Jewelry trends come and go, but the spoon ring is forever. In fact, this style of ring is thought to date back to the 1600s, when making jewelry out of cutlery was apparently a thing.
If you didn't happen to inherit one of these silver statement bands, though, you're not out of luck. You can make one in under an hour with stuff you may already have lying around the house.
No spare silver flatware on hand? No worries. See if you can score a one-off spoon or fork at an antique of thrift store — it can be vintage or more modern depending on the look you want. Just make sure the piece you choose is sterling by looking for ".925" or "sterling" stamped on the back.
Stainless steel flatware isn't pliable enough for this project (yep, I learned that the hard way). If you can find a spoon that's on the thinner side, so much the better — it'll be more bendy.
What you need
- Silver spoon or fork
- Jeweler's saw or other cutting tool
- Ring mandrel
- Nylon or rawhide mallet
- Pickle pot
- Ring-bending pliers
- Strip of thick leather
1. Measure Out Your Ring
Use a tape measure or piece of string to get a general idea of the overall length, factoring in the overlap. You'll be able to play with the size later, so this measurement doesn't need to be super precise.
2. Mark and Cut
Using your tape measure, mark how far down from the end of the utensil you want to cut.
Then, using your jeweler's saw, cut right through that mark you just made.
3. Shape with a File
File the cut end so you have nice rounded edges.
4. Bust Out the Blow Torch
Anneal your piece (jeweler's-speak for heating it gently with a blow torch) and then put it in the pickle pot (an acid solution that cleans it).
5. Form the Piece
Begin to form the metal around your mandrel using your nylon hammer. I prefer to start about two sizes smaller than my end result. Once the two ends come together, it'll be pretty close to the size I intended. You may need to experiment to get the size right. I find it easier to stretch than to squeeze.
Flip the metal and begin forming from the other side as well. You should start to get some good movement here.
If you can't quite get the sides to match each other, use your ring-bending pliers to help close the gap. I like to use a thick piece of leather between the jaws and my piece to avoid leaving any marks on the silver.
If you want the ends of your ring to lay side by side, you might need to get creative with your forming. I grasped mine with my ring-bending pliers and, while pressing the overlapping pieces against my workbench, was able to move the pieces so they were positioned side by side. You might prefer to have one end slightly elevated. The beauty of these rings is that no two are the same.
Keep rounding your ring on your mandrel until you're happy with the shape.
6. Do Your Finishing Touches
Use your ring-bending pliers to make any last minute tweaks to your ring's shape and size.
Polish with a polishing cloth or (if you have one) a buffing wheel.
And there you have it! An (almost) instant heirloom.