Friday, June 22, 2012

Revived Yard Sale Finds

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.

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:  1) silver plated spoons, forks, or butter knives.  2) letter/number stamping set.  I have two sets with different 1/8" fonts.  The stamping sets are available in different sizes and fonts, and you can also buy individual stamps with different designs.  I purchased both of these online at Rings&Things.  3) 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.  4) hammer  5) safety goggles  6) ear plugs are optional, but I always use them. 7)  smooth rag to keep your silverware from sliding around (optional).

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 onto 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.  For a really good idea, check out what Barb at Treasures from the Heart does with her baby shoes.

I decided on a Romeo and Juliet theme for this little shoe.  These shoes will be coming with me to a show in Ashland, Oregon (home of the Shakespeare Festival) in a few weeks.  Juliet is from a dictionary and 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.


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My 1929 Charmer for Sunday's Best
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Twig Studios for Sunday Show Off

51 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips. I have some silverware just waiting to be stamped! I love the test tube in the baby shoe idea too!

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  2. Fabulous, Betsy!! I have everything I need to start stamping away, it's been on my to-do list!! I just may need to do that this weekend!!

    When you have a chance, come see what I bough this morning for $13.00!!!!!! You will NOT believe it!!!!

    xoxo

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  3. Oh, Harbor Freight carries the stamps. That's where I got mine :)

    xoxo

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  4. You make it sound so easy! Love they way they have turned out.

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  5. Heavens to Betsy, these embellished baby shoes are darling! Still hunting for silver plated flatware...going on my big junking hunt tomorrow and that's what I'll be looking for!

    Have you been to Ashland before? It's such a fun, pretty little town. Hope you can see a play while you're there--they're always top-notch.

    Thanks for a great post!

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  6. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I love the look of the stamped silver and I have a small mountain of here waiting for me to do something with it. One more little vintage addiction can't hurt...

    PS Just returned from Ashland a couple of days ago, shopping many, many of the antique stores between there and Portland. :-)

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  7. this is awesome. I have always wondered about the stampsing.

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  8. Thank you for sharing. Your instruction is very clear, and you obviously have a great eye for combining all the results.

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  9. Oh, Betsy, you make it sound so easy and your results are beautiful! Maybe my wrist problem was the 5-pound sledge hammer I thought I needed to use - LOL! I have some of those metal stamps and have never used them so maybe I will give it another try. Thank you for sharing.

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  10. How can you tell if the silverware is silver plated and not stainless or sterling?

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  11. Just what I wanted! To see you work your magic. Love the shoes in all their teeny glory! And with all that flattening and stamping, you must have biceps of steel. Great post, thanks for the tips on stamping metal.

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  12. Now I get it! What an awesome way to use the silverware. Definitely on my list of things to try. I really like the way the Lard can and the metal measuring cups look with the plants. Something else to keep an eye out for. Thank you so much for sharing your talents. I get inspired every time you share something new!

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  13. Those are so cute! Thanks for the tutorial. I have all required, but just another one of those projects on the back burner. I just remembered I have a bag of those tubes (mine are plastic) here somewhere.
    Enjoy your weekend.

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  14. Betsy, you creativity is awesome! I would never in a million years thought of using those utensils in that way!

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  15. Your unique garden stakes are so creative!!! You must sell out at every show! Love the baby shoe embellishments!!!

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  16. Great idea, the baby shoes! SO cute! I've wanted to do spoon stamping for a long time, just never happened. Happy to see you do it for me!

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  17. Oh Betsy! Everything turned out wonderful! Still oohing and awing over the sweet baby shoes!
    So that's what you had planned for the measuring cups, awesome. Still my fav is the flattened flatware (excuse the pun) So many uses!!
    Thanks for the tutorial and your pics are great. Very easy to follow!
    xo
    kat

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  18. These look so great, Betsy! I bought a set of stamps a couple of years ago and have yet to try them! I love your hints and the rhinestone you added makes it extra special! Thanks!

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  19. I would love to do this if I can find an alphabet tap set. I have the old silverware and even a sad iron. Thanks for all the great tips. Yours look sweet in your flowers. Pamela

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  20. Betsy,
    Love your creations.Looks like fun too!I may have to try this.
    (((Hugs))
    Anne

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  21. These are so cute and with all of the different words you stamp on them they have so many uses. I'm afraid my letters would never line up but I guess that's where you really call them shabby chic :) Love the baby shoes!

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  22. Every day I'm made aware of another old item I had forgotten about and/or never considered as something I need to be on the look out for. I can't say as I've ever come across old baby shoes. What a great idea though, and your tutorial on the flatware flattening is so cool and much appreciated.
    Liz

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  23. Love the garden markers! Very crafty!

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  24. My friends would always say that beauty always entails inflicting some pain. When I saw how you hammered out each letter in the spoon, waaaah I can't imagine the effort needed to have them in place :)

    Anyway, the effort was worth it because your output was a piece of priceless beauty. I love it! And you never failed me with that baby's shoes. Thank you for showing us how you repurposed that shoes.

    Have a great week Betsy!

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  25. I love 'em! Thanks for the instructions.

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  26. You have created another Stamping Addict... I have been Jonesin' to learn how to do this and now I have all the info I need to get started... obviously this will soon become an obsession. *winks* Thanks for Sharing...

    Dawn... The Bohemian

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  27. Thanks for sharing the turtorial on your wonderful work! They all look so lovely!

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  28. what a fun and creative project.
    found your blog via PINTEREST looking for ideas for yardstick art. . . . and i been hanging around for over an hour YIKES!

    love the coat hook projects you created . . . i may try my hand at making a few of these.

    your jewelery is terrific (keys)
    i do assemblage art- do stop by my blog when you can

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  29. They look great! Thanks for showing us how it's done...maybe...someday I will try it.

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  30. So cute!! They would be so charming in a garden!! I'll have to add spoons to my list now!!! :D

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  31. I really want to try this! I purchased one a while back but now I'd love to learn to make them! Looks like fun! I'm your newest follower now!

    sandy

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  32. I love cute little baby shoes. You can do so many things with them! Love your stamped silverware! You are so smart!

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  33. I have a big pile of collected silverware...I think I'd better get stamping...I can see how it would be addicting! Those little Romeo and Juliet shoes are too sweet :) Laurel

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  34. Your stamped flatware turned out so cute, Betsy. I like how your "planted" the baby shoe! :-) Sue

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  35. I really do like your stamped flatware. Do you ever put any in your Etsy shop? I also love the old cans you used for planters and the baby shoes!!

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  36. So many really cool ideas. I totally love the spoons!

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  37. Hi Betsy

    I would love to do this if I can find an alphabet tap set. I have so many old silver plated spoons in my studio. Thank you so a great inspiration.

    Julie x

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  38. such an awesome blog!! I am now a follower and can't wait to read more!

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  39. Somehow I missed a bunch of your posts so I'm going back and catching up. I love the lettered silverware, so cool!
    hugs, Linda

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  40. Love all your finds and what you've going to do to them. Have fun!

    Jody

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  41. Thanks Betsy, I really want to try this!

    Carol

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  42. Love the post. Now following. Hopefully you can stop by sometime over at possumhillfarms.com

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  43. What a great tutorial! I'll have to try this some time. Thank you for sharing!

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  44. hey girl
    I just popped over from your knife handle ornaments to check out stamping instructions. And thanks again, for sharing so freely.

    And double thanks....I saw my name and a link to one of my tutorials.
    How very sweet of you. =)

    Blessings

    Barb

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  45. Thank you for the tutorial. You have lovely creative ideas. Fun!

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  46. I love these and have been wanting to do them for ages. Thanks for the tut...I will be trying these. Love the way you display them too.

    Happy New Year!

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  47. Hi there

    Sorry to seem a bit thick, lol, but can you confirm for me is your stamping done with rubber stamps, or are they metal stamps that you have to tap into your cutlery. I've seen this before but have never been sure, and I've not seen it in the UK where I live?

    Loving your blog and have just become a follower.

    Judi in the UK

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  48. OK we all love these and I just never have purchased the stamps I know I have a box of vintage silverware out in the garage

    love the sweet baby shoes I liked when we made pin cushions of of baby shoes the little planters are cute

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  49. Hi Betsy, I have over 20 random vintage pieces of silverware that I collected over the years (loved them, bought them without a plan, let them sit idle in a box). This post MADE MY DAY! Thank you for teaching me how to make these sweet little markers. I just bought my first tool from Rings & Things. Can't wait for the letter stamping set to arrive. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Christa

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Thank you so much for visiting My Salvaged Treasures. Your comments inspire me.