Tuesday, July 14, 2015

DIY metal stamps

I'm exploring more texture options for metal. I've been able to buy a few high quality steel stamps that I'll use to frame some of my pieces, but those are hard to come by (an auction that is literally started and done in less than one minute) and take a large portion of my tool budget. (What tool budget??? I have no money to buy tools right now.)

So I decided to try to make a few simple stamps myself. I really can't believe how easy they were to make...I'm sure that's due in large part to the fact that they are simple designs. The more complex designs must be much more time consuming and difficult to make. 

I bought a pack of steel nails for about $3 at the hardware store, then heated the tips with my acetylene torch. 

I let the tips cool for a while - dunking them in water would harden them and that's not what I wanted for shaping. 

I sawed off the tip of the nail and drew a pattern on the flat head.  Then just shaped with files and my flex shaft until I got what I wanted, pausing to try it out along the way. 

When I felt like I had what I wanted, I used the torch to heat the nails again but this time quenched them in water to help harden them.

I'm really happy with how these turned out and am already thinking about other shapes I can make to add to my stamp collection.


  1. OMgosh that is a terrific idea! and so much more affordable too :^)

  2. And fun to make! I like the idea of the micro stamps for ring shanks and smaller details...