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How to Hand Stamp Jewelry for Truly Custom Designs

Add a creative, personal touch to your jewelry designs by hand stamping your own jewelry blanks. Learning how to hand stamp jewelry is surprisingly easy. Follow along with this simple metal stamp tutorial, and then try this innovative technique out for yourself!

Heart shaped blank handstamped with the word love

How to hand stamp jewelry

Materials you’ll need:

  • Brass hammer
  • Steel bench block
  • Jewelry blanks
  • Metal stamps
  • Painter’s tape
  • Permanent marker

Before you begin stamping:

Metal stamps with a dot to label the front of the stamp

If you have silver colored stamps, you can easily label them using a permanent marker. If you have dark metal stamps, as pictured above, you can add a light colored dot with nail polish to mark the front of the stamp. I’ve since added lettering to these stamps so each stamp can be quickly identified.

7 layers of sticky notes to practice stamping on

Practice stamping before you begin using your metal blanks. You can practice stamping on several layers of paper or press your stamps onto an ink pad and then onto paper. This will give you a clear idea of how to line up your stamps before you begin stamping on the metal blanks.

Bench block on no slip mat and rubber

The steel bench block needs to be on a solid surface, however, a rubber mat and a piece cut from a no-slip rubber mat is shown above to help deaden the high-pitched ping sound that happens when you strike metal to metal. A leather sandbag can also serve the same purpose.

Now let’s get started!

Step 1:

Steel bench block, metal stamps and brass hammer

First, line up the stamps you intend to use.

A small oval taped to bench block

Then, tape the metal blank to the steel bench block. The tape has two purposes: 1) it holds the blank in place so it won’t travel as you are striking the stamps; 2) it can be used as a guide to keep your stamps in a reasonably straight line.

A straight line can also be drawn with a permanent marker if your prefer not to use tape.

brass hammer striking the metal stamp

Before striking the metal stamp, make sure the stamp is facing the proper direction. We don’t want any upside down or sideways letters. Set the stamp into position using the straight edge from the tape to properly place the stamp. Hold the stamp straight up and down and strike one solid blow using the brass hammer.

Hitting too soft will leave a partial, incomplete image. Hitting too hard will cause the metal to warp. I do not recommend double striking the stamp. This often results in shadow images on the blank.

Additional options for Step 1:

trace the curve of metal blank onto tape

Perhaps you’d like to follow the shape of a metal blank. Trace the shape of the blank onto the painter’s tape and cut it out.

Heart shaped blank marked with guide tape to follow the curve of the heart and taped to bench block

Apply the cut painter’s tape to the blank, following the shape of the blank yet leaving room for the letters to be stamped. Tape the blank to the bench block. Follow the striking instructions from above to line up the stamps and impress letters into the metal.

Step 2:

Heart shaped blank has been stamped with the letters l-o-v-e

The stamped metal blank looks lovely, however, to really bring out the stamped design we need to colorize the impressed letters. The piece can be oxidized using a liver of sulfer treatment followed by sanding and buffing to remove the liver of sulfer from the high points.

A permanent marker being used to darken the impressed letters

A quick way to bring out the stamped impression is to color in the impressions using a permanent marker.

Step 3:

Use rubbing alcohol on a rag to remove excess permanent marker

Use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to remove excess permanent marker. A quick swipe or two removes the permanent marker easily.

Three different shaped blanks hand stamped with the word love

You can also purchase stamps with images to add further design elements to your hand stamped pieces. The pieces pictured above need a hole punched and a jump ring added and they are ready to be added to a finished jewelry design.

Learn more about metalsmithing plus splendid finishing techniques, like heat patina and high polish, in the Bluprint class Metalsmithing at Home with Kate Richbourg. You learn how to design five artisan accessories you’ll love to wear and gift!

Have you tried hand stamping jewelry? What’s your favorite thing to stamp on your jewelry designs?


Mary Franklin

Hi, I tried metal stamping recently but couldn’t get it right. This blog looks so helpful, so I’m hoping you may be able to help. When I stamp, the metal significantly bends and the letter isn’t defined on the metal, so I’m wondering if it may be the supplies I bought. I tried hammering harder and more softly, on the block I bought and on a different surface, and on both types of metal discs I bought, but I get the same result. The supplies I have: Tekton 5/32” number & letter stamp set, Cousin weighted steel head 6-inch mini hammer, Solid rubber bench block (2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″), Thumb-safe Stamp Holder, Round Bronze Tone Blank Stamping Tags Pendants 20mm(6/8″), frosted anodized aluminum 1” 21-gauge discs. Any thoughts or advice? Thanks so much!

heylani jewelry

I think it’s the rubber block vs. steel block that is creating your issue.

Lisa Sanchez

Thank you so much for posting this, I just started making jewelry and this was so helpful!! I wanted to add if anyone was looking for a blank supplier I tried out and their copper was AMAZING – I had bought the Hobby lobby blanks and a few others and someone recommended them to me and I use them for all my jewelry blanks now. If anyone knows a reliable chain supplier please let me know, they don’t have a large selection of chains and i haven’t had luck with other suppliers shipping fast.

Marie A Wemett

I made the same mistake – rubber block versus steel block. Back to Michael’s I go!

Marie A Wemett

I order blanks online – with holes pre-drilled – at DHGate or AliExpress online.
They come from China – are much cheaper as a rule. Just read the descriptions VERY carefully – You think you are buying “Silver Plated” – but that is the color – not the metal (sneaky right!).


I am a hand stamper and I love it .I will answer anyone’s questions if it is something I knowv


I have tried multiple times and don’t get clear imAge. I am using a plain that the problem?

Ema Kilroy

Hi Sarah, I think two important pieces of handing stamping are the tools. You need to use a steel bench block under your metal and a brass hammer to strike your stamp. In my early days I tried using a regular hammer to strike my stamp (seems logical that it would get the job done) and was never satisfied with the stamped image. I can’t explain the physics of it but a brass hammer is softer and doesn’t rebound like a regular hammer, thereby giving you a clearer impression.

Dee Cobbs

Do you know a way to get a continuous line, maybe 2 or 3 inches long. I will be stamping on an aluminum bracelet. The bracelet is still flat. Thanks,


Hi Sue… I have stamped only a small bit. I want to make a few hand stamped bracelets for someone and will be buying slightly pre-curved rectangular stainless steel connector blanks. Being pre-curved, how will I be able to stamp correctly? I assume the connector with flatten a bit but I can’t see getting a proper hit? Any tips… or should I not purchase the pre-curved blanks. Thanks!

Dave Miller

I appreciate jewelry custom design more because their style is more unique and has it’s own beauty and when I see how it’s made like this it brings me joy. This for example


I was wondering if someone could help me. I can’t seem to get the Black ink from the sharpie marker (industrial) to stay within the stamped impression. Maybe the impression isn’t deep enough? Once I mark over the words, wait about a minute or two, and wipe it off with rubbing alcohol- it removes it even in the stamped part. It’s driving me crazy bc I do everything I’ve read or seen on videos. Any insight would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.


Hi Everyone! I’ve just started reading blogs to learn how to make hand stamp jewelry! Could you guys share with me where you bought all your supplies and what is the best! Any help in starting to learn would be appreciated! Thank you! 🙂

Lisa Niven Kelly has everything you need! Blanks, tools and tons of free classes. I’m the owner and also a Craftsy instructor. I’ve written 2 books on stamping, and let me tell ya….it’s so fun!!!! Jump in, you’ll love it!

Ally Day

Great work. They all look awesome. Thanks for sharing all the information and useful tips. This would be so helpful for me.

David Reyes

Fantastic Work!!!I love your hand stamp metal jewelry blogs. It is very nice and good. All information are very helpful and useful for everyone.Brilliant job Thank you for sharing this post.

metal lettering

Camille Devaux

It is cool to know that there are ways to make metal stamping yourself. Coloring them in with black sharpie was a really smart idea as well. These steps are useful, however, I am not confident in my abilities to do this and may seek out a professional’s help.


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