The art of making rings from silver spoons dates back to the 1600s. Historic police records show that servants would often steal sterling flatware from more affluent families to make engagement rings. Now, hundreds of years later, the crafting process continues. By selecting the perfect spoon, gathering a few tools, and following directions, you will be on your way to crafting your own silver spoon ring.
Things You'll Need
- Sterling silver spoon
- Ring mandrel (or piece of metal pipe roughly the size of your finger)
- Rubber/plastic mallet
- Jeweler’s saw
- Metal file
- Butane or similar torch
- Bowl of water
- Cloth tape measure or string with marker
- You must know your ring size. Any jeweler can determine this for you.
When selecting your spoon, check for a .925 or other sterling silver mark. Traditionally, spoon rings feature an ornate, floral design, or some kind of symbol such as a heart. Therefore, it is important to pick a spoon that has a design you like, as the engraving will be featured prominently on the finished ring. To find an appropriate spoon, look in local antique shops or even in your grandmother's attic.
Measuring Your Finger
Using the cloth tape measure or a string, make an approximate measurement of how long you wish your spoon ring to be. Position the tape at the top of your finger and wind it around clockwise and downward until it makes one full curl. Once you have reached your desired length, write down that measurement, or mark it on the string with a marker. Keep in mind that you want to add 1/8th or so of an inch to leave some “wiggle” room to fit the ring on and off after you mold it.
Prepare the Spoon Handle
Using a jeweler's saw, cut off the handle of the spoon so that its length is the same as the measurement you just took.
With the metal file, smooth away the sharp edges where you made the cut.
Using the metal tongs, pick up the spoon handle and hold it away from your face with one hand. With the other, carefully heat the handle with the butane torch. The handle should be fully heated in 1 minute. After it is heated, place it in a bowl of water to cool off for approximately 3 minutes. It should be warm to the touch but not too hot to hold in your hands.
Butane torches, although simple to use, pose fire risks and could cause burn injuries. Do not allow children to attempt this project without supervision. This project is not advised for children under 10.
The heating process, also referred to as annealing, is essential. It is very difficult to bend the handle without warming it first.
Bend the Spoon Handle
Using the nylon hammer, start hammering the handle around the ring mandrel approximately one or two sizes smaller than your known ring size. It's easier to stretch the ring to fit your finger than it is to squeeze it together.
If you do not have a ring mandrel, consider using a metal pipe with a width similar to your own ring size.
Keep turning the warm spoon handle around the mandrel by using your pliers and hammer as you go along, creating a loop or twist.
Once the handle is fully "looped" around the mandrel, smooth out any kinks by gently hammering the metal. After this is complete, turn the mandrel upside-down and lightly tap at the base of the ring until it falls free.
Finalize and Polish the Ring
Using the jeweler's file, file away any rough spots.
Attempt to place the ring on your finger. Slowly stretch open the ring until it fits over your knuckle. Then, gently push the opposite ends together until you create a comfortable fit.
Using a jeweler's cloth or cream, polish your spoon ring.