chriscraft

Alphabet stamping on a Firefighter Shield

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This is my first project using an alphabet set. I have been carving out my own freehand style lettering in the past on the few personalized projects I've made. The top of the leather shield needed to fit 14 letters with some spacing in between. Bottom section needs to fit various length last name on each shield. So I had to order a small 1/4" alphabet set for this Firefighter shield project.

I designed the layout for this shield to be able to accommodate the top lettering the best.

Pride Of The Park Shield 000.JPG

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This small order was for 9 leather shields so I had a die made to cut my shields.

Pride Of The Park Shield 001.JPG

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I made my pattern from poster board. I've been using poster board for templates for many years now and I just feel comfortable using this material. It cuts easily with an X-Acto blade and has a clean edge to lay an outline against.

Pride Of The Park Shield 002.JPG

Pride Of The Park Shield 003.JPG

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After hand cutting out the number and bottom cutout for the last names I used a stitch groover only on the outer edge of my shield.

Pride Of The Park Shield 004.JPG

My top banner will be tooled and I had already spaced out my 1/4" lettering to fit within this banner.

Pride Of The Park Shield 005.JPG

Pride Of The Park Shield 006.JPG

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Using a small 5 3/8" divider, I layed out my stitch line and outer swivel knife line.

Pride Of The Park Shield 007.JPG

Pride Of The Park Shield 008.JPG

Pride Of The Park Shield 010.JPG

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Now I just follow my lines along with a swivel knife to make my cuts.

Pride Of The Park Shield 011.JPG

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I used a small 2-pc. pebble background tool. This shield will be dyed black so I really didn't take additional time to carefully make these impressions, you can see heal marks and such but it will all blend in when finished.

Pride Of The Park Shield 012.JPG

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This is where I begin to stamp the 1/4" letters. I made the right side of the banner same length as the left to keep things slightly centered. I'll need to end the last letter near the edge of the right side so I'll start with the last letter first working toward the center.

Pride Of The Park Shield 013.JPG

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You can make yourself a lettering template and use it to center all your letters. That way all your multiple work looks similar. 

IMG_7405.JPG

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Each letter is marked where it will be stamped.

IMG_7398.JPG

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IMG_7400.JPG

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You may get a slight ghost impression of the square stamp. If you do use a modeling spoon and rub the square impression away. Most of it will blend away as shown. You will get better results if you dampen with a sponge and re apply the modeling spoon. I waited till all the letters were stamped before removing the square impression.

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Once finished with the alphabet stamping I let the cased leather dry before dying everything black.

Pride Of The Park Shield 014.JPG

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Front tooled leather used was 7/8 oz. Center sandwiched leather was 5 oz. that was skived around the edges. This will be backed with  8/9 oz. leather.

  I waited till I stitched the 5 oz. piece of leather, that way I can stamp in the last name to make sure this lettering will be centered.

Pride Of The Park Shield 015.JPG

Pride Of The Park Shield 016.JPG

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Most FF leather shields have a metal plate rivet to the back of the shield. This ends up leaving a visible rivet on the front as well. I came up with this way to hide the front rivets or in this case just eliminate the use of a front rivet. My metal plate will be sandwiched between the front and back layer. The only rivets one will see will be on the back side.

Pride Of The Park Shield 017.JPG

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Last name is stamped in the bottom section. Now Just glue and stitch away.

Pride Of The Park Shield 020.JPG

Pride Of The Park Shield 021.JPG

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This came out nice. The hidden metal plate is out of sight and no rivets on the front face of this leather shield. Not bad for my first project using an alphabet stamp set.

Pride Of The Park Shield 022.JPG

Pride Of The Park Shield 023.JPG

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 These Blacked Out leather Firefighter shields have become popular. This sturdy leather shield will provide many years of service. The owner will need to drill or punch the two mounting holes required to mount this onto a leather firefighter helmet.

Pride Of The Park Shield 024.JPG

Pride Of The Park Shield 025.JPG

Pride Of The Park Shield 026.JPG

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Stunning!!!!!!

jr

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Awesome tutorial.

Thanks

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That's a nice job of laying out the lettering.  Everybody who''s used them knows what a pain those stamps are -- and multiple "instruction" videos showing one letter placed against the previous one don't help!  And then, if there's any contour at all to the lettering due to being on a banner (or ribbon), then the stamps are out the window anyway ;)

 

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I quickly found out that I needed to tune these letters. The casting on the letters have rough edges that made laying some letters beside others difficult. I filled away each rough edge and rounded them a little. I didn't do them all at once as this would take some time. Just thought I'd mention this for those having issues lining up these inexpensive alphabet sets. 

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Awesome tutorial.  Thanks for sharing.

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Chris - I'm late in joining this thread and new to the forum. I have viewed your fly fishing yokes and this topic. Your work is beautiful and very creatively artistic. Thanks for sharing how you created these shields. I especially like the templates that you use with the poster board. You mentioned that you use a 2 pc. pebble background tool. Is it a vintage tool or one that you recently purchased? If so, would you mind sharing where you got it? I like the imprint it makes and it adds a different look from traditional background tools that I have used.

Edited by Lakejumper

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Nice work

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Chris - I did a search and found the tools from a couple of suppliers.

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Sorry for the late reply Lakejumper. I'm using a new pro series Hidecrafter pebbler 3pc set. 

Thanks for the compliment. 

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