8.06.2012

Hand Stamped Silver Jewelry- my little (former) business

Awhile back, I wanted a hand stamped silver charm with my son's birthstone and some sort of saying that summed up our infertility journey.  I found the perfect charm...for $75.  For SILVER.  I could never pull the trigger on that purchase and wondered how much it REALLY cost to make.  Very quickly, I found out the answer was both "a bit" and "not so much!"

"A bit"- start up costs.  A font can be anywhere from $25-168.  You also need a steel block with a rubber base, a good sturdy hammer, a sharpee, blank charms, a punch, jump rings, sodering tools, number fonts if necessary ($30+), decorative stamps ($9+ each), birthstones (varies, I paid around 50cents/swarovski and around $1/pearl), pretty pouches, and a dapping block.

You can get a lot of this at Michael's these days and use the 40% off coupons at will.  I mostly had to make due with online retailers and the heavy cost of shipping metal items.

All of these supplies except for the hammer live in a small drawer in my kitchen island.  The hammer lives in hubby's tool box :)




"Not so much!"- A 1" silver blank costs me 65cents.  I already own all the tools.  I'm still good on birthstone gems, but as I stated above, the most expensive ones were $1 each.  I also got into making stamped washer keychains for daddy gifts, and those cost literally pennies at Lowes for the washers and under $3 for a good sized pack of keyrings at Michaels- plus coupon discounts! :)


So, I got all my supplies, cracked out a bunch for my friends at around $10-15 shipped, and make back my money in start up costs.  That gave me a lot of practice, it gave them a great price on a lovely item for themselves or gifts, so everybody wins.

Next, I opened up a shop.  Very quickly, this sweet article appeared about my jewelery.

Screenshot of article- links won't work, sorry! :)


I had many orders and lots of fun, but hand stamping isn't easy.  Lining up each letter or number one by one, keeping them straight but on a curve...oy.  That must be where the massive retail price increase comes from!

Eventually I closed up shop and just make them as gifts, or by request for a small fee (basically materials + shipping).

Here's a look at some of my designs!

anniversary/wedding gift

Name + birthstone + small circle

birthstone of 3 grandchildren

Name + Birthstone + Small Heart

Child love + birthstone

Eventually, I branched out a bit into these items:

Photo charm- materials = another start up cost!

Daddy key rings- washers with names & We <3 Daddy, World's Best Dad, etc.

Birds Nests- pearls for # of children, or # of babies that did not make it (unhatched eggs)

Mommy charm with bird nest representing the number of children

I still do these by request, and I have a gallery of TONS of other charms and keychains I have made...all sorts of shapes, sizes, and occasions.  I love how creative my customers have been!





6 comments:

  1. Any chance you'd be willing to share where you get your silver blanks for under $1 each? Most I see are$7 . It's crazy. I'd love to find silver, brass and copper blanks. Maybe you are not using sterling silver? Also, do you solder the rings together or do you solder the metals together? Thank you for your time,

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    1. Hi Lilbirdie! Thanks for stopping by. All of my silver blanks ARE in fact sterling silver and since I have a business tax ID number I am able to purchase them from jewelry suppliers. You can also buy metals in sheets and use a die cutter to punch out the size you need. I do not solder metals together; I use a permanent jewelry resin if I need to adhere them. I don't usually solder jump rings so that new birthstones, etc can be added as needed, but I'm very careful to clamp them completely closed.

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  2. I can't find a spot to contact you. Can I get you to make something for me? I'm looking for this, http://pinterest.com/pin/108860515965761461/

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  3. I love the marathon necklace. I have completed one marathon and planning on doing my second this fall (with a better time!!) I

    popular jewelry fashion

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  4. Daddy key rings- washers with names & We <3 Daddy, World's Best Dad, etc. buy wholesale gemstone jewelry online

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