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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175 Responses to spoon ring tutorial

  1. Jylie says:

    Hello! Forgive me if I may have missed this in the Q&A you answered above, but I wondered what your thoughts were in nickel-silver? I’ve been scouring various antique stores for the perfect spoons and find that a lot of these are nickel. Do you have a list of silver types that you recommend? I’ve been wanting to do this since I laid my eyes on my first spoon ring in middle school and it completely slipped my mind until I finally googled it 15-years later. THANKS!

  2. Hi Jylie! Nope, you didn’t miss it – you’re the first to ask about nickel-silver! To be honest, I have never worked with nickel silver, so I did a bunch of searching and finally came across your answer: nickel silver should work well, it will just be a little more difficult to bend than sterling silver. But it looks like you’re in luck!

  3. Holly says:

    I love this…. I have my grandmother’s spoon ring that’s older than I (we won’t say how old that is!) I noticed in the pics above that when you cut the piece before bending there is only one finished end but when it’s finished it looks like there are two finished ends? How do you get the look without having a cut end with no design?

    Thank you!
    Holly

  4. Hi Holly! There is a simple explanation for this…the first few pictures were from my attempt with the stainless steel silverware. When I realized my error, I started over, and I didn’t photograph the first few steps on my second go-round. Sorry for the confusion! :)

  5. Hi Kristen,
    so for ring number 2 (one that wraps around itself), did you solder it together to get it to lay flat on the band? How exactly did you get that to work? Sorry if I’ve missed the answer somewhere.. :)

    • Hi Kenzie – For type 2, you don’t have to solder it. If you just bend it until it touches/overlaps, it should stay put. However, if you wanted it to be extra secure, you could solder it if you wanted too. But just bending it on top of each other actually works really well. :)

  6. Rachellovexo says:

    Hi Kirsten, Could I use a silver plate fork/spoon?

  7. BigSis says:

    This is beautiful, I can’t wait to try this. I inherited my great grandmothers silver set and didnt know what to do with it. Now I’m making all the ladies in my family a ring from it for their birthdays. A perfect gift that I’m hoping they will cherish! Thank you for the great tutorial.

  8. Lori says:

    What a beautiful idea…I will have to try this soon. I’m a new follower too. Stop by anytime and visit, Lori
    p.s. Since GFC is going away you might consider signing up (free) for the new Linky follower tool…seems like everyone is headed in this direction. Hope to see you soon

  9. Gina says:

    Did this last night and made 2 beautiful Spoon rings from my grandmas silver….Awesome…thanks for sharing….P.S. Gloves are a plus when using the blowtorch :)
    and Stainless steel silverware doesn’t work well at all…I tried….it breaks while bending. The Sterling bends nicely and looks beautiful…

  10. I may be nuts but how do you get the nice end of the type 1 ring? I have always wanted to make one but how you’d get the smaller end so nice is boggling my mind! ;)

    Thanks!

    • Hi Julie,

      On a lot of forks/spoons, there is a little decorative part right above the bowl/the prongs. Cut right below the decorative part and then just sand it. It’s a little confusing because I ended up using a different fork the second time around, but didn’t re-photograph the first steps. Sorry for the confusion!

  11. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!
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  12. Unknown says:

    Great tutorial. However I would like to point out that if you heat your silver until it glows, you are about to melt it!! It’s only a quick moment between glowing and turning to a puddle. That’s really pushing your luck!! (and a lot hotter than necessary)…
    A better way to make sure your metal is hot enough to bend- make a mark with Sharpie Permanent marker on your metal. Once your mark has disappeared, you’re ready! Make sure to heat your metal evenly. Have fun…

  13. Razzy11 says:

    Ok so I made one out of stainless steel… Worked but can I polish it back to the mormal colour or not? If so what would I use? I have tried many things.
    E

    • char says:

      The best metal polish I have found is the MAAS metal polish. It comes in a tube, and I have found it at Ace Hardware and Wal-mart.

  14. Jill says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have ALWAYS wanted to make one! My Grandma had a spoon ring and as a child, I thought it was the coolest, so my husband buys them for me whenever he sees them, but I’ve always wanted to make one! Thank you SO much for sharing! Smiles, Jill

  15. Alexargai says:

    Do you sell this rings ??

    Alex

  16. This is pretty awesome i have always wanted one when i saw a friend wearing one and i work with metals now so i thought it was a perfect time to figure out how to make one! you laid everything out nicely and simple steps cant wait to make one! Thanks so much!

  17. Lei Lei says:

    Amazing tutorial Kristen! I’m excited and inspired to make my own creations. All the steps seem easy to follow, though towards the end I was wondering if you can provide more info on bending the ring into a perfect circle. When heated, should I use two sets of pliers to bend silverwear, and should I bend it around something? Any extra info would be of great help, thank you so much!

    • Hi Lei Lei,

      If you’re using silver, you honestly shouldn’t even have to heat it. You’ll only have to heat it if you’re having a difficult time beding it. If you do heat it, wear gloves, and bend it around a ring mandrel or a dowel. You can hold the one end in place if you wear heat resistant gloves, and then use a mallet to gently form the ring around the mandrel/dowel.

      Otherwise, if you heat it, I would use two pliers and just shape it using those until you have the approximate shape and size you need. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  18. amd13 says:

    AMAZING TUTORIAL! The best and most creative I’ve seen so far! Thank you! I have a couple questions :) Would it work with gold plated sterling silver? Would they be identifiable by the numbers 900 and 925 on the back as well? And I know a bbq lighter would not get as hot,but would that work too? :P Thank you!

    • Thank you! You know, I’m not quite sure if it would work with gold plated silver. I would imagine so, but I’ve never actually tried it. If you do try it, let me know if it works! :)

  19. This is so incredibly neat ! Oh my gosh, I love what you did ! Until I came across your blog, I’ve never seen this DIY before. As soon as I get me some wire cutters, I am going this ASAP! Thanks for the tutorial !!

  20. Jade says:

    I’m going to attempt to do it with stainless steel, still, because I have allergic reactions to silver. Very nice, though. It reminds me a bit of bending horse shoe nails to make rings when I was a kid, so much fun :)

  21. Bliss says:

    Stopped over from your feature at 36th Avenue to pin your tutorial.

    ~Bliss~

  22. Athena says:

    Love this!

    I’m planning to make one of these rings, and bought a beautiful (and rather pricey) spoon for the purpose. The only problem is that the back of the handle has the same lovely pattern as the front and I’m worried about the raised parts digging into the skin.

    I’m wondering if I can file or sand or grind the back safely, so that it’s smooth. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

  23. I’ve been looking for a spoon ring forever and now I can just make one myself, thanks so much for this tutorial! :) One question though, I usually only like gold jewelry so if I bought a gold plated spoon, would that work just as well?

  24. I can’t get it nicely rounded like the photo’s… it always turns out square and awkward. Am I doing something wrong?

  25. Cathy Reimer says:

    Do i have to use a blow torch to heat up the spoon? Or could i use a soldering iron?

  26. justatxn says:

    Great tutorial! Thank you for posting I am hoping to make rings for all of my sisters from our grandmothers old set. I read through all the previous questions and no one else has asked this so i am probaly just not getting it :/ All the forks or spoons I find the handle is so long that if I were to cut it just above the bowl, to make the Type 1 ring, it would wrap around too much. I really like the design just above the bowl of the spoons. Are you soldering some of these on the bottom to connect the two designs? Or for the ones where the handle is too long are you just doing the Type 2 ring where you would just cut off the design by the bowl of the spoon? I hope that makes sense. Thank you again for your help!!!

    • That definitely makes sense – for spoons/forks with really long handles, I make the type 2 rings. To make the Type 1 ring, you have to use a smaller fork or spoon (like the collector spoons, or a small teaspoon). Then, when you cut it right above the bowl, it should be about the right length.

  27. Hey there! Just wanted to let you know we featured you in our Favorite Find Fridays post over at Whimsically Homemade. We used one of your pictures and linked back to you. If that’s a problem let us know and we’ll remove it immediately. Thanks for your great inspiration!

  28. Zivoo says:

    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

  29. LyndaV says:

    What do you use to buff your rings?

  30. Kali M says:

    Just tried this…no success. I could not get the end of the handle to bend properly into a circle. It ended up bending more like a triangle. I also could not bend any of my silver ware with my bare hands. I got mine at the antique store. Any other suggestions on how to get them to bend nice and round? Thanks!
    Kali

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Love this! I’ve always loved the intricacies of silverware! What an awesome way to showcase that!

    Come visit us over at http://www.thesitsgirls.com!

  33. Would love to see some photos of you making these and if you would explain the annealing process that would be great…

  34. Hello Kirsten I just wanted to say how much I loved this tutorial! I shared your link on a post I did for my blog called Oh how Pinteresting! Thank you for sharing it with us :)

  35. Megan Widish says:

    I’m trying to do this or all the women that I know in my life for Christmas but me and my fiancee can’t figure out how to bend the spoons.. helpp!

  36. Jessica Lee says:

    What about silver plated (Wm Rogers & Son AA) spoons? My grandmother gave them to me and I’d love to be able to turn them into rings, any suggestions??

  37. Holly says:

    A great place to buy mismatched silver spoons at a relatively low cost is antique stores.

  38. What happens if you heat the metal until it starts turning orange?

  39. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  40. Ellie says:

    I was wondering if you had any ideas for what to do with the fork/spoon ends of the silver ware? Thanks!

  41. Ellie says:

    Oh and also, how long did you hold the torch onto the spoons? Mine is not getting hot enough, I guess.

  42. Hi Kirsten,

    Great post. Hope its ok to repost!

  43. Vivian Lee says:

    Oh wow! Great tutorial! I found about a dozen pieces of sterling silverware at a thriftstore a couple of years ago. All sugar shells, but very elaborate and very thin. This will be perfect!

  44. Vivian Lee says:

    Oh wow! Great tutorial! I found about a dozen pieces of sterling silverware at a thriftstore a couple of years ago. All sugar shells, but very elaborate and very thin. This will be perfect!

  45. Nadine says:

    I wore spoon rings and bracelets waaaay back during my high school days.. this makes me feel old! Lol. Some of them can really be beautiful! I made some that were dainty and sweet, some very casual looking and even some suitable for men! The very thick silverware without floral patterns, (they can be totally plain or have angular designs or lines) work very nicely for men (in my opinion) I wish I would have saved all the silverware I had collected through the years, I would be sitting on a gold (silver) mine! I never thought they would become popular again! As for the leftover bowl, they make nice wind chimes, charms, earrings, tags for your pets, (stamping name address etc.) Stamped designs/names on necklaces, key chains, Good Luck tokens, guitar picks… so many things come to mind!
    I wish that I had the time to do this… maybe some day… (sigh)

  46. Kayleigh says:

    I love this idea. My mother has wanted one for so long. 3 years to be exact. She was given one by her best friend a long time ago and it was lost 3 years ago. I have been playing with the idea of buying or making one for awhile now. But after this EASY tutorial, I think I will MAKE one… Hope it comes out as pretty as yours..

    Do you sell any? Just in case!! Lol

  47. Thank you so much Kirsten for this amazing tutorial ! Your ring look perfectly round and have a lovely vintage touch !
    As soon as I discovered your handiwork, I tried a stainless steel version ( I posted a picture of it on my blog http://the-queen-of-apples.blogspot.fr/) and even though it doesn’t look as beatifully perfect as yours, I am quite pleased with the result !
    I’ll try it with a silver spoon next time :)

    Thank you again, and keep up with the good advice !!
    xx

  48. Pam says:

    Hi, What kind of metal tool do you use ?

  49. Kirsten, are you aware that this tutorial is being sold on Ebay for £4.99 and is using detail – Copyright House No 1120105621.

    It has been customised and not as good quality as your instructions. Apologies if I am wrong but have a look!

    How to make a Spoon Ring the traditional way, Unique Business Opportunity!!!!

  50. Actually she has just added another £1 since last night

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