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REACH Stamped Aluminum Cuff Bracelet Tutorial
Created by: Polly Nobbs-LaRue
To get a feel for the aluminum, firmly stamp the star in a few spots. For a detailed tutorial on metal stamping, see Metal Stamping 101 (PDF).
Stamp the word REACH.
With a light touch, use the thinnest center punch to stamp a small star point in a few spots. Note: Some of letters ended up a little "light" so I used the point as a design element to extend the missed spots of the letters.
Use a ball pein hammer (or the round side of a chasing hammer) to texturize and smooth the edges of the bracelet. Do the back side of the bracelet first, then the front. Feel with your fingers -- are any rough spots left? If so, texturize them too.
Add more stars and star-points as desired.
Designer Tips, Continued
Use the round side of the hammer to add a "milky way" texture to a few of the open areas.
Follow the directions of the BeadSmith E-Z Bender package to shape the bracelet strip into a cuff. This is SUPER FAST! It worked so well, you will swear it was designed just for this bracelet blank.
If desired, use ImpressArt Stamp Enamel to blacken the letters. I wanted it to be bright and starry, so I skipped this step.
Polish bracelet with your favorite polishing method, or evenly scuff it up with steel wool for a nice aged effect.
I always prefer to smooth rough edges and get a high shine by tumbling stamped items for a few hours. Saves a lot of time and keeps my hands cleaner. If you use this method, you'll need: a) Tumbler, b) 1 pack of Steel Shot and c) Shine Brite. An expensive investment for a single piece of jewelry, but if you make 20 pieces at a time at least once per week, you will LOVE this! It saves so much and helps keep your fingers from turning into leather from endless polishing.
1 each #44-772-34 ImpressArt Aluminum Bracelet Blank
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#69-245-18 EURO TOOL Stamp, Star with Spiral
#69-603 The BeadSmith E-Z Bender Tool for Cuff Bracelets