Decorated silverware not only gives your home a rustic, outdoorsy feel, it is a good way to recycle small scraps of interesting material you might otherwise just throw away. Silverware crafts are also a great way to occupy the kids on rainy or cold days. When the sun comes back, decorate your patio table with a few of your own creations.
Wash old silverware that's no longer in use with mild dish soap and rinse it thoroughly with cool water. This eliminates any dirt or dust particles, which may prevent paint from sticking to the metal. Fold a soft towel in half and lay your silverware on top. Gently tap the silverware with a hammer or mallet until it's totally flat. Hammer the spoons' bowls and forks' curved tines from the back. Hammer decorative handles just until they're flat, not until the design is blurred.
Metal stamping cylinders come depicting a variety of designs, including letters, leaves and flowers. Decorate the bowls of spoons and the flat spaces just below fork tines. Mark out your stamping designs with permanent marker dots; this ensures you get the spacing right since stamps can't be undone. Place each stamp on the metal silverware and tap the end of the stamp sharply with your rubber mallet.
Twist your silverware with pliers. Fork tines are exceptionally good for twisting. Grip the base of a fork tine with one set of pliers and grip the tip with the other. Twist and bend the tines into spirals, coils, corkscrews or squiggles. Do the same with the handles of both forks and spoons. If you have difficulty twisting your silverware, heat it first over a freestanding propane torch. Wear leather gloves and grip the silverware with your pliers on either side of the area you want to heat and bend. Hold the silverware in the tip of the flame until it turns orange. Pull the silverware out of the flame and twist gently but quickly.
Paint your silverware for a splash of color. Paint entire pieces of silverware, just highlight your stamped designs or the designs already present on the handles, or just the parts you've twisted. Paint the metal with metal primer first. Let it dry for 2 hours. Paint over the primer with your desired colors and let the paint dry for another 2 hours. Varnish the painted parts of the silverware and let it cure overnight.
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