Friday, December 5, 2014

How to Make a Gilded Stamped Leather Bracelet Tutorial

By on Friday, December 05, 2014 3 Comments

Stamping on metal requires a lot of practice.  But you can also stamp on other materials such as leather which is easier. So here's my tutorial for a gilded stamped leather bracelet. It is forgiving in that imperfections can be part of the design and the process thus becomes fun rather than frustrating.



Here is what you need :
  • ~8 inches of 1 cm wide flat leather, 2 mm thick.
  • magnetic clasp 
  • Impressart Lollipop 4mm upper case metal stamp set (see Product Review here)
  • StazOn solvent based black stamping ink
  • Gilder's Paste (I used Rich Gold)
  • metal block and hammer
  • painter's tape
  • Q-tips
  • paper towels
  • rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) from drugstore
Metal stamping is easier when a heavy hammer is used.  The weight adds more force when striking so only one blow is required. Multiple blows leads to multiple impressions.  You can get brass stamping hammers but I just used a heavy duty one borrowed from my DH. As you can see it is significantly larger than my chasing hammer.


My initial test sample with an inked up metal stamp shows a couple of options.  The F was lightly stamped and the impression filled with Gilder's paste before the excess was wiped away.  But I really liked the strong impressions created with the heavy hammer blows as traces of the black ink still remained. The stamping is definitely much more defined on soft leather than on metal.


If you start with a longer than needed leather length, and leave a slight gap on the left, then you can just stamp from one end and work your way to the other.  The leather ends can then be trimmed to the right length afterwards. 

First really ink up the metal stamp. 


Place the stamp in the middle of the flat leather and hit once with the hammer. I eyeballed the distance between stamps by visually lining up the left edge of the stamp with the right edge of the previous stamped letter or design.


If you don't like the little circles left by this heavy handed method of stamping on leather shown below, then by all means use a lighter hammer and action.


Use a Q tip and really fill those depressions with Gilder's Paste. 

Take a paper towel and wipe away as much of the surface additions as possible. How much you leave behind is up to you. I rather liked traces of the gold coloring on the leather here and there.


Reapply the Gilder's paste and wipe away again if needed. Also change to fresh Qtips as often as necessary. With the blue bracelet, I let the black ink sit for a few minutes to dry before adding the Gilder's paste. I didn't wait very long for the brown bracelet so less black shows. 

As you can see, I stamped LOVE and HOPE separated by a set of design elements - a heart sandwiched by 2 flowers.

Once fitted and trimmed, the leather ends are then glued into the flat clasps.  

Notice the last E of the word LOVE on the left side of the blue bracelet disappears into clasp.  



If you prefer to not to see disappearing letters, then some planning is needed.  Starting and ending with the design motifs rather than letters also helps.

Here is my quick method for better spacing on the brown bracelet. I drew parallel lines spaced 4 mm apart (the height of the letters) on a piece of paper and did some testing. As you can see the little tickmarks all along the bottom line helps me space the stampings out. 5 mm works better than 4.


I also made vertical marks with a black marker pen on each stamp.


This was so I could visually line up the stamp with the tickmarks.


Then once I stamped a whole length on paper, I could see that for a bracelet length I wanted, I should start with a heart in my pattern repeat.  I wanted a 7 1/4 inch length rather than a 7 1/2 inch I initially marked on the paper .


You can buy tickmark tape for metal stamping. But I just made my own using masking tape.  I placed the leather down on the sticky side of the tape and then roughly marked the 5 mm tickmarks. And stamped away!


Also don't forget to clean up the stamps using rubbing alcohol before putting them away.







Before You Go:
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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3 comments:

  1. Fabulous!

    And I see they HAVE marked the sides of the stamps so that you can see what they are! Finally!!

    I like the Lollipop style as well.

    And using Gilders Paste is a great idea Pearl! I wouldn't have thought of using it on leather. I don't know why not. Duh!

    Great tutorial Pearl! You put so much work into these and I really appreciate it!

    Thanks!

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  2. I love how grunge the bracelt looks because of the black ink and gold paste. Can acrylic gold paint be used instead of gilder's paste?

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  3. I am not sure if paint would work in the same way. Paint is a liquid rather than a paste like Gilder's paste. But it is worth a try. I suspect you will only be left with paint in the depressions not traces on the leather as well. The effect won't be grunge!

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