This all started because I went looking for something to get my husband for his birthday. Now gifts for men overall, I find very hard to find. Not because there’s not enough suggestions out there, but with my husband because he pretty much already has everything he wants.
Steelers Jerseys. Check.
Innis & Gunn Beer. Check.
His truck. Check.
That covers sports, beer and things on wheels. So I had to pull out the big guns and get out the sentimentality card. He does wear jewelry but it’s still relatively masculine jewelry. His wedding ring, leather cuff bracelet and I once got him engraved dog tags for a special occasion that he treasures dearly. So I started thinking what can I do that’s handmade that doesn’t involve Crayola and “I love you Daddy” hand painted birthday cards (the kids made him all that gushy stuff). My answer was in the hardware aisle of Home Depot.
He was out looking at mitre saws one afternoon (and that’s not a typo, we spell ‘miter’ saws ‘mitre’ up here – see here’s proof) and I was ensuring Little C wasn’t becoming a fan of drill bits in her mouth when I came across these.
They’re mending plates / braces. The ones I got were from Stanley. You can buy them at any Home Depot, Amazon or major hardware store. A package of 4 cost me $0.79. There are different brands and different sizes as well as different finishes (galvanized, brass, metal etc.)
I had seen and done quite a few washer necklaces but I thought what if I could stamp the plate and make him a personalized bracelet.
So I did just that.
I gathered up some basic jewelry making supplies from my local craft store:
– 2 pairs of small pliers (which I stole from my husbands tool chest)
– my TEKTON metal stamp step that I can’t seem to stop talking about on here
– packages of different coloured cords that I got at the dollar store that were obviously meant for a necklace, but I took off the ends and used the cord for the bracelet.
I stamped the dates of our kids birthdays on the mending plate, just because I know for myself, as much as I love my own birthday, I vastly look forward to my children’s more than my own these days. I have a washer necklace that I made for myself with their birthdays stamped on it. Initially I wanted to do it in Roman Numerals but my older daughter’s birthday took up the entire plate and it was just like a run on sentence from hell.
So numeric numbers it was. I then did a simple bracelet assembly with all the parts and after all was said and done, it looked like this.
The one, if only tiny downfall, of this particular brand of mending plate is that the company logo is stamped on the back of the plate. But for me that didn’t matter because when you’re wearing it you don’t see it anyway and you can always cover it up with a piece of ribbon or fabric glued on.
Of course while I was making these Little L was all “Can I please have one too?”
So then all these projects below happened. I affectionately call it the mending plate bracelet / stamped washer necklace “Holiday Collection”. At just around a $1 in bulk cost per item that’s a pretty good deal.
This next one was a necklace at first. I just added two Star Brads (paper fasteners) in the middle of the holes and wrapped fastener parts around the cord.
Then my indecisive self turned it into a bracelet instead. But I thought I’d show you both just in case you’re more of a necklace making person.
The bracelets are a great size for adults but for kids it may be a bit big. However try telling that to a 5 year old who thinks it’s so cool that she has a bracelet that reads Twinkle just in time for Christmas.
Come to think of it, this is a great stocking stuffer idea. I’ve got to get on that. You know, along with all the other insane Christmas crafts that I still haven’t started while wearing this the whole month of December:
Oh yes. It’s been ordered. I warned you. We go Christmas crazy here.