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!!
What you'll need: 1) Silver plated spoons, forks, or butter knives. 2) Letter/number stamping set. I have a few 1/8" sets with different fonts and larger sets also. You can also buy individual stamps with different designs on them. I purchased mine online from Firemountain Gems and 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). 8) A steady hand.
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.