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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Making Custom Etched Jewelry Tags

I ordered a custom metal clay stamp from http://www.metalclays.com and have really enjoyed using it for my Cicada Silver jewelry.  I use my .999 FS clay stamp for the items that will be all fine silver and I use my metal .925 stamp to mark the fired tags that are to be used on the items that must be marked sterling silver.

Cicada Silver .925 tag
Cicada Silver Tag (Marked Sterling Silver)

That got me thinking about tags that I could use to mark the items for my other brand, Libellula Jewelry.  I knew that I needed tags that would be simple to make and not take too much time per tag, and would be inexpensive, and feature my dragonfly logo.  I decided that I would etch small, circular tags with a scaled down dragonfly from my banner.  A simple design that can be expressed in black & white is required for etching--no gray scale.  I chose to make the design round so that the tags could be cut out using my disc cutter which would save a lot of time.  I definitely did not want to choose a shape that required that I cut them out using my jeweler's saw.  Time is money and these should not be as complex or heavy as charms or pendants.  These should be simple, lightweight tags that don't take a lot of time or materials.

I prefer electrolytic etching because it is environmentally friendly.  You can etch copper, brass, bronze, and nickel silver using that method.

Grid of Etched Tags (drilled)
 Grid of Tags (Etched & Drilled)

finished etched copper tags
Finished Etched Copper Tags

Custom Etched Tags Tutorial

14 comments:

  1. I just love your sweet little tags. The copper dragonflies are fabulous! Thanks so much for the tutorial--not that I've ever etched before, and I don't even have a disc cutter, but I save these thing for future reference.

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    1. Thanks so much, Alice!

      If you do decide to try etching and have any questions, I'm always happy to help any way that I can.

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  2. Love those dragonflies!!! And I'm gearing up to try the etching (and buying a disk cutter, while we're at it). You inspire me!

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    1. Hi Gale! You're going to have so much fun. If you have any questions, ask away! I want everyone to enjoy etching as much as I do :)

      And, I'm very flattered that I've done anything that has inspired you. Thank you so much!

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  3. The tags are excellent for your branding. They look great. You are making me think about trying etching. So much to try...
    Andrea

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    1. Hi Andrea! Thank you so much. I think you would like etching and you could try (transparent) enameling them, too. Wouldn't it be great to enamel tags to match the beads in a necklace?

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  4. thanks for the tutorial, I must try etching!!

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    1. You're very welcome! I hope you find it useful. Have fun creating something beautiful :)

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  5. Oh how fantastic! You know, you could also make them to sell to other people who aren't quite as handy as you. They really do look beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Heidi! I would definitely make them if anyone was interested. It's kind of funny that you'd mention it, too...I'll email you!

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  6. These are awesome, Susan! Those copper dragonflies are delectable!

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    1. Well, aren't you a sweetie! Thanks so much :)

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  7. I especially like the dragonfly tags. Thanks so much for sharing the etching information.
    I've been thinking about you with this storm. Stay safe!

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    1. Thank you! I'm always glad to share any info that can help anyone.

      We're lucky that we didn't get anything worse than torrential rain and some wind. My LA friends did not fare as well. Those who were in New Orleans came through well. A musician acquaintance learned that his parents' house in LaPlace was flooding and that they were in their attic. It was tense waiting to hear that they were rescued (today).

      Thank you so much for thinking about us! :)

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