Let me start by saying, this post is going to be REAL real y’all. So, late last month while perusing Pinterest, I saw some cute Thanksgiving themed spoons that gave me the itch to make some stamped silverware before the holidays this year. Luckily, my sweet sister and mom donated a couple, mismatched serving utensils that they had on hand and I got to researching. I had barely skimmed through one tutorial before deciding that “I GOT THIS! No more research needed.” False. I should have known better. I have never stamped silverware before and was WAY too over-confident on this one.
After deciding to do this project, I ordered two things (the metal letter set and the stamp enamel for darkening) online that I assumed would be all I needed in addition to the utensils themselves. Then when it came time to actually DO this project, I looked back into how to get the best results, and realized that it was pretty essential to have a steel bench block and a brass hammer with a short handle. This meant a frantic errand to Michael’s (the only craft store that had it in my vacinity, but is 15+ minutes from my house) to get those last two items and still have time to get this done in the time I had slotted out for it. Because I’m sure I don’t have to tell you guys… Life is freakin’ busy!
But here we are! A little disclaimer: I always let you all know when a project is a simple one, and I will always do the same when a project is a little more challenging. This project was a little more challenging. Partly because of my Type-A-ness which made it really hard to accept the flaws in letter spacing, line spacing, and mistakes like double stamping etc. I also only practiced on ONE regular silver spoon before moving right into the serving spoons and fork, with multiple lines of text! Ugh. When will I learn?!
So my advice would be to read this post, search YouTube for a video tutorial or two, get all the supplies you need, and PRACTICE. You can buy small pieces of metal in the jewelry section for pretty cheap that you can practice on first, and I would recommend doing at least one silver spoon if you happen to have one. The curved surface adds quite a bit of difficulty. Do those things and you will be twice as prepared as I was which means you will totally nail it!
Here is what you’ll need and what you’ll need to know to tackle this!
- Silver Serving Utensils (I used real silver, but I did read that you can use these same tools with less expensive, stainless steel utensils too, but you may have to hammer harder to get good imprints)
- Steel Bench Block
- Masking Tape
- Black Stamp Enamel
- Metal Stamp Letter Set
- Brass Hammer
I would recommend putting a folded rag under your bench block to help with the noise and vibration. I also put my cutting board under that. Start by wrapping a longer piece of tape around the top of your block that has several inches wrapped around on the back and several inches excess over the top. You will attach the end of the top excess to the top, center of your utensil to help hold it in place while you hammer. Then put a horizontal piece of tape, as straight as possible, across your spoon where you want your line of text to go. You can then make marks on that tape to help you space your letters and center your words. Then you can get to stamping!
I like to start with the center letter and work my way out on each side so that my word is as centered as possible. As you’re placing your letter stamp onto your spoon, tilt you spoon so that the flat part of your stamp is straight and there is no space between the bench block and the spot where you are stamping. Once you have your stamp in place, hit the back of the stamp pretty hard, about 3-5 times, being careful to keep your stamp as upright as possible and being careful to hit it square and not from the side.
Once you finish one line, you will want to shift your marked tape down and keep the center mark as centered as possible like you had it for the line before. Once you finish the phrase that you want on your utensil, you just squeeze a teeny tiny amount of the stamp enamel over all of your indentions, wait about 30ish seconds, then wipe it off! That’s really it! The logistics of stamping aren’t really complicated, nor does it require a lot of steps. It really is just a matter of getting a feel for getting your letter and spoon in the right position, how hard to hit, oh and being okay with little mistakes in the end product. That was probably the hardest part for me! I’m sure pro-stampers could do large utensils with multiple lines of text, no problem. But I am a first timer, and since you can’t really undo once you’ve swung that hammer, you have to be okay with some character marks.
Overall, I still really like the way they came out. Probably because I just think the phrases on them are cute and funny, and I think my family will get a kick out of using these this Thanksgiving! So, what do you guys think? Would you still tackle this project? Or are you a stamping-pro with some tips and tricks to share?!