Hand Stamped Vintage Spoons

Hi there! Last week’s vintage DIY project (Vintage Fork Easels) put me in a silverware frame of mind. While working on the easels, I went ahead and stamped a few spoons. The next day I stamped a few more. And so I now have a small family of flattened and hand stamped vintage spoons. I went with herbs, but you can stamp them with anything you like.

This craft has been around for a long time. I experimented with the process a couple of years ago, but put the stamping tools away and never took them up again.

But last week I had the chance to re-discover just how easily you can create these adorable mini-signs. Grab a hammer, the all-important metal letter stamps, and make sure you’re good and stressed out.

You heard me correctly. You’re going to be banging the heck out of everything in sight, so you might as well benefit from all that pounding. This craft offers free stress relief!

How to Hand Stamp Vintage Spoons adirondackgirlatheart.com
Supplies to Hand Stamp Vintage Spoons

* This post contains affiliate links for products necessary to complete this project. This is both for your convenience as well as to support my blog, as I receive a small compensation whenever you click on such a link and make any sort of purchase, for which I thank you.

Materials List:

  1. Vintage silverplated spoons
  2. Metal letter stamps
  3. Brass head hammer (1 lb.)
  4. Steel Bench Block
  5. Scrap of Fabric
  6. Silver Polish
  7. Extra-Fine Point Black Sharpie

metal letter stampsTo stamp spoons, you will need a set of metal stamps. I purchased mine several years ago at Harbor Freight, but above I’ve linked to one that is similar, and it costs about the same.

You will also need a hammer (preferably a heavy one), along with an anvil or steel block of some sort. Truth be told, I use a regular hammer and a small steel block that I purchased for a quarter at a garage sale.

You can buy these products separately, or you can purchase them as part of an entire metal stamp craft kit for $40-100. I don’t typically roll that way. I enjoy hunting down the tools I need at thrift stores and garage sales, and I’m just too darn cheap to spend lots of money for a craft that I’m not even sure I’m going to like.

Now that I’ve done it a few times, I’ve learned that I do, in fact, enjoy stamping and hope to purchase the hammer I  linked to above. I’ll explain why in more detail below.

How to Flatten & Stamp Your Vintage Spoon

Stamping a Spoon with a metal stampStep 1: Before you start pounding away at your vintage spoons, you’ll want to cover your steel block with a piece of scrap fabric. This will protect your spoon from unsightly scratches.

Step 2: Lay your spoon down on top of the fabric covered block and start hammering. I recommend starting in the middle and working your way out. With a regular hammer, it takes a while to accomplish this–just keep at it and you’ll get there. The heavier hammer makes this task easier. Don’t let the wrinkled, squashy appearance of the spoon bother you, that’s normal and adds to their rustic charm.

Step 3: Once the spoon is flat, it’s time to stamp. Take some time to determine placement of each letter depending upon how many letters are in the word and the width of your spoon. I kind of prefer the slightly cock-eyed, but unique, look that’s achieved when you wing it. Yes, I am that kind of girl.

Now to do some stamping. Place the metal stamp perpendicular to the spoon, holding it tightly with your thumb, fore, and middle fingers. Use your ring finger (and pinkie if that works for you) to hold the spoon in place. If the spoon moves while you pound, you’ll get a double stamp (not a big issue in my book, but I wanted to warn you).

With the stamp in place, you’re going to strike the top squarely and with a good amount of force. With the “proper” hammer, you should only have to hit once and you’re done–no chance of a double strike.

But if you use a regular hammer, as I did, you’ll want to experiment with how many times you need to strike. I went with ten, rapid fire strikes and that seemed to work pretty well for me.

Vintage Hammered and stamped spoonsThe biggest issue really is holding the stamp in place while at the same time holding the spoon in place. As you can see, mine are all a little wonky. I definitely have trouble with “A’s.”

Linnie in the comments below shared that for short words, she holds the letters together with a rubber band and stamps them all at once. I’m looking forward to giving that a try–thanks Linnie!

Step 4: After you’ve spelled out your word, give the spoon a good polishing, if you don’t care for the tarnished look.

Step 5: The final step in this process is to use your extra-fine permanent marker to trace the lines of each letter, pushing the tip down into each indentation and then wiping off any excess ink with a scrap of cloth. This makes the letters stand out nicely.

Vintage Hammered and stamped spoons "sage"I swear I wasn’t drinking!

Vintage Hammered and stamped spoonsI hope to show them to the Simple Gifts shop manager to see if they would like to carry them in the shop, along with the rest of my Adirondack Girl line.

She had expressed interest in herb-related products since the Shakers grew herbs and sold remedies at the site.

Parsley stamped vintage sliver spoon(Here’s an example of a stamped soup spoon. Because they are wider, you can more easily stamp longer words on them. I had no parsley on hand, so I tucked it in a faux lavender plant.

Using Hand Stamped Vintage Spoons in Herb Pots

Vintage spoon stamped spoons in plantsMy spoons are obviously ideal for tucking into pots of herbs, but one stamped with a special sentiment, like “I luv you” or “be mine” would be sweet slipped in a small bouquet of flowers, right?

Vintage spoon stamped thyme in plantOr how about tying one that says “Congrats” or “Happy Happy” onto a gift package or gift basket?

Vintage spoon stamped sage
I sold the ones I made a few years ago at the Shaker craft fair for $5.50 each, which is pretty good profit when you consider that you can easily buy vintage spoons for 25-50ยข each.

Whether you’re looking for stress-relief or simply want a set of herb markers, this may be the DIY project for you ๐Ÿ™‚

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How to Hand Stamp Vintage Spoons adirondackgirlatheart.com (2)

Thyme-stamped spoon in herb pot

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  1. I love this craft. I have found it a little easier to rubber band the stamps together, if the word isn’t too long, an just hammer them all in a row.

  2. I’ve been stamping silverware and jewelry for years. Here’s a tip for you – It’s a lot easier if you tape the silverware to your stamping block using a piece of making tape or painters tape. That will keep the silverware from moving on you. I totally agree with you on how pounding silverware relieves stress!! LOL.

  3. I found the set of letters at an estate sale and have been wanting to do this for a long time. Thanks for the step by step and hints! I think Iโ€™ll look for some spoons this weekend to practice with.

    1. Glad I could be a source of inspiration, Laura! You’ll have to post some photos in our FB group when you get around to it ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Does it matter if the spoon is silver plate instead of whatever passes for silverware these days?

    These, along with those fork easels are my favorite of all your projects so far – very useful!

    1. So glad you like them, Jana ๐Ÿ™‚ Stainless steel is harder than genuine silver-plate and very difficult to stamp, so I would stick with the silver-plate.

      1. Good to know – thanks, Diana. I won’t be doing any of the stamping on spoons, but little easels might fit into my business. And it is sort of a duh that steel would be harder than silver; I should have figured that out myself.

  5. I have always loved this idea. I’m itching to get out in my shop and get some flatware work done! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You’re so welcome, Tanya! I hope you’ll post your project in our FB group when you get the chance ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. This is a craft I definitely want to do. I have the spoons. I just need the stamps. Yours look fantastic.

    1. Thanks so much Debra. I have a set in my Blog Shop under “Craft Supplies,” but as I mentioned in the post, I bought my set for a good price at Harbor Freight. Good luck!

  7. Very sweet idea, Diana. I stumbled across a huge stash of my own—(forgot them even) pottery herb signs on thick copper wire….I may have to post them on Etsy. These are great and will be fabulous sellers.

  8. So grateful I stumbled onto your site! Absolutely one of the best I have found in an extremely long time. Loving everything you have shared! Thank you so much Diane!

    1. Aww! You totally made my day, Kelli–that’s the sweetest thing you could ever say to me ๐Ÿ™‚ Be sure to stay in touch!!

  9. Love the signs, hate the fact that the beautiful ends of the silverware is hidden in the dirt. If they were mine, I’d glue them to a tongue depressor or twig so that I could see the end! Hope they will be a good seller for you; they’ll be great for indoor herb pots, too!

    1. I agree 100%, but if you don’t stick them in the whole way, you can still see some of the decoration, Kathy ๐Ÿ™‚ Good idea gluing them onto something else to make them stand out!

  10. I have the silverware and the stamps… have stamped before but this is a great reminder to get back at it. Also, thanks for the tips to rubber band the stamps together and the taping of the silverware. Genius! Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Excellent tutorial Diana and I just love the idea of using vintage hand stamped spoons for herb garden planters or even garden stakes. Pinned

  12. Lovely work. If you find yourself in need of some silverplate flatware I have a collection that was done for fun and am now ready to downsize. Contact me if you are interested.
    Have a great day.

  13. I’ve always loved these, just never had the nerve to try it! You’ve done such a great job. I’m sure they’ll go over well at the shop! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. Pinned! xo Kathleen

  14. When I make these, I use a piece of duct tape to hold the Silverware piece down so I don’t have to hold it and only have to hold the stamp. Also, to avoid the “double” Stamped image, a piece of duct tape across the area being Stamped provides some Cushion and “shock” absorption as you stamp thru it.

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