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For Raising Arizona Kids Magazine

I’ve been planning this post for weeks. But sometimes when I make plans I forget that I’m a mom. And I forget that cars can die, that kids get sick, that friends will need last minute help, that stores don’t like to carry exactly what I need or they purposely make it very hard to find, that family events tend to take all day… for three days in a row, and that my kids need to see my face from time to time.

So here it is but not without the help of three people who love me enough to dig me out of the hole I buried myself in this week: my awesome husband and my good friends Lanae Shrope and Stephanie Shumway. (And thanks to Lori Nielsen for the loan of her alphabet stamps!) Lanae is responsible for the chains and cords on the necklaces along with some of the work that went into making them. Stephanie cleaned my house and modeled for us. And my husband wound up doing the majority of the grunt work. You might be asking yourself what exactly I was doing. I’m still trying to figure that out.

And without any further ado, my make-your-own Mother’s Day washer necklace tutorial:

Washers (zinc plated)- Found at the hardware store. Buy a few extra for practice!
A heavy hammer- We used a 3 pound sledge
Alphabet metal punches- Found at Harbor Frieght
A cutting mat (optional)
A sharpie
Baby wipes
A magic eraser

Step 1: Place a practice washer on a concrete or tile surface. Use the cutting mat to protect the surface if necessary.

Step 2: Choose a letter and position it on the washer. Lift your hammer about a foot above the stamp and let it fall using only a touch of force. It will take a practice washer or two to get the hang of this. I ended up having my husband help with this.

Step 3: Personalize your washers with your desired message. We used a #2 Phillips screwdriver as a spacer. You can use a nail setter if you would rather a dot than a little star.

Step 4: Color in your letters with black Sharpie and then hairspray it quickly. Wipe off the excess with a baby wipe or a magic eraser. This takes quite a bit of elbow grease!

Step 5: Add the chain, cord or ribbon of your choice. We tried a few different options here.

In a matter of a couple of hours we knocked out six necklaces and a keychain for my dad’s birthday. And we had a blast! We have already come up with a list of different occasions to make these necklaces for. I ended up with one for myself and Stephanie and Lanae both went home with one.

We bought our washers at Home Depot for pennies a piece. The large one is a 5/8″ x 1 1/4″ zinc-plated fender washer and the smaller one is a 1/2″ cut zinc-plated washer. There are many different sizes and thicknesses to choose from and a couple of different finishes. If you want to get a little crazy, this blog post has lots of great ideas for different types of washer necklaces.

Have a very happy Mother’s Day!