Metal Complex Animal Lover


I made this personalized dog tag for Bea.  Bea is a cute tiny purse sized dog.  A tag like this would last one minute on my golden retriever.  This is a tag that should be worn supervised.  Ideally for a photo shoot!

For the last two weeks I have been showing you some of  the Metal Complex tools, punches and blanks that allow you to personalize or decorate your own items.

The Metal Complex blanks come in three colours: Brass, Copper and German Silver.  German Silver is really special.  You won’t find it in many metal product lines. I used a small round metal blank in German Silver and punched in the letters BEA.  Then I made a small hole at the top to create the look of a tag.

Since I planned to attach some White Apoxie Sculpt flowers and dots I used a little sand paper on the bottom of the tag.  This gave the Apoxie something to adhere to.

Here are my elements to built the new flowered dog tag.

Bea will be the prettiest dog in the park now!

If you want to try a more traditional shape there is a dog bone metal blank shape in the collection.  It already has a hole.

After using the metal punch alphabet to create the names I added a little extra texture with one of the decorative punches.  To make sure this was easy to read I also filled the lettering with some red coloured gilder’s paste.

Now I have a people key tag!

Supplies Used

German Silver Circle Blank 24Ga

Brass Metal Blank Bone with Ring

Gold Keychain

Chasing hammer

Metal Alphabets and Decorative Punches

Hole Punch

Hammer with plastic replaceable tips

Bench block

White Apoxie Sculpt

Pinotage Gilders Paste

Preciosa Crystal Chatons 29639-1434

Black and white dog collar from the dollar store.

The “Who Loves You” Ring

There are so many pretty designs you can create with metal.

This ring was easy to craft using Metal Complex Tools and Findings.  I needed my pieces to have patterns as opposed to letters so I didn’t have to work with as much precision as I do when stamping a name into metal.

After stamping my hearts into the circle and question mark shape into the petals of the flower I used a dapping block (coming to John Bead soon) to make my pieces curvy.

Then I made a small batch of Black Apoxie Sculpt to attach all my sections.  John Bead sells ring blanks with a pad.  These are easy to attach metal to.

Here is the first layer.  Ring pad to Apoxie Sculpt to the metal circle.

Then I flipped my samples so I could see better.  A small circle of Apoxie was used to attach the flower to the circle.  Then I made one last attachment.  The tiny circular mirror.  I used Apoxie Sculpt for this attachment too.

I let everything cure like this!

My ring features hearts, question marks and a mirror.  Perhaps it will show you who loves you.

Supplies Used:

Metal Complex Brass Flower Blank 24 ga

Metal Complex Brass Round Blank 32 mm – 24 ga

Gold Finger Ring with pad

Metal Stamps (Hearts)

Metal Stamp (question mark shape)

Chasing hammer

Hammer with plastic replaceable tips

Bench block

Black Apoxie Sculpt

Glass mirror was in Carmi’s stash.

Sentimental Mom Pin With Metal Complex

It really is wonderful to create personalized pieces of jewelery for family and friends with Metal Complex.  This kilt/bar pin holds the names of two lovely children and for the centre I dangled some vintage findings that match the colour of their birth stones; garnet and aqua marine.

I used two of the oval tags (supply list below) to make the name tags.  Since the tags are small, I used some masking tape to hold them in place on the bench block.

I even marked some spacing lines for the letters leaving extra space for the hole I would add at the top of each tag.

After punching each letter, my tag was a little warped.  I used this plastic tip hammer to gently flatten my tag again.

Punching the holes was a breeze with the Metal Complex Hole Punch.

My last step was to add a little gilders paste to the letters.  I wanted them to be darker and you can see on the finished picture that they are easy to read.

Supplies Used:

Metal Blanks – Brass Oval 12mm

Brass Bar/Kilt Pin

Alphabet punch sets

Chasing hammer

Hammer with plastic replaceable tips

Bench block

Hole Punch

Iris Blue Gilders Paste

Your Own Metal Jewel Tags

One of the items that makes hand made jewelery look professional is the addition of an artisan’s tag.  In my case, my initials are my calling card.

The new Metal Complex line at John Bead is perfect for crafting your own metal tags.  I used an alphabet metal stamp set, a chasing hammer, a bench block and a package of 24 gauge round brass metal blank to complete my project.  The blanks already have holes too!

One good solid tap with the chasing hammer to the alphabet punch is all you need to add each letter.

Now my brooch has my tag attached!

These tags are available in three colours: brass, copper and German silver.

As well as in a variety of shapes : Ovals , Rounds and Hearts !


Metal Complex Personalized Butterfly Sentiment

Yesterday I introduced you to the world of Metal Complex metal blanks, metal alphabet punches and tools.  Here is a little sample to get you started thinking about personalizing your own metal blanks.

Metal blanks come in all shapes and sizes in the Metal Complex line.  One of the first blanks I chose to work with is the 24g Brass Butterfly.

Lots of people have different tips on how to get your words or letters punched into the metal.  I like to just use a charcoal pencil or marker to make some spacing dots.  Others might use a a little masking tape to create a straight line.  I am a pretty good at eyeballing my lettering.

In order to impress a letter (there are several alphabet punch sets to choose from) into the metal you need a chasing hammer, which does all the work.  One strike with the hammer on the bench block and you get a very deep impression.  I choose the sentiment: ” I Will Always Love You.”

The metal hole punch made my holes for me.

See how it punches out the perfect little disk?

Then I set about colouring my butterflies.  This makes them my own.  First, I added lots of colour to the letter impressions with Iris Blue Gilders Paste.

Then I covered the butterfly (being careful not to go into the blue lettering) with Inca Gold Gilders Paste.

Then a final coat of Silver Gilders Paste.  Now I have a completely personalized set of butterflies.   I choose to make them a grouping on a necklace.  I have so many different ideas I want to try out though!

Have You Seen Metal Complex?

There are some fabulous new tools and products in the John Bead catalog.  Metal Complex is the reason I have created these pretty leaf pendants.

The metal alphabet punches in the Metal Complex collection are the stars of this special blog post.

Alphabet punches are getting more and more popular.  They allow you to create your own names, sentiments or patterns on what would ordinarily be a blank piece of metal.  For this project I used a strip of metal to practice on and then three Metal Complex Leaf blanks.  The blanks are 24 gauge brass.  They are also available in copper and German silver.  The chasing hammer does all the work.  One strike with the hammer on the bench block and you get a very deep impression.

I used a charcoal pencil to write my sentiment on the blank.  It made it easier to see where I would be punching and I knew that the words would fit.

The metal hole punch made my holes for me.

Just a few twists with the tool and a perfect hole can be had!

Then the fun began.  I pulled out my Gilders Paste and choose a group of colours I wanted to work with.

I added dark colour into the letter impressions and then lighter colours around them.

I let these dry for 12 hours and then I applies a matte lacquer coating.  I hope you are inspired to start working with punches!

Stay tuned for many more posts about metal stamping!