Browsing Tag



Tag, you’re it! Custom Jewelry Tags

“Every job is a self portrait of the person who did it …
Autograph your work with excellence.” 
~Vince Lombardi 

Before I designed jewelry I was a collector of costume jewelry. That is all that I could afford, and I didn’t realize that there were other options. I recall having a piece of Monet jewelry that seemed to cost a lot to me at the time, and it had this little tag near the clasp. It was identified by that brand tag forever and made it more special in my eyes.

When I started designing jewelry of my own, I knew that I wanted to somehow sign my work. After all, artists sign their paintings and we have all seen the Antiques Roadshow where a patron has a signed copy of an artwork that is worth thousands that they didn’t even realize that they had. Early on, the pieces that I made were definitely not worthy of the moniker of ‘art,’ and they certainly didn’t include art beads, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming that one day my signature might be worth something!

I am glad that I had the foresight to think of this back in 2006. It was actually one of the first branding moves that I made, long before I decided on copper boxes and chocolate satin ribbon with my company name and skeleton key logo hot foil stamped on it. As I am prone to do, I did a lot of research before deciding on what was right for me. In fact, one of my very first posts on Art Bead Scene back in 2009 was about this very thing. There are many options out there for signing your work.

{the Tesori Trovati skeleton key logo stamp}

At the time I paid around $150 for a custom stamp to be cast of my exact skeleton key logo from Microstamp. This was way before there was an explosion of metal design stamps out there, and now I see that there are plenty of skeleton key design stamps that I could use, but I am pretty happy with the one that I had created just for me. Because I am the only one that has it.

Along with that, I purchased bulk packages of little oval tags, also from Microstamp, in sterling silver, gold filled, brass and copper. This size above is 6x9mm. I find that I gravitated to the copper and silver ones the most, as that matches the metal tones that I used more frequently and I have recently made the decision to stick to copper since that became a signature metal tone for me early on. I can also use this to stamp the back of a metal piece instead of a tag, an added bonus.

Beaducation offers such a huge variety of metal design stamps that you might be able to find something that could brand your work from their stable of popular designs rather than having something custom made. Then you just need to find the little tags to stamp them on and you are set!

{TagMate System from Infinity Stamps}

I did a lot of research on Infinity Stamps. They have a really nice tool called the TagMate System that you use to steady the stamp so that you get a true impression each time. I can tell you that I have baggies of little tags that I ruined because I stamped too light, too heavy, or got a ghost image from an overeager double blow with the hammer. Eventually, I picked up a dead blow hammer and got the hang of it so I don’t make those mistakes any more. The price was considerably higher, but the main reason I didn’t go with this is because at the time they only had a limited supply of sizes of the tags that fit their tool and they didn’t offer them in copper, which was my favorite, or brass. However, I see that they now carry a much larger variety of metals, like brass and copper and shapes, like hearts and ovals and rectangles. They also offer stamps perfect for clay, like polymer and precious metal so that if you use those materials you can sign your work as well. If I didn’t already have a stamp, I would surely look closer at this product now.

{cast pewter tags from Charm Factory}

You could also have a custom engraved sig tag created for you all ready to go from Charm Factory. Since they offer engraving rather than stamping it is supposed to be quicker and more precise. They also offer a cast pewter option that is less expensive (see above). I also liked that option and might consider it in the future.

{the cutest little sig tags ever created by Mamacita Beadworks for Lorelei Eurto Jewelry}

Lorelei Eurto came up with a clever idea to sign her artisan pieces. She commissioned an artist named D’Arsie Manzella of Mamcita Beadworks to create a custom tag with a cute little owl on it and the initials “L E” for her name. That is so very beautiful!

{see how that cute little tag adds to the charm of this Lorelei Eurto bracelet?}

Since this is a bit more special and more pricey route to go, they might not show up in every piece that Lorelei makes, just the most artistically inspired, but I love how this is also an art bead with Lorelei’s favorite owl motif that can play into the whole design.

{Andrew Thornton’s unique signature – I would love to own a piece of his jewelry with this special tag!}

And I just stumbled across a blog post by my friend Andrew Thornton with little bronze tags that he made with his own signature for a jewelry line he was working on. I love the way these turned out and the color of the metal. If you work in PMC this would be an obvious option.

What other things could you do to make signature tags? These options above might not work for everyone, and can be an added cost that some are just not willing nor able to take on. There must be some other ideas from you clever people out there.

I work a lot in polymer clay now, and it is wonderful stuff. I think that it would be possible to make some tiny wafer-thin tags in a variety of colors that could easily be added to your work. You can even use products to patina the clay and make it look like precious metal, like the new Swellegant line created for Christi Friesen that works on all sorts of surfaces from metal to paper to clay. You can get these from Christi direct or from B’Sue’s Boutiques. Can’t wait to try them! But it all comes back to branding, and maybe if you can’t brand each piece of jewelry, start with your packaging with paper tags and stamps and stickers to make your work stand our from the rest.

Okay, so just by signing your work in some way doesn’t make it art, but it is a step in the right direction. Why? Because artists who care about their work, who see the value in it, and who believe that the piece is done will add their signature. Imagine finding a Miriam Haskell signed piece of costume jewelry, or Louis Comfort Tiffany. The value of a signature is not to be overlooked and who knows? Yours might be worth something someday!

Your turn…
Do you sign your work? How do you do it? 
If you don’t sign your work, would you consider it? What method appeals to you?
What else can you do to raise the level of your creativity from just making pretty to creating art? 

Erin Prais-Hintz invites you to go on a journey of inspiration at her blog Treasures Found :: Inspiration is Everywhere. You can view a gallery of her work at or purchase her new line of ‘Simple Truths’ in her Etsy shop.

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