Hand-Stamped Washer Pendants


Here is my other Christmas project for 2013: Washer Pendants with words stamped into them. I saw them on Pinterest and then searched and found variations online.

Stamp Set and Bench Block

You will need washers, a metal stamping set, (I got mine at Harbor Freight Tools – 1/8″ Steel Stamping Set for just $9.99), a hammer and a hard, flat surface on which to stamp.

I used a silver paint pen to write the letters on the side of each stamp, with the letter facing me when the stamp was correctly positioned for stamping.  I also wrote the letter on the top end of each stamp but banging on them with a hammer has blurred or even removed the ink from some of the stamps.

You will also need a chain or cord for each necklace you make (mine are  32 inches long), a black Sharpie to color the letters so they’re more visible and rubbing alcohol to clean off the excess ink.  If you want, you can dress it up a bit with a charm or other embellishment and some jump rings to attach the charm.  I bought some bead chain but decided I liked the simple, black cord better.

Necklaces on cord

All in all, even with purchasing the stamping set, it was a very inexpensive project for me.  I had the hammer, Sharpie and rubbing alcohol.  Rem provided a small, round bench block for stamping on, and I picked up some charms, jump rings and cord.

I saw several sites that suggested stamping in smooth concrete, such as your garage floor.  I don’t have a garage and don’t work well sitting on the ground.  They also caution against doing this on your kitchen or dining room table because you really don’t want to mess them up. I tried using a cement wall but found it awkward doing the project while standing.  Once I got fixed up with the small bench block, I used it on the table (with a towel underneath to protect the surface of the table) and it was smooth sailing.

By all means, use your garage floor if you have one and it has space for such projects. But if you don’t, you can order a small bench block online for less than $10.00.

Washer necklace embellishments

These aren’t hard to make but I found they took some practice.  Buy plenty of washers!  Washers are inexpensive and you’ll feel better if you have plenty on hand if you mess up a letter.  It is pretty certain that you’ll mess up a few, so plan on it.


The letter B and the letter E were both a bit tricky.  I stamped plenty of E’s that looked like F’s.  LOVF.  PEACF. Wrong.  That bottom bar of the E just didn’t always stamp.  And some of my B’s looked like P’s.

I was sometimes able to carefully realign the stamp on the washer after I’d moved the stamp and seen the letter wasn’t stamped fully.  But more often than not, I would move the stamp ever-so-slightly and stamp a ghost image that was not quite lined up.

Hold the hammer about halfway down the handle for a combination of good control but some weight in the swing.  I gave it three solid smacks, holding the stamp carefully in place.  With more practice, I had better success.

Once you have the word or phrase stamped into the metal washer, scribble into the letters with the black Sharpy.

Sharpie on Letters

Wipe off the extra ink with rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing Alcohol

Letters with and without Black Ink

This is how the letters look with and without ink.

If you are adding a charm, open a jump ring.

Jump Ring

The one on the right is best – holding onto each side with pliers, twist the two sides opposite directions to open.  The one on the left was pulled wider.  This makes it difficult to reshape the jump ring into it’s original shape.

I stacked two little beads on a bead pin as an embellishment for a necklace for myself.

Bead Embellishment

Cord, charm, jump ring, washers

Here are all the pieces for my necklace: cord, embellishment, jump ring and stamped washers.

Loop of cord into washers

Fold the cord in half, matching up the ends evenly, and put the loop through the washers from the back.

Pull ends through loop

Put the ends through the loop and pull it snug.

Add charm

Add your charm to cord on one side. You can slide the closed jump ring over the cord or close the jump ring over the cord with the pliers, twisting the opposite sides back together.

I like the simplicity of a sliding pair of knots for the ends of the necklace.  This works for a cord that will be long enough to go over your head while remaining knotted and isn’t meant to be untied every time.  You could also add a clasp to the ends of the cord.

Align Cord Ends

For a sliding knot, get your two cord ends close together, aiming opposite directions.

Hold in Left Hand

I’m right-handed, so I hold the cords together with my left hand.  With my right hand, I tie the left end over both pieces of cord, using a simple overhand knot.

Knot 2

Repeat on the cord to the right, again tying the knot over both pieces of cord.

Tighten knots

Tighten both knots.  Trim the ends of the cord if they’re longer than you want.


Slide the knots together.  After you put the necklace over your head, you can slide the knots apart and shorten the length of the necklace.

Bead Chain

Bead chain looks great too and the simplicity of a single word with no extra embellishment is appealing.

I enjoyed thinking of short phrases or word combinations for different people.

Washer Necklace Trio

More Necklaces

While writing this post I wanted a few more photos of the process so made a necklace for myself, something I didn’t take the time to do in the rush up to Christmas.

Make Stuff, Be Happy

It’s my new, favorite necklace.

Thank you for all the visits throughout the year, the great comments and the ongoing support.  I love writing and sharing my thoughts with you.


Filed under Crafts

5 responses to “Hand-Stamped Washer Pendants

  1. well, isn’t that nifty…Sounds like gifts for next year…thanks!

  2. michelle barrett

    Dianne, these are outstanding. I think this project if my favorite so far. I have thought about getting those stamps for a long time-who knew a project this cool could be so reasonable price wise. Happy New Year.

    • Get the stamps and get a bunch of washers while you’re at it. There are lots of different shapes you can buy from bead & jewelry sites for stamping, but I love the washers. Happy New Year to you too!

  3. I love this! I found your post yesterday and stopped on the way home from work to get the stamps and some washers. My kids and I made some last night, then I went and bought cord today. Can I ask where you got the little embellishments? They’re so cute! Thanks for the instructions!

    • Hi, Kristen – Thanks for the great comment! I got some of the embellishments at Michaels – they were sold in sets. I think I had some in my bead box and don’t know where they came from. There are bead stores online if you don’t have one close by. Two I like and have ordered from in the past are Ornamentea: http://www.ornamentea.com and Baubles and Beads: http://baublesandbeads.com/store/search.asp

      Put “charm” in to search their sites. I’d love to include a photo of your finished projects in my Readers’ Gallery. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll send my email.

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