Ever since I started playing around with DIY stamping techniques last year, I have to admit that I’ve been a little obsessed (so far I’ve also made these bracelets and necklaces). There are so many different ways to use the stamping materials, and I really like this version that uses long stamping blanks mounted to leather bracelets. They are pretty fast to make, and you can customize them a lot by using different colors of leather and stamping whatever phrase or hashtag you want on different ones. Yay for choices!
-scraps of medium weight leather (real or faux)
–metal bar stamping blanks
–snaps and snap setter (line 20 size)
–1/16″ hollow rivets
-1/16″ hole piercing and setting tools (this tool is great and does both)
-fabric scissors or metal ruler and rotary cutter
–metal letter punch set
–jewelers block (I recommend one as it gives you a cleaner stamp when under your metal)
-Sharpie marker and rubbing alcohol (to darken the letters)
First you’ll want to cut your leather into strips that are at least 1.5 cm wide and as long as you need to go around your wrist (cut each with extra length and trim later for safety). You can also buy flat leather cord the same width and use that if you want a leather with finished edges. After making a few of these, I would definitely suggest getting a leather that is at least a medium stiffness rather than the really soft pliable leather. The rivets that hold the metal bar in place don’t stay as well when the leather is really soft, and they can pull out much more easily than if the leather is a bit stiffer.
Use your 1/16″ hole piercing tool to punch two holes where you want your snaps to be installed at each end. Put the corresponding snap pieces through the holes (make sure the correct sides will face each other when installed so they snap together), and use the line 20 snap setter and a hammer to hammer the separate snap sets together (this is a good tutorial for setting snaps).
Tape your metal stamping blank onto your jeweler’s block or hard surface and use your stamp set to create your word or phrase on the blank (you can read more detailed stamping tips in this intro to stamping post). Since the brass blanks are a bit softer than the other blanks I’ve stamped, I noticed that I didn’t have to hit the stamp quite as hard as I have for other blanks, and if I did hit it too hard, the blank would end up curving a bit in the middle. If this happens, you can try to bend it back in place, or just go with it since the curve isn’t that severe. Fill in the letters with a Sharpie marker and then give it a wipe with a cloth soaked with rubbing alcohol if you want to darken the lines of the letters.
Use your piercing tool to punch two holes in your metal bar at either end for the rivets. Line up your bar in the middle of your leather strap, and punch corresponding holes in the leather beneath the holes in your bar (they also make hand punches like this one you can use to punch both holes). Once the holes are punched, insert a rivet with the closed flat side on top, and use the setting side of the piercing and setting tool to close the rivet and secure the bar to the leather. Repeat on both sides of the bar, and your bracelet is ready to wear! If you feel the metal bar sits too flat on your curved wrist, you can easily bend the bar with your fingers to mimic the curve.
Once you have some of those basic stamping tools, there are so many different ways you can use them, so I highly recommend stocking up on some of the basics. These bracelets make great gifts and you can make some studded leather bracelets or phrase bracelets to stack them with as well. Hope you decide to get into the world of stamping, it’s so fun! xo. Laura
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography by: Laura Gummerman and Elsie Larson. Photos edited using Stella from the Signature Collection.