Mending Plate Bracelet

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:

jump rings / findings

clasps

cord crimps

– 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.

16 Comments

  • Reply
    Pillows A-La-Mode
    November 17, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Those are AMAZING, Alex!!! I can’t wait to try this!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      November 18, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Thank you! I think I am going to try to make some ones with ribbons over the mending plates down the line. We’ll see how that goes.

  • Reply
    Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
    November 18, 2012 at 9:38 am

    The options for those are endless!!! Party favors, gift tags, wine collar… seriously, you may never need to buy another gift. Ever.

    I can’t wait to see your Christmas craziness. I too LOVE Christmas/ decorations/ mounds of junk everywhere for days while I get it sorted out… this year I had sworn I was doing less, but that’s not really working out the way I planned.

    Somehow I feel behind schedule already, despite having gotten started WAY earlier than ever before.

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      November 19, 2012 at 8:54 am

      Wine collar!! I like that! I am telling you that stamp set is the best $13 I have ever spent in the craft universe. Do you have yarn and twine all over the place? My kitchen table is covered with spray glue and bristol boards right now. I won’t even get into the cookie cutters. I have Easter mixed with Bears.
      No way woman I am very behind. Usually I have my Christmas cards done by now b/c of family in Poland. If I don’t send them out by the last week of Nov they do not arrive there til Jan. They’re going to get there in Jan at this rate. My husband has decided we’re not doing outdoor lights this year too. He’s like we have no time. Let’s just do all the indoor.

  • Reply
    Leah
    November 18, 2012 at 10:06 am

    These are brilliant! So many possibilities – you’re so clever!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      November 19, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Thank you Leah! 🙂

  • Reply
    Danielle
    November 19, 2012 at 3:37 am

    The mending plate bracelet’s are really cute, girl! Time to open an Etsy store… seriously. They are so fun and would make great stocking stuffers. I especially like the Twinkle one with the little stars. Home Depot brings out the best in you. 🙂

    My son has that shirt in red and wears it constantly thru the month of December. So question… we just saw a commercial for the Griswold glass moose mugs that they drink eggnog out of… have you seen those? How great would those be to have over the holidays?!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      November 19, 2012 at 8:57 am

      I wish! I have no time to do Etsy. I mean I would love to but I don’t know if my crafts are professional enough to warrant selling. You know when you look at your own work and nit pick? I’d re-do one bracelet 10x if the numbers weren’t where I wanted them to be. Can you tell I was the kid that sat in the corner in her own bubble with crayons and paper?

      Does he have that one or the “Are you Serious Clark?” My husband ordered that one. They have way better men’s ones than women’s. Which sucks. YES THOSE MUGS!! We’ve wanted them for years but could only find the original $100 glass ones. Now that they’re making plastic replicas we just may buy them.

      • Reply
        Danielle
        November 20, 2012 at 1:31 am

        I know EXACTLY your concern, but I can honestly say I think (for what it’s worth) they are good enough to sell. Do it. Seriously. Now. Stop second guessing yourself… we all see our own flaws, but these are really cool.

        Evan’s shirt is just like yours only in red. I didn’t realize they had others… I’m going to have to check around. I think my favorite part of the holidays is watching all the fun movies together as a family! I’ll have to find plastic moose mugs for sure then.

  • Reply
    Kate
    November 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Insanely gorgeous, and SO clever! I love these… have to try this at home; tell me; do you just whack the stamps with a hammer to create each letter (crafts which involve whacking things with a hammer being my very favourite kind…)? Once again, I’m in awe..

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      November 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      I just steal the smallest hammer from my husband’s tool chest (I don’t even use a proper crafting type of one just a plain old hammer) and go to town with the stamp kit. It takes a bit of practice to see how many hits per letter you need depending on the items surface. Some require a lot more hammering than others so I always have an extra to do a bunch of tests on. Go get one! I can imagine you’d make some amazing work considering how kick ass your projects are!

  • Reply
    Stephen Hughes
    November 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I absolutely love your bracelets and necklaces – and so much appreciate what’s written / stamped upon them. I’m so much looking forward to the winter weather and he joys snow brings!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      November 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks so much! There’s a bit of umm Christmas fanaticism in my little neck of the woods so I’m amazed I haven’t posted about just what’s going on with the indoor holiday lighting fiasco in our home.

  • Reply
    theforestnyc
    January 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    We just started a number of stamping projects right before I stumbled upon yours… The one with the black strap looks so classy. What a wonderful gift idea for men!

    • Reply
      Alex@northstory
      January 23, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Thank you so much! It’s amazing to me how much return I have gotten for craft projects from that little stamp set.

      You have some absolutely stunning work on your site BTW.

  • Reply
    Clarissa
    May 13, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Brilliant! I especially like ‘let it snow’.

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