A couple of weeks ago I was gifted a gorgeous, vintage, silver-plated spoon pendant from friend and fellow blogger, Sarah, of Barn Chic Antiques. I wore it almost immediately, as I loved its "funky" vintage vibe. This piece doesn't get tossed in the jewelry case with the rest of my stash when I'm not wearing it. Instead it hangs around the neck of Bianca, the 1950s dress form which graces the corner passage from the living room to my bedroom. The display stands where I can see it and inspires me daily to be creative.
Well you just know I had to try this project for myself.
I asked for, and received, a bolt cutter and a vise for my birthday, and wouldn't you know it, as I checked the mail there was a small package containing the dozen vintage, silver-plated, spoons I'd won in an ebay auction.
The project was on!
I gathered my spoons, bolt cutter, needle-nose pliers, metal file, hammer, and a small towel rag and laid them all out on the garage work bench to which the vise was mounted. As I picked up the first spoon to get the project started, I thought that perhaps I'd try a little silver polish to see if I could get the spoons cleaned up a bit.
I was very pleased with how gorgeous the spoons looked after just a bit of polishing. The tarnish will come back, and I'm OK with that. I like having the option of the weathered, tarnished look OR the polished silver. I can have it both ways.
Next I loaded the first spoon into the vise, using the towel rag to protect its finish, and then cutting the part sticking up from the vise off with my bolt cutters. The bolt cutters were super easy to use; just like using a giant pair of scissors.
And, as you can see, the cut was smooth and clean. I did use my metal file to file off any possible sharp bits.
Next, I put the spoon bowl on the anvil part of my vise placing it between two layers of the towel rag, again to protect the finish. I wore leather work gloves and safety glasses to protect myself.
I then pounded the bowl flat with a hammer.
Next, I used my needle-nose pliers and just bent the end of the stem back, creating a loop large enough for a chain or ribbon.
After removing the stem end from the vise I, again, just created a loop with the pliers.
I stamped my initial in the stem pendant with a metal alphabet stamp, and then threaded it on a piece of organza ribbon. This I may wear or use as a bookmark.
Sarah had warned me about how difficult it was to stamp the letters, and she was right! Unfortunately, I ruined a couple of spoon bowls; there's no room for error when it comes to metal stamping.
My husband and I both learned from our fathers, "You've got to have the right tools for the job," and that adage is certainly true in this case. I'm so happy with my birthday vise and bolt cutters! I will surely enjoy using them in this and many other upcoming projects. With the winter holidays just around the corner, you, too might want to add some tools to your gift wish list.
All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.