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Monday, April 18, 2011

Hand Stamped Washer Necklace

I have a friend with a bit of a wild fashion sense.  You know, one of those mamas that wears things and I think, “there is NO way in heck I could pull that off.”  Yet, she does.  And she does it well.

I wanted to give her something for her birthday (in February) that she would appreciate, but still stick to my “handmade gift” goal I made as part of my 101 in 1001.  So, I got to brainstorming.  This is what I came up with.  Hopefully, she’ll like it… yes, actually gifting it is still sitting in my “to-do” pile… don’t judge me.

I love personalized items.  It gives you the sense that no one else has one like it, that it’s special.  If it’s handmade, it’s probably a little more true.  It also gives a gift a special touch.  You made it just for them, right?  In this case, right.  Probably in most cases.  Hand Stamped Washer Necklace, anyone?

This particular necklace I made a mother’s necklace of sorts (except they only have on child, the other two are her and her husband). 

Here’s the How:
1)  You will need washers, which you can purchase in a variety of sizes and metals.  I used a stainless steal washer (in case of allergies, even though it was more expensive).  I don’t know the specifications exactly and they are upstairs, packed in a box, in the room where Little Monkey is asleep.  So… I’ll update this when I get a chance.  Sorry.  They weren’t very thick though.  You will want a hammer as well. 
You will also need a stamping set.  I got mine at Harbor Freight for less than $10.  I think they might have been on sale, but even normally, they weren’t very expensive.  I haven’t had any problems with them.

2)  Find a flat, solid surface to do your stamping on.  I used the concrete slab of my parents’ back patio.  Just a heads up with that though, you will want to find a spot where the cement is smooth.  Otherwise, you’ll get pock marks in the back of your washers. 

3)  Decide what you want your washers to say.  I also made one that said “I love you”.  My Mr. Right promptly claimed that one and keeps it on his key chain.  Pull out your stamps and set them out in order.  Misspelling is a lame oopsy!  Ask me how I know……  especially with expensive stainless steel.  Another thing to consider is where on the washer you want your word(s).  I had to make some changes because it didn’t really occur to me at the time.

4)  Carefully, pound out your words with each stamp.  Ideally, you will hit the stamp hard enough that you only have to hit it once.  I had to hit each one at least two or three times.  Sometimes the stamps jump a little too… notice the “T” in “Katie” and the last “R” in “Trevor”. If you’re a perfectionist, this may not be the project for you.  I just realigned my stamp as best I could.  Some imperfections add personality… right?

5)  After you have your washers stamped, decide how you are going to display them.  My Mr Right just slid his washer right on his key chain, easy.  The necklace was a little more work.  I used a thin strand of leather cord and tied the washers together with a larks head.  I used three separate pieces of cord.  I tied knots on the back of the washers and then Super Glued them to help them hold.  Then I attached a toggle clasp and secured that with some Super Glue and WA-LAH! 

Cute and personalized.  It was fairly easy to do… except it took me a while to actually get it all done.  Why?  Well, because I didn’t plan it out before I started and I tried a few other things, but it wasn’t what I wanted.  Ultimately, that also cost me a little more… And drove My Mr Right cRaZy!  But, you have a plan, from start to finish, so go stamp some washers!


Purchase your own personalized, 
hand stamped washer necklace:

Number of Washers
Text, separate washer with "\"
Additional Text (optional)


  1. Krista I think the best is that uou have this great creativity and are willing to try new projects.

    I love it!

    Come and join my Fashionable Giveaway from the French Basketeer!


    Art by Karena

  2. I love the (3) washer necklace. Did you use a sharpie to highlight the letters after you stamped them? I am definetly doing a key chain for my kids to give there day for Father's Day! And I may do one for both my dads! Thanks for the great Idea!

  3. I like it! You did a very nice job.

  4. so cute! i love the hand-stamped look, and I love your goal of handmaking gifts!!!! they are so much more special!

  5. hi, stopping by from under the table and dreaming.
    cute necklace, love how you put it together. The leather cord is a great idea.

    I did something like this for christmas present tags. I didnt expect the gift recipients to like them so much but they all turned them into necklaces, bracelets and key chains.

    you can see them here if you want.

  6. Stopping by from FJI - I'm doing some of these too! Thanks for the idea of leather cord; it's a good option instead of a chain :)

    Jill @ JunkyVagabond

  7. You've been featured! Check out the post and grab a button if you'd like. I love your stuff!

  8. I bought washers and the stamps from HF and I just can't make them work. Maybe I don't hit the hammer hard enough!? Yours turned out beautifully!

  9. This is so cool! I would love it if you would link up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: I hope to see you soon!
    ~Macy from Confessions of a SAHM

  10. That is a great idea. I bought washers that I was going to modgepodge paper onto but lost interest in that before I ever did it. Like this idea much better. Now to buy a stamp set!

  11. I'm loving your blog and those necklaces! Very nice!
    I am hosting a party today if you have anything you would like to barter with other bloggers!
    Come by and check it out and see if anything catches your eye-Free Shopping (except for a little shipping)!


  12. Kristy@MyPretties said... 8

    I bought washers and the stamps from HF and I just can't make them work. Maybe I don't hit the hammer hard enough!? Yours turned out beautifully!

    Kristy@MyPretties, I had a hard time with it too! Hubby isn't happy that I spent the money on two stamps sets (couldn't decide on size) and a box of stainless washers (cheaper to buy 100 than to buy in small groups).... Oopsie! maybe I will keep trying, but right now, my frustration made me stop! after ruining 5..... ugh!

  13. Thanks for the detailed tutorial! My suggestion for metal stamping is to use a hammer that is heavy enough so you only have to hit the stamp once. If you are using your stamps often, make sure you use a brass hammer. The steel hammer head on the steel stamps can make them warp after use, and nobody wants a crooked stamp. If you color in your letters with a sharpie you can use a polishing cloth quickly to wipe off the ink you don't want. As for frustations...practice on softer metal (lighter on the hammer) and then try harder metal.


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