This week I was tidying some things in my creative area (which stretches from my kitchen to the igloo bicycle shed outside) and remembered a bench block I brought back from my last trip to the States.

(Yes, of course one wants to squirrel away a 4”x4”, 2.38-lb block of steel in one’s already overstuffed suitcase on an international trip—but anyway…)

So I hadn’t had a chance to use it yet, and thought I’d take some time out from my work-art to do some fun-art. I got out these flat metal charms, my metal embossing set and the hammer and had a play.

Sara Naumann blog metal stamping

Vintaj bench block, metal embossing stamps and a hammer—plus flat metal charms from Nunn Design. I'm all ready!

First, decide which word you want to stamp. (I suggest a short one.) Place the metal charm on the bench block, hold the metal letter stamp perpendicular, and give it one good whack with the hammer. Repeat to spell your word. You might start with the letter in the middle of your word to ensure your spacing, but I just spell it out from the first letter because I like a less-perfect look. (Which is good.) Do make sure to double-check the orientation of your letters, though, or you can get backwards “e’s”. But maybe you like that effect!

Sara Naumann blog stamped charm

Here it is, all stamped!

Can you over-stamp by hammering the metal charm too hard, or too many times? Why, yes you can—and here you can see what that will look like:

Sara Naumann blog metal embossing

I got a little overenthusiastic with the hammer on the "j" and the "y". Well, practice makes perfect.

So, what if you want to add a little more depth to your stamped letters? Here’s how:

Sara Naumann blog metal embossing charm

To make the letters stand out more, you can add a dark color of Alcohol Ink. I picked Slate.

You’ll need a dark color of Alcohol Ink, plus an applicator like this one from Ranger.

Sara Naumann blog alcohol ink drops

Squeeze a drop of alcohol ink on each letter, then pat with the applicator. Wipe off the excess ink from the charm with a soft cloth.

Here’s the before and after:

Sara Naumann blog alcohol ink before and after

One charm that's inked, another that isn't.

If you don’t have Alcohol Ink, you can also use a fine-tip permanent marker, like a Sharpie. I used this pen from my local shop. It’s for writing on DVDs and other non-porous surfaces.

Sara Naumann blog permanent marker

Use the fine-tip marker to highlight the letters.

And my finished charm—I just used a silver jump ring to attach it to a length of chain, then added a clasp at the back. Voila!

Sara Naumann blog necklace


Enjoy–and happy Wednesday!