metal for variety!
Here’s a few more tips:
- Test your letter and design punches by stamping on a test piece of metal. Not all punches are created equal. Some need a lot of power and some don’t. Not all metals are created equal. Aluminum is very soft, nickel is very hard. If you test your stamping on a scrap of the metal you’ll be using, you’l know how hard to hit for the impression you want.
- Stamp in the middle of your strip – equally between the top & bottom edges. If, for instance, you tend to stamp towards the bottom of the strip, your metal will curve towards the top – especially if you hit hard and/or are using soft metals.
- Plan your design. Use a permanent marker to draw guides for your design. This will help insure that you get your letters or design stamps where you want them. You can also use Straight Stamp Tape. You can draw on the tape instead of your metal. If you’re using 1/4″ wide strip, the tape might get in the way, but it would be very helpful on the wider strips.