I wanted to show you what I did with some of the junky treasures I found last weekend. When I spotted a pile of mismatched silverware, I had to have it all and didn't waste any time flattening it out and stamping it. So many of you asked about the silverware stamping, so I want to apologize for getting ahead of myself and not being more specific. I wish I had thought about doing a tutorial before I finished this batch of silverware, but hopefully, this will give you a better idea of the tools I use. This post contains an affiliate link for your convenience.
I started pounding and stamping silverware about five years ago and now flat keys and other trinkets have become victims too. Warning: It's extremely addicting!!
I look for silver plated spoons, forks, and butter knives (regular knives are too hard), sterling is too expensive, and stainless steel is too hard and new looking. Most all flatware is marked on the back.
What you'll need:
- Silver plated spoons, forks, or butter knives.
- Letter/number metal stamping sets (affiliate link*). The stamps are available in different fonts, sizes, upper case/lower case, and decorative designs.
- A hard surface to stamp on such as an anvil or steel block. Notice my very sophisticated pounding surface? The bottom of an old sad iron works great and I already had it.
- Safety goggles
- Ear plugs are optional, but I always use them.
- Smooth rag to keep your silverware from sliding around (optional).
- A steady hand.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Forks are very easy to flatten and butter knives are pretty much already done for you. I lay the fork upside down on my surface, hold it by the handle, and hit it with a hammer a few times. Spoons are a bit more work and usually come out with a few wrinkles, but that's fine with me. I lay the spoon upside down, hold it by the handle and start hitting it in the center working my way out to the sides. To get them completely flat requires a few hits on both sides.
I've seen a lot of different tutorials and everyone seems to have their own method, but this is what works for me. I cover my pounding surface for a better grip, but this isn't something you have to do. Be sure to use something without texture on it like this old sheet. If you use a towel or something thick, it will transfer the texture to your silverware when you flatten them.
I like the whimsical look of these so I don't get too fussy about whether or not all the letters are straight. I lucked out on this one by eye-balling it. I like a little tarnish to show, so I lightly polish the silverware after stamping, and then use an ultra fine black Sharpie to darken the letters. CHEERS!
Sometimes I'll add a little rhinestone or other embellishment.
Ready and waiting to be planted.
If it's metal, rusty, old, and banged up, I'm going to put a plant in it. Doesn't every yard need a lard bucket? When I find baby shoes I usually tie them together, embellish them with some bling, and sell them. So many fun ideas, so I wanted to do something different with these scuffed up old shoes.
I decided on a Romeo and Juliet theme for this little shoe. Juliet is from a dictionary, then set in a vintage typewriter key.
To add weight and keep the spoon and fork in place, I filled the shoes with rocks. Not dirty old rocks, but decorative rocks I already had. Some dried moss and a real flower adds a pop of color.
A dried or silk flower would have worked, but I had some pretty flowers in bloom that were perfect. I tucked a little glass tube inside the rocks to hold water.