Spoon Stamping: It’s About Time!

My friend and I got together again and we stamped spoons. This was so much fun.

I have seen different stamped spoons over the years. Some have been made with herb names on them and stuck in pots while others have been stamped with words of wisdom or encouragement and hung as wind chimes. Either way you need to round up some tools and supplies and materials to get started.

Things you will need:

  • a hammer
  • old sock or soft cotton rag
  • something to pound on (not the kitchen table or granite countertop!)
  • sharpie marker
  • black sharpie marker
  • set of steel alphabet stumping set

Not all types of spoons will be easy to work with. Look for silver-plated spoons when you start searching. The best places to look are at garage sales and estate sales, but you can sometimes find them at thrift stores too. They pound out flat without a lot of effort, and even sue silver-plated spoons will be easier than others. I have also found that you can pound out stainless steel spoons, but it sure takes a lot more work.

Step one really is flattening your spoon. I found a metal plate in our shop that worked out great as a surface to pound on. I could set it on the cement floor and it provided a solid and smooth surface. If you pound directly on the cement your spoon will pick up any surface textures like bumps or dents in the surface of the cement.

Cover your spoon with a rag. I used an old sock and put the spoon inside it. Place your spoon rounded side up and start to hammer keeping your hammer as level as you can. I used a rather large sledge-type hammer, but my friend used a regular flat-headed hammer. Keep in mind that if you hit the spoon with the edge of your hammer (and not the flat surface), you can leave a dent and you are looking for the smoothest flattened spoon you can make.

Make evenly spaced dots to use as guides where you want to stamp you letter

At this point you need to figure out what you want to use your stamped spoons for and then you can decide what word you will stamp. Do you have a pot of basil that needs a marker or would you rather have a word of inspiration like “grow” or “live” in that pot of basil?

Draw dots on you spoon, evenly spaced, one for each letter of your word.

You are now ready to stamp your letters.

make sure you spoon is completely on a flat surface before you start to stamp

Make sure your spoon is level and flat on the surface and you can start stamping your letters. It is up to you if you want to start in the center of your word and work your way out in each direction, or start with the first letter.

Hold the stamp as steady as you can and use your hammer to strike the stamp a few times using steady force. It will take a bit of time to figure out how hard you need to hit the stamp and how many times. I started with 3 strikes and it seemed to work well. Once you pull the stamp away it isn’t real easy to realign it to stamp again, it usually is off just a bit and you will notice it when you try to stamp again in the same spot.

stamp one letter per dot

I also noticed that the “I” doesn’t take as many strikes. It is like a mini chisel and will make a deeper indent then the rest of the letters, so keep that in mind. You don’t need to hit it as hard or as many times to get the same depth of an impression.

Once you have stamped all your letter, go back and fill each one if with the black marker. You can now polish the spoon with your rag or sock. This will shine up the spoon and also remove the marker dots you made, but will leave the marker in the recess of the stamped letters giving them some definition.

fill in the letter using your black sharpie

All of my herbs, except basil, are in the ground so I had a hard time thinking of what I wanted to stamp on my spoons.

My friend kept telling me to keep stamping, and I had to keep thinking of what to stamp. We would get side-tracked and off on different subjects and I kept telling her to focus on the stamping. I finally picked up the hammer and started stamping and wouldn’t tell her what I was stamping until it was done and polished up and then I help it up and said “F O C U S!” We both laughed. Then I put it in my hair and we laughed again. Since I cut my hair and donated it last fall, it still isn’t quite long enough o stay in a bun yet.

I now carry to spoon with my when I get together with my friend and pull it  out and say “focus” when we get off course. There are so many thing we want to make and try and do that we get off course often.

"focus" in my hair

Stamping these spoons was a lot of fun and I enjoyed doing it. It will be fun to make a few more stamped spoons to give as gifts.

Have you ever tried stamping spoons?

Sincerely, Emily

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36 Responses to Spoon Stamping: It’s About Time!

  1. Dani says:

    Emily – I haven’t and it sounds just up my street. Thanks so much for sharing :)

    Now, can you tell me where you get the “alphabet stumping sets” from?

  2. Bryony Gundy says:

    Such a cool idea! I’ve never tried it before but now I really want to!

  3. This may be a great rainy day summer project for my daughter and I!

  4. Jane says:

    How nice. What a great gift it would be with some stamped spoons and some of your garden herb seeds. So cool.

  5. Nancy Davis says:

    Hi Emily, Your spoons are so lovely and how much more fun it is to do with a friend!!! Even if you have to focus! Nancy at Cozy Thyme Blog

    • Ya! I am surprised that we can actually finish a project sometimes. We have a lot in common and are continually talking and bouncing around from subject to subject. It is a lot of fun when we get together.

  6. Maybelline says:

    Mama Mia! Make sure you don’t smash sterling.

  7. Flip says:

    Hello, i bought many old pieces of silverware but find they just wont stamp! Am I using the wrong technique? I have a 1 lb. hammer. One solid strke. The pieces just wont stamp. Maybe the metal is too hard? Not sure if they are silver plated. They sre great looking and old. What to do?

    • Hi Flip. My first thought is that your silverware is stainless steel and not silver plated. IS there any writing or words on backs to tell you what it is. Mine all were labeled, so I knew I was dealing with silver-plate. Stainless it stampable, but it does take a lot more than just one strike of the hammer. Even on the silver-plated flatware I stamped, I used a much larger hammer than you mentioned using (you can see it in the photos I posted) and more than one strike. Where you able to flatten out the spoon at all? How did that process go? Even if your flatware is silver-plated, some of them are much softer than others. I hope this helps.

  8. Natalie says:

    Great tutorial! I do jewelry stamping but haven’t tried a spoon yet.

    Harbor Freight is a good place to pick up an inexpensive starter set of letter stamps. Beaducation is an excellent resource for nicer sets &I for design stamps! :)

    • Hi Natalie. Thanks for the info on Harbor Freight & Beaducation. I did get a set Harbor Frieght, but managed to pick up the wrong size – I picked up the bigger set, so when I am ever back on that side of town I will get the smaller set that they have.

  9. jane says:

    hi love this item about spoon markers. how do you punch them and still keep the bowl shape???

    • Hi Jane – I have not stamped spoons without flattening them. I imagine you do it the same way – but without flattening them. Work on a hard surface, decided your word, make your dots for spacing and stamp – holding the spoon at an angle that will keep the area that you are stamping as flat to the hard surface as you can (might need an extra set of hands until you see what happens)….. Just a guess on my part because I have not tried it.

      • Flip says:

        I have used a small vice from the hardware store to stamp the inside of a spoon without flattening. The spoon has to be secured to the edge of a table with the vice and on top of a metal block of course. This worked! Or you might try a small clamp from the hardware store also. Tell the salesperson what you are trying to accomplish and they are very helpful at Lowes!!!!

      • Flip – Thanks for your comment!!!! I imagine without the security of the vise or clamp, your letters would come out jiggled or jumpy while working in the concave surface. Thanks for the tips!! I hope Jane sees your helpful answer! The link to Etsy that you used to post your comment did not work. It went to an unfound page.

      • Flip says:

        Hello, Emily. below is my site. I have stainless steel wonderful old flatware for other things, not stamping. Ie. place card holders, cabinet pulls, etc. as well as items for altered art. I can stamp some but not all. You just dont know with stainless!. They are great old pieces. Best, flip

      • Hi Flip. Thanks. I think I linked your comment up correctly. Thanks again for the tips on stamping on a spoon that isn’t flattened out.

      • jane says:

        thank for all your great tips, going to try the vise first. other than that will have to grab hubby to help me
        jane

  10. Flip says:

    Jane, Good idea to use hubby. I hurt my elbow swinging the hammer repeatedly practicing! It takes a large hard swing and I recommend practicing on a copper sheet, but not too much. I messed my elbow up after I practiced about 50 times!!!! not a good idea. I am going to have my hubby help next time! Great idea!

  11. Melinda Henry says:

    Emily,
    I am having a hard time keeping my punches from bouncing all over and messing up my words. Any suggestions would really help. I kind of think it was because I put my slab of metal on a carpeted floor as apposed to concrete. That was the only step I did different than you and your friend. I did notice improvement when I held the stamp towards the top, still wouldn’t mind hearing your thoughts. Thank you Melinda

    • Hi Melinda – I think you already figured it out – don’t stamp on carpet. Your really need a hard surface to keep everything from bouncing around. Also, keep a good grip on your stamp and keep it in contact with the spoon. Hope that helps!

  12. Kate Kappel says:

    Saw this in Mexico………, they cut the handle off about 11/2″ from the bowl, drilled a hole in it, wrote some “words of Wisdom” in the flattened bowl, put a jump ring and chain into the bowl handle ( which had been printed on with the bowl facing upwards) and it made a personalized and wonderful necklace! Kate K. Camano Island. Wa. 8/2013

    • Hi Kate – Oh, I have seen those. They are so neat and on my list of things to make one day. I have also seen some ideas where you cut the spoon handle and bowl portion into sections, highly polish them and then link they together with jump rings into a bracelet. Lots of neat things to do with spoons.

  13. Stacee says:

    Hi. I see some that leave their spoons round… I am wondering how they do this? I have rings I wnat to stamp too and can’t figure out how they do those and keep them round!! :)

    • Stacee says:

      I forgot to post that i wanted updates so I know if you answer!!

    • Hi Stacee, thanks for stopping by! I only know how to stamp the spoons or flat pieces of metal. I don’t have any experience with rings. so I can’t offer you any advice. My thoughts are (when stamping on a round ring) that they are using a support of some sort or even putting the ring on a metal ring mandrel. Again, I have no experience with that, so those are purely guesses on my part.

      As far as stamping on a rounded spoon (one that isn’t flattened) – in the sting of comment on this post you will find some info shared by others about stamping on a rounded spoon. It is not something I have tried.

  14. Pingback: Spoon Bashing | Craftytrog's Inky Adventures

  15. I just sold the last of my silver coins to a dealer yesterday then wished I would have kept a few to try some jewelry techniques. I do have some of the silverware that has been in our family for years and want to try this. Looks awesome!

  16. Pingback: 20 Sensational Metal Stamped Silverware Tutorials - i can make

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