These necklaces are more than Vintaj components put together, they are the coordinates of the first kiss my fiancee and I shared. We were outside after our first date, my 30th birthday, under the moonlight and stars… It really could not have been more idyllic! The image is forever burned in my memory and now we both have necklaces with the exact UTM coordinates of that gorgeous spot, nestled in the woods on a quiet street in the Pacific Northwest.
While I was finding the coordinates for the necklace, I thought I would simply go to Google maps and grab the longitude and latitude and stamp them into the metal tag. When I shared the plan with my fiancée, a US Marine, he abruptly stopped me. He ran downstairs, grabbed his maps, and coordinate reading rulers, and his GPS unit. He laid them out on the work-table and taught me a few things about GPS, map-reading, and the difference between several methods of obtaining coordinates. In the end, he convinced me to switch from the conventional GPS coordinates, like Google uses, to the UTM (United Transverse Mercator) system.
There are several conversion sites online, so if you would like to make a similar set of necklaces to memorialize the location of an important event in your life, find the coordinates by locating the spots with a tool such as Google Maps and stick with those or go ahead and get super specific with the UTM Cartesian coordinate system. It is only a matter of preference.
Gather your Supplies:
For Both Necklaces:
1 x Vintaj 9mm Rib Cable Jump Rings (12pcs) JR106(pk12)
1 x Vintaj Jump Ring 4.75mm (25pcs) JR20(pk25)
2 x Vintaj Compass Star Drop DP138
2 x Vintaj Medium Tag P0518 (it is a good idea to have 1-2 extra tags just in case a mistake happens while stamping the numbers on)
1 x Vintaj Metal Reliefing Block V-BLCK1
Alphabet & Number Metal Stamping Set (2.8mm letter/number size or smaller)
Vintaj Steel Bench Block
Vintaj Rubber Dampening Block
Vintaj Flush Cutters (or other wire cutters for adjusting the length of the ball chain)
Tape (this will be used to hold your tag down while stamping)
Sandpaper (I painted my patina on too thick and ended up using a bit of sandpaper to remove some of the patina, usually the reliefing block will do the job)
Let’s Get Started!
First, figure out how long you want your necklaces to be. I cut about 2 inches off the men’s style and 4 inches from the woman’s style. Consider saving these for later projects, perhaps to incorporate into earrings.
Second, the smaller ball chain is already quite bright brass, but because the larger ball chain had a heavy patina and I wanted to add some flash, I put the reliefing block in my palm and gently ran the chain through my hand a couple of times, giving it some depth by removing touches of patina here and there.
Third, attach a 10mm Ball Chain Clasp to the larger chain and an 8mm Ball Chain Clasp to the smaller chain.
Time to Stamp and Paint!
Important! Have the coordinates you will be using written down in front of you.
The tag measures 41mm long and 8.5mm wide. Before you begin stamping, do the math of how much room your coordinates will take up. I went with 5 and 6 number coordinates, plus the decimal and one letter, that makes 8. If the stamps you are using are 2.8mm, then that is going to take up a bit less than 23mm of space. If you wish the coordinates to be centered on the tag, then you will need to measure to find out where to start, I started a bit under 1 cm down the tag.
First, place the dampening block under the steel bench block. Place the tag on the block and use a piece of tape on either end to hold the tag in place. Lay a piece of tape down the center of the tag so that you have a straight line to stamp along and to conserve space for your second line of text.
Second, make sure you know which way to orient your letters and numbers and that you have all the ones you need in front of you. One at a time, begin stamping out the coordinates. I find that striking the stamp twice in the middle and 2-3 times around the sides does a great job. Be careful not to slip!
When you have finished the first row, remove the tape from the center and stamp out the second coordinate. Repeat process for second tag.
Now it is time to add the color to make those coordinates pop! Brush away any metal dust from stamping and grab your paintbrush. Shake up the bottle of patina and place a few drops onto the tag. Use the paintbrush to apply it into the stamped text. Paint the Compass Star at this time. Repeat with alternate color and the other set of compass star and tag.
Let dry and then use the reliefing block (and sandpaper if needed) to remove color to your satisfaction and to shine up the brass as desired.
Put it All Together!
Once your pieces are dried and sanded, add two 4.75mm jump rings to each tag and to each compass star. Then add one Ribbed jump ring to that. Slide the components onto the appropriate necklace and you are finished!
You now have a special keepsake that you and your loved one can treasure forever!
This tutorial was created especially for Bello Modo by Wild Human Designs.
Wild Human Designs offers tutorials through the Bello Modo blog and is always available for custom orders!