spoon ring tutorial

1/22/12 Update: Many of you have been having trouble coming across sterling silver in your local thrift stores.  One place you can always find it is on ebay, but you will be paying more for the silverware.  You should be able to find a sterling silver fork or spoon for about $10-$15 on ebay, so if you are having no luck and are really wanting to make a ring, I’d suggest shopping there.

4/2/12 Update:  For a printable of the instructions and to see the updated photo tutorial, click here.

12/10/12 Update: To see video snippets of the tutorial, click here
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Here it is ladies and gents – the highly anticipated spoon ring tutorial!  Before I get started, I just want to say how incredibly excited I am to have all you lovely new readers over here, and if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know!  So without further ado, I give you, the tutorial: 

Things you will need:
  • Spoon (or fork) of your choosing – make SURE it is sterling silver
  • Metal cutter, hacksaw, or jewelry saw
  • File or sandpaper
  • Dowel or ring mandrel
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Hammer or mallet (optional)
  • Butane torch (optional)
1. The first thing you are going to want to do is to decide what type of ring you want to make.  You can either make one that wraps up your finger (top image), or you can make one that wraps around itself (bottom image).  The one you choose determines the length of the handle (longer for the one that wraps up your finger).  For future reference, we’ll call the rings that wrap up your finger “type 1″ and the kind that wrap around itself “type 2.”
Type 1

Type 2

2. Once you have picked out the type of ring to make, you then have to pick out your silverware of choice.  To find mine, I just went to a local thrift store where I got these for around 10 cents each.  When you do go buy your silverware, make sure it is sterling silver and not stainless steel (it will say on the back of the spoon).  I didn’t realize this at first, so my first attempt (pictured below), was with a stainless steel fork, and let’s just say, it didn’t work too well.  You’ll know it’s sterling silver if it says “900″ or “925″ on the back. 

3. The next thing you will want to do is to measure your finger.  One of the easiest ways to do this is by simply cutting a strip of paper, wrapping it around your finger, and marking where it overlaps.  If you are making the type 2 ring, add an extra 1/4 in or so for the overlap.  If you are making the type 1 ring, this step isn’t as crucial because you will just continue wrapping it until you’ve used all of the handle of your silverware. 
4. For this next step you will need your saw or metal cutter.  If you are making type 1, cut the handle right above the bowl.  For type 2, cut the handle at whatever length you measured in Step 3.
5. File the cut end with either a metal file or a coarse grit sandpaper.  Work your way down to a fine grit sand paper to get a super-smooth finish. 
6. Now comes the fun (or frustrating!) part – bending the spoon.  There are several ways to accomplish this.  You can bend it around the dowel using shear force, you can hammer it around the dowel, or you can use a butane torch to heat it up before you bend it.  I found this little butane torch for $7 at Home Depot.  However, when I actually got the right kind of fork (sterling silver), I was able to bend it with just my hands.   
If you do use a hammer, I recommend wrapping some sort of cloth (a dishtowel folded in half works well) around the head of the hammer and securing it in place with a rubber band.  This will help to protect the metal from scratches.  
If you torch it, you’ll have to heat it up for awhile…but make sure you don’t let it start glowing orange. 
7. This last step is optional, but if you so desire, you can polish or buff the ring for a shiny finish. 
If you have any questions, please let me know…good luck!
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140 Responses to spoon ring tutorial

  1. Ashley Marie says:

    I’ve been waiting for your tutorial all week! Thanks so much!

  2. You’re welcome, Ashley! Hope you enjoy it!

  3. Leslie Todd says:

    Great tutorial! And if you got sterling silver flatware for ten cents you got the deal of the century. Seriously. Go back and buy all they have. Silver is almost $33 an ounce right now.

    I usually pay one to two dollars for antique and vintage silver PLATED silverware, so if that’s what you bought it’s still a really good deal. Most of the silver plate is over brass. Most stainless steel will stick to a magnet so I test mine that way. I use the magnet on my cell phone case ’cause it’s handy.

    I did manage to bubble the plate a little by getting one of the spoons too hot when I annealed it with the torch so that’s something to watch for with the plated silverware. So far I’ve only done bracelets. I’m looking forward to doing a ring.

  4. debinidaho says:

    Nice Kristen I looked last night at a blog that was way to complected.This is so easy!!!As for the silver ware I have enough to make a good number of pieces.Been collecting it for years to make a wind-chime finally had enough and low and be hold found at the local thrift store for pennies!! Now I will make Rings

  5. Leslie – Thank you for all the great tips…especially about not letting them get to hot! Definitely helpful! I will have to go back and raid the store of all its silver :)

    Deb – A silverware wind chime is such a neat idea! Good luck with the rings!

  6. Kelley says:

    Thank you Kristen for posting this! After reading it I think I will get hubby involved so I don’t hurt myself – LOL!

  7. This is awesome! I got a spoon ring heirloom from a great-grandmother and I’ve always wondered how it was made! This will definitely be my next project! Thank you so much for this tutorial!

  8. LowryM says:

    I’m confused how the small end of the wrap around ring still looks pretty in the picture if it’s just hacked off??

  9. LowryM – the end picture was from my second attempt (the first one pictured was the stainless steel fork that didn’t turn out). For the first one I was going to do the type of ring that just wrapped around itself, but for the second one, I decided to try the other way. Sorry for the confusion :)

  10. Autumn says:

    I’m with LowryM. Did the sandpaper create the rounded effect on the cut end of the silverware?

  11. Autumn says:

    Ooops and metal file?

  12. Hi Autumn – I think I should have posted of the whole process of my second attempt because it would have been more clear, especially since I switched the types I was making…so sorry about that! But this is how I got the rounded look:

    -Right above the bowl of the spoon the handle had some decor and started to widen to turn into the bowl (what you see in the final picture)
    -I cut once straight across right below the decoration
    -I then made two smaller cuts at 45 degree angles (so the cut end looked like half of a hexagon when done)
    -I used a metal file to round out the corners from my three cuts

    You could just file it round, but I found it to be easier to make the other two cuts so I didn’t have to file so much.

  13. Hello Kirsten!
    Your tutorial about creating this ring is amazing! I have pinned it to my Pinterest crafts collection and now I am wondering how to find time in my husbands busy schedule so that he (he loves to work patiently on details) has time to make me (at least) one such ring. Meanwhile I am off to thrift store to find the design that speaks to my heart. Thank you for sharing this tutorial! I am excited about the idea of getting such jewelry piece from my husband :-)

  14. LowryM says:

    thanks so much!!!! i’m excited to try!

  15. how do you know how big to make the ring so it fits? maybe I just need to try it, but I don’t entirely understand how to make sure it isn’t to big or too small.

  16. Hi Whitney – great question! There are two ways to make sure it fits:
    1. Get a dowel that is about the same size as your finger.
    2. If you have a ring mandrel, wrap the piece of paper that you measured your finger with around the mandrel (because it’s tapered) and mark the point on it where the paper fits. Then wrap the ring around that point.

    Also, if you are just bending it using shear force, you can just bend it around your finger or continually bend it until it fits. Hope this helps! :)

  17. I received this comment, but because it was from unknown, it is not showing up. I thought you all could benefit from it so here it is:

    Unknown has left a new comment on your post “New Uses for Old Silverware”:

    This is brilliant and I cannot wait to try. Especially after reading you spent a whole $7 on a torch! I thought it would be much more of an investment. My only questions are : where is the best place to find a cheaper metal file, and also how can you avoid the silverware from bubbling? Or rather, what is a standard amount of time to heat them for? Thank you so much!

    Answer: You can find a file at any home improvement store. I had one that I used, but I know you can get them for under $10 at Home Depot (or I’m sure Menards or Lowes).

    Also, the amount of time you heat them for depends on how hot the torch is. The small, $7 torch that I bought (you will also have to buy the butane which is like $3), doesn’t get nearly as hot as larger torches. So, for the smaller ones, you need to keep it on there for longer than you would with the larger torches. As for the bubbling, I didn’t have a problem with it, but mine also didn’t completely start glowing. I would say heat it and periodically check to see if it can be bent yet. Let me know if there are any other questions!

  18. Greendipiti says:

    Hi there. This is so exciting! Where do you buy dowels? Thanks for posting this. I know what people are getting for Xmas now!

  19. Greendipiti – you can get dowels at pretty much any craft or home improvement store.

  20. Corina M says:

    This is sooo wonderful! Saw this on pinterest & had to come over here to get the full scoop! Can’t wait to try this. Thanks!

  21. ashleyjoy says:

    Yay! I’m so excited about this! I’ve seen tutorials before but they are always complicated but you make it sound easy! One question though – do you bend it around the dowel with pliers after you heat it with the torch or do you use heat proof gloves? I’m a bit clumsy when it comes to burning myself so I was just wondering what would be the best way to go about it :) Thanks!

    • Silversmyth says:

      Some advice, if you don’t mind my intrusion… Metal that has been annealed (heated to just before orange) and left to cool slowly will stay pretty soft and easy to work with. It’s far safer to work with it cool. When bending use two pair of chain nose or flat nose (never round) pliers (one in each hand)being careful not scar the metal. A little pickle solution from a jewelry supplier(not the edible kind) will remove the black(oxidation) from the silver. When it comes out of the pickle it will have a white coating that can easily be buffed away.

      Now that you have a butane torch… you can solder, too.

    • SherryC says:

      Ok, I need to ask something, are you talking silver plated or sterling silver spoons?
      I haven’t found a sterling silver spoon or fork anywhere. Can silver plated be used ?
      And heated s well?

    • You can use silver plated as well!

  22. Ashelyjoy – I just used the pliers to bend it around, but heat proof gloves would be a really good idea! It would probably be a lot easier to handle

  23. I’m hitting up Goodwill on my lunch break! Hopefully they have some silver!

  24. Katie says:

    This is amazing!!!!

  25. Julie says:

    Can’t wait to try this,thank you!

  26. FINALLY a good tutorial on spoon rings! ♥ Just one question though…how do you keep the spoon in place (on the mandrel) while you are bending/hammering it around? Do you clamp it with something? Thanks in advance!

  27. C.L. says:

    This is probably one of the coolest things iv seen in a very long time. I can’t wait to try it!!! Thanks for posting it!

  28. Just a Girl says:

    why do you have to use silver instead of stainless steal?

  29. Tenille – I held it in place with a needle nose pliers…although you could clamp it!

    Just a Girl – you have to use silver instead of stainless steel because it is much more pliable. The stainless steel is super hard to bend.

  30. Oh wow…I love this tutorial…Thank you !

  31. Hi, Can I use silver plated silverware?

  32. Rob and Laura – yes, you can use silver plated silverware, but it may be a little more difficult to bend. Good luck! :)

  33. Ang says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, I am going to try it tomorrow but was curious about how you got the type 1 ring end to look so good. Did you just sand it until it was round? Is it best to find a utensil that has a floral pattern that extends far up the utensil to get the type 1 ring to look the way you have it? Thanks for your help.

  34. kc says:

    Kirsten..can’t wait to try this…I do wanna know where you shop! I’ve been checking prices to sell my sterling, and a place setting goes for about 150 as **scrap** silver! I’ve never seen sterling at the my thriftstores…lots of stainless and silver plate at 10 cents a pop, though. Clearly I’m not shopping at the right places!

  35. Jony Gibson says:

    Very nice post given by you on spoon ring tutorial. I find this post very descriptive and informative, many thanks for sharing this experience.
    Silver Rings

  36. Unknown says:

    I can’t wait to do this! Thank you so much!

  37. Melissa C. says:

    Found this on pinterest…it’s going to make some great gifts, thank you!

  38. Just discovered this on Pinterest. I’ve been wanting to make a spoon ring, but I’ve been a little worried about ending up with a lot of spoon disasters. Your tutorial is perfect! Thanks so much for sharing.

  39. Ang – yes, I did just sand it until it was round!

  40. Kristen, this is a really great DIY. I can not wait to try this out! I’ll most likely post my attempts on my blog and link it back here!

    anddarlingvintage.blogspot.com

  41. Melissa says:

    Just found this on pintrest….what a great idea!!!

  42. Tracey says:

    Awesome!! I found it on pinterest too!! Thanks – these are spectacular directions. :)

  43. vailie says:

    What a great tutorial!!!
    Thanks a lot! I’ll try this for sure sometime…!

  44. Valdemort says:

    Looks so awesome, but is SO HARD! Impossible to bend. Definitely use the torch if you want it to work and not get scratches.

  45. Valdemort- DId you make sure you weren’t using stainless steel? I made that mistake the first go-round which was why it was so difficult originally. Sterling silver shouldn’t be THAT difficult to bend..

  46. aranumenwen says:

    So awesome. The last tutorial I found for this was so complicated and used A LOT of chemicals. Yours is so much better. I’m so ready to go home and try it! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  47. xtina says:

    I saw this tutorial and knew I had to do it immediately! I have been out all morning going to Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and antique shops looking for sterling silver spoons (or forks). I had no such luck, they were ALL stainless steel =( Where has everyone been getting sterling silver??

  48. xtina- You’re looking in the right places! That’s where I found mine…but I did have to search. Wish I had a better answer for you!

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