Make Jewelry That Says it All

Feb 26, 2010
Leslie Rogalski Spacer 10x10 pixels Make it personal

Anyone remember a song called “What Are Words Worth?” by the Tom-Tom Club? They chanted about the power of words and their impact on others who hear or read them. Words and letterforms—even in foreign alphabets or as calligraphic symbols-––leave no doubt what you want your work to say about yourself or the meaning you send to the special someone who wears it. Here are just a few ideas how to express yourself with word jewelry:

Rubber stamping
Rubber stamping is easy to use with resin beads; but which inks or paints are best? Judy Tomsky of Natural Touch specializes in resin beads. Her tips for stamping on resin beads: “I like using acrylic paint or fabric paints that wash easily off my stamps,” she says. “Pour your paint onto a tray and use a sponge to dab the color onto your stamp.” She also prefers unmounted rubber stamps for the cleanest images on resin beads.

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 Sara Richardson used stamped resin beads in her Culture Cuff. They’re not words, but they send a clear message: we love you, yeah, yeah, yeah!
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Adirondack® Acrylic Paint Dabbers are a mess-free way to apply color to your stamps.
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Mixed-media messages
Découpage is a way to adhere flat layers to a surface, with an easy-to-find craft store gel medium.  It's a great method to wrap your worthy words around tube beads, to string into unique message jewelry. Fabric transfer also makes special jewelry: anything in fabric seems to me to be an instant heirloom, and stitching is such a marvelous textural detail.
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  Text BeadsSpacer 5x5 pixels
Text Beads by Belinda Spiwak show mysterious torn pieces of writing découpaged onto ceramic beads.
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The Passionate Egg by Marlene Blessing is a beaded brooch that opens to reveal a poem appliquéd inside.

Metal stamping makes a lasting impression
Talk about pounding your message home. Use a hefty brass-head hammer with metal stamps to imprint metal blanks or gently use your fingers to impress the stamp image into polymer or metal clay. Metal stamping tools come in several font styles in complete alphabet kits as well as individually. You can even have your name made as a stamp to add a signature charm to your work.

Word jewelry is an evergreen trend, something we love for years. We’re given baby name bracelets as children, and you can't deny our desire to communicate in other areas of fashion, such as T-shirts! From displays of ownership to phrases meant to inspire or simply entertain, our word jewelry sure tells it all.

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Good Impressions by Lisa Niven Kelly shows you how to personalize precut sterling segments with stamped words and link them together for a special gift.

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In her Inspire Bracelet, Cindy Wimmer textured a stamped element and wired it with washers. The rough textures really suit the industrial chicness of stamped letters.
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Spacer 10x10 pixels Learn how you can tell it all! Check out Lisa Niven Kelly's book and DVD combo, Stamped Metal Jewelry. The book is chock-full of how-tos and designs, and the DVD treats you to a video workshop. More fun than I can find words for!
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Eastern Ombre Choker Your free project!
Enjoy using your own custom-stamped components in Jean Campbell's square-stitched Eastern Ombre choker project.

How do you express yourself with word jewelry? Share it here on Beading Daily.Spacer 5x5 pixels

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Heidi. wrote
on Feb 26, 2010 6:02 AM

So beautiful and inspiring!  I love all of them!  

Marlene@52 wrote
on Feb 26, 2010 2:49 PM

Great items! Where can one find  copper washers?

amycat wrote
on Feb 27, 2010 6:26 AM

The first bracelet I ever made was for my mother.  Silver cube letters spelled out  "Be of Good Cheer" (a saying we pass around in my family).

My favorite silver cube bracelet says "DANCE LIKE NOBODY'S WATCHING".  Every time I wear it, it reminds me to work like I don't need the money and to love like I've never been hurt.

on Feb 28, 2010 9:08 AM

Find copper washers at any hardware store, or look to your LBS for suggestions.


on Mar 1, 2010 2:07 PM

Love the stamped resin beads Judy! ..I've been using your resin for some time now and have had very good luck with the product 'StazOn'...a light coating of matte spray lacquer gives even more permanency!  Your resin is neat in that it can be drilled and embellished  with cold connection rivets,..tubing, name it! Be careful if you sit down to 'create''s addicting!  Have fun!  The sky's the limit...

thunderwear wrote
on Mar 7, 2010 2:23 AM

I was unable to find copper washers in any hardware store. I found some in online hardware stores but they were ridiculously expensive. Then I went to and searched the supplies and found several people who sell them, as well as many other metal components such as aluminum, brass, bronze and sterling and fine silvers.