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).
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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. 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 steel stamping set
- 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
- an anvil or 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
Isn’t this one cute. It looks like a cartoon version. Where’s Wile E. Coyote?
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.
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.
The image is from The Graphics Fairy.
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.