April 30, 2011

Silverware Stamping Tutorial

I promised to show you how I stamped my silverware from this post.

It is really so darn simple.

First you need to find some silverware suitable for stamping. In my experience it seems like silverplated silverware is easier to stamp than stainless steel.

I would assume stainless is a harder metal than silverplate, which is a thin layer of silver over top of copper, brass or nickel. I skipped out on Metallurgy 101 though.

Also, if you are going to stamp a knife, be aware that a lot of silverplated knives have stainless steel blades (yet the handles are silverplated). So in my example below I used a butter knife which was totally silverplated (it's all one piece of silverplate rather than the table knife which is sort of two pieces).

I bought my stamps about a year ago at Harbor Freight. We have a Harbor Freight in town, but you can order them online also at their website HERE.

They have three different sets listed. I used the 1/8" set that is currently on sale for $4.99. Harbor Freight has things on sale a lot, plus they also have 50% off coupons if you get their flyers or sign up for their email list.

You might think that I shop here a lot, but not really. My husband is their #1 customer though. By the looks of his garage, we should probably buy stock in the company.

The stamps are long pieces of steel with a letter or number on the end.

You'll need the stamps, a piece of silverware, a hammer of some kind - I prefer a larger metal mallet type hammer (better to smash your fingers with), a magic marker, something to stamp onto (I used a small brass block that I found in the garage) and for safety you should wear gloves and safety glasses.

Instead of the brass block, which you may or may not find in your garage, you could use the flat part of a vise

or an anvil.

Isn't this one cute. It looks like a cartoon version. Where's Wile E. Coyote?

This is where it gets really simple.

I figured out the middle letter of the word I was going to stamp and stamped that letter first. Just give the stamp a good old whack with the hammer.

If you hit it really hard you just need one whack. If you're using a smaller hammer you may need to hit it a few times.

Just be careful to not smash your fingers. I found the gloves really useful to hold onto the stamps more firmly.

The word was PANSY, so I started with the N. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I drew a line down the middle of the knife so I could somewhat keep the letters lined up. BTW, I don't go for perfection, to me it's more of a handmade look.

And then went outward from that letter. So after the N, I did the A and S and finally the P and Y.

When I was done, I rubbed some marker onto the letters and then wiped the excess off with a paper towel. You don't have to do this step, but I found it made the letters pop out visually a little more. You can use a Sharpie for this, but be warned that it does dry fast and takes a lot of elbow grease to rub it off.

Voila, the only thing left is to put it in a pot of viola (Oh, I crack myself up).

The possibilities really are endless once you buy your stamps. You can stamp knives, forks, spoons, metal jewelry tags or just about anything metal.

Since Mother's Day is just around the corner, I wanted to show you what you could make with a fork.

The image is from The Graphics Fairy.

Have fun stamping. Watch out for your thumbs!

Edited To Add:

I've had quite a few people asking about using them for weddings (stamping Mr. and Mrs. on forks or wedding dates, ect). A very cute idea, BTW.

I would say if you are expecting people to eat with them, I would skip the steps about using a magic marker, because that could be toxic. And you certainly don't want to start the marriage off on a bad note. If you still want to do the last step where you "color" them in a little, you could use liquid food coloring and wipe it into the letters a little.

And I would pick up a couple extra pieces of silverware, so you could practice first, because it does take a couple tries to know how hard you have to hit it to get a clean indentation.

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  1. Those are so cute.. I may just have to try this.. hope your having a good Sunday


  2. I love it and can't believe a set of stamps is only $5! This may be something to add to my list of wanna-do's:@)

  3. They're darling! And thanks for the encouragement! You didn't realize you were encouraging me, did you? I've had my stamps for months now. Since last fall? Maybe? But just can't get up the courage to try it. Who knows why? Maybe your post is just the one to cause me to pull it all out and give it a go.

  4. I would have never guessed how to do this. Your choices are so pretty. Now you have to come up with more ideas for our stamped silverware! Thanks so much!


  5. Love it and thanks for sharing your secret! You are so sweet and I have loved your forks forever! Would you ever think about selling some?
    Hugs- Tete

  6. This is fascinating!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. This is just so cute and such a great tutorial. Love it. I need to try this. Hugs, Marty

  8. Awesome tutorial. Great ideas for Mother's day.

  9. That is wonderful! Love how simple that was and cute!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing that! I love stamped silverware..

  11. My daughter just started to do this. I love it! I especially love your mother's day gift idea.

  12. Great tutorial...informative and entertaining! I didn't realize the stamp set was so inexpensive. I'm going to order some! Thx!!

  13. Pam,
    I've been dying to see this tutorial and my computer was down for most of the day. I'm so happy you shared this. I can't wait to try it. The stamps are really inexpensive..I'm surprised. We have a Harbor Freight less than 5 minutes away.
    Great tutorial! Love the "mom" fork with photo.
    Thanks for sharing! ~Michelle :)

  14. I love this project. Thanks for sharing. I had no idea the tools were so simple and readily available. i will for sure try this. Ginger :)

  15. Thanks for your visit to my blog. I'm so happy to have discovered yours! I'm actually working on a project like this today to make markers for my herb garden. I was afraid to give the hammer a hard whack, but I think I'm going to try using gloves like you did. Had to laugh about your abundance of Harbor Freight stuff. It's the same thing here!

  16. Pam....these are wonderful!! I am going to look into getting a set of the stamps :)


  17. How can I thank you for this post? I've wanted to do this for the longest time. And we have Harbor Freight here in town! Lovely Lovely Lovely Pam, thank you, and yours all turned out so pretty. xxx tami

  18. This is a great tutorial. I bought some of those stamps ages ago...and even some vintage forks and spoons. They're just ready and waiting...so maybe this'll be the kick to get me going!!! I hope so - yours look brilliant.

    I'm following along.


  19. Great idea! There used to be a Harbor Freight in Columbus on 161 and Cleveland. I am not sure it is still there? Thanks for the tute!~Hugs, Patti

  20. Oh, I love this Pam! I can't wait to stamp something. First, I have to get some of those stamps though...we don't have a Harbor Freight here. Love your mom fork :)


  21. Thank you for showing us how. I have wanted to do this for awhile.
    Now I will have to try it.
    Thanks for stopping by Cozy Blanket. I loved the wedding as well. Eugenie's hat was hilarious....I think it was hers....the bow one. I think Fergie must have bribed her to wear it since she wasn't invited. Lol

  22. What a very cool project!!! Thanks for sharing this! LOVE it!

  23. I have been wondering for months how people make them! Love yours and I'd be willing to give them a whirl. Although knowing me, I'd smash my finger. Doh!


  24. Pam,
    My Hubbs has that set. Wow, now I have another project for him!!! Yay, he is going to be so happy with me. I'll just blame it on you. OK?
    Ha, Ha! Thanks for the share.
    xxx Liz

  25. These are so cute. You have me wanting a set now!

  26. Love this, what an awesome idea for the garden:)


  27. I love this Pam!!! Too bad you didn't live closer i could bring me a coffee...you a pop and watch you do it lol !!
    The photos of all the tools and stuff started to scare me!

  28. Pam...this is fantastic! We have a lady that does this and sells them in our store....now we know her secret! (actually we already knew, we just didn't have the time to do it ourselves - hee hee hee!!) But, this is a nice little tutorial & we think that the tip about wearing the gloves to keep a hold of it was PERFECT!

  29. How talented are you! I'd be afraid of typo's! LOL!!! I love this craft!

  30. Isn't this a fun idea!! I did this last year for my garden stakes using knives. I would love to figure out how to flatten the spoons to use them. I tried to do one and it....well it didn't come out flat!

    bee blessed

  31. I LOVE this idea! I have some garden markers for perennials that I "LOVE" but for some reason there are not many available other than herb names... This is perfect for that!
    Thank you so much,
    Have a wonderful week

  32. Fabulous Pam! Do you know how many times I have been in that store with Joe? I will look for these next time♥

  33. What a great idea Pam. I love it. Unfortunately it looks like it requires a lot of tools I don't own, and believe me, I have a lot of tools for a woman.

  34. Love love love this Pam!!! I guess I am going to have to get a stamping set...but darn it, where will I get the silver ware???LOL!

  35. I love these--they are the prettiest plant markers ever!

  36. Love this idea. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Pam - These turned out wonderfully! I have always wanted to try stamping but have not gotten around to it yet! I love the fork/picture idea - very cute! Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase - I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this today. Hope you are enjoying your week ~ Stephanie Lynn

  38. OK, I have been wondering and wondering how people stamp metal and now I know! I am so going to Harbor Freight this week!!!

  39. I cant wait to try this I am calling my husband now to see if he can find a harbor freight on the way home so I can try this looks like so much fun Thanks

  40. This tutorial was/is so great! Thanks for posting. I can't wait to try this out.

  41. Does anyone know how people stamp on spoons, keeping them in place while stamping? I don't want to flatten my spoons, and have some that others have done but can't figure out how to keep them from moving.
    Great tutorial though...very informative and entertaining! Thanks.

  42. Great tutorial....loved it! Does anyone know what can be used to darken the lettering for things like spoons, that will be used to stir tea, etc....something that won't come off like food coloring and will be food safe. Thanks.

  43. Just dont let your husband catch you using the flat part of the vice to hammer on!!!!!!!!

  44. This is great! I've been wanting to make Mr. and Mrs. forks for my best friend's vintage wedding coming up. Where do you have the best luck finding your silver-plated utensils? First guess would be thrifting, but they're more valuable now. And second question would be, do you have any advice as far as non-toxic/safe for eating ink to color in the stamped letters? I wouldn't want to use magic marker on things they would eat from. Thanks so much!

  45. @Allison - I did find most of mine at the thrift stores and then some at estate sales. Sometimes antique stores have them for not a lot of money if you are just going to buy a few pieces. And I would think you could use food coloring if you are going to eat off them. I agree magic marker wouldn't be a good idea for what you are going to use them for. Have fun creating them!

  46. Do you know how to stamp a butter knife where it doesn't leave a mark on the opposite side? Thanks for your time and posting!

    1. Mine never shows up on the other side. Are you stamping on an anvil or something very hard?

  47. Great tutorial, Pam! I'm with your husband, though, I think Harbor Freight is the bomb and I think they cringe when they see my name on orders in their warehouse, lol!

  48. Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and all the magic marker come off and the fork is a clean as a whistle. I use this product on lots of things to clean (like my white shoes, coffee/pop stains on my picnic table, etc.)


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