Well it has certainly been a week here. I have been baking and decorating cookies like mad. I made 130 iced sugar & gingerbread cookies to give out as gifts this year. I will admit it got a little out of hand but once you get started you can’t just quit. I will be getting the ones that need mailed out today. I am hopeful that the cookie breakage is minimal. I have plans to do a tutorial one of these days but if you are interested in making awesome iced cookies I highly recommend the Craftsy class by Mallory Mae of Butterwinks. It was so super helpful and I really like how she organized the class.
Between all the baking/decorating, a snow day, kiddo sick day and class party yesterday I have not really been able to post this week. Have no fear I have something fun and different for today.
I don’t think that I have mentioned this before but I have two horses. Unfortunately, they both had to be retired this year but they are loving the retired life. When you have horses you have horse blankets and sometimes they get mixed up. Permanent marker isn’t always permanent especially when the blankets get muddy. In the past I have used dog tags that I made at the pet store but when you need six of these at $7 a pop it adds up. Well, you know me and naturally I thought , “I can do that.” Enter the magic of Pinterest. I pinned a few metal stamping tutorials and purchased my supplies.
The hardest part about metal stamping is getting everything lined up. I think that like most things the trick is just practice. I photographed my process to share. Now that I have the supplies I stamped a tag for our French Bulldog, Bella.
All of my supplies are from ImpressArt. Pictured here you can see the steel block that acts like an anvil, the ergo-angle hammer, metal stamp alphabet sets in uppercase and lowercase (Bridgette) and then the metal blanks.
I selected my aluminum blank and placed it on the steel block. I used a piece of masking tape to secure the tag in place and to help align my stamping. You can see in the photo where I marked the spaces where to place the letters. I find that it is helpful to start with the center letter and then work my way out. This was I don’t accidentally run out of room or have funny spacing. Which kind of happens anyway but at least I am trying to make everything more evenly spaced.
So I started with my first “L” and then stamped. It takes about two solid hits on of the hammer to get a deep impression. You want to be sure that once you have your stamp where you want it that you hit the stamp evenly and straight on. I stamp partially on the tape and partially off because I feel like the texture of the tape helps hold my letter where I place it. This is something that works for me but you may prefer to line up with the bottom of the tape.
Once you have your tag you want to color in your impressions so that it will be readable. You can purchase enamel to do this but I found that a lot of people just use a Sharpie. I will probably try the enamel down the road and I will let you know how that works. In this method you simply color over the letters with your marker, making sure to cover all the letters, then you use rubbing alcohol to remove the excess.
Voila – you have a completed tag. I can see that I didn’t get my “B” as deep as the lowercase letters and they aren’t quiet as straight as I would really like but it will certainly work for my needs. I really like this process and even with purchasing supplies I will still spend less then I would have purchasing these. I can also use these to embellish my cards.
Above you can see one of the tags for the horse blankets. On this one the alignment is better and the depth is more consistent. I purchased split rings to attach these to the horse blankets and we will see how well they hold up to the elements. I really liked the metal stamping and it reminded me a lot of leather stamping which I did a little bit when I was a kid.
I hope this inspires you to try a new craft!