Thank you everyone who gave me suggestions on my last post! You guys rock! I really have no idea what I would do without you guys. I took your suggestions and messed around with some shiny old forks I found and look what I got!
Are they perfect? Well, no. But I did get two that look fine and that’s good enough for me.
So let’s start at the beginning now, shall we?
It kind of all clicked together after the last post when someone nicely pointed out that I was supposed to be using silver plated silverware, not stainless steel. Duuuuuuuuh. I feel like such an idiot.
Thus, I went out to my local thrift stores in search of old silverware. I got insanely lucky this weekend and found these forks (and some spoons) at Goodwill for 25 cents each.
They were tarnished and you can tell that some of the silver plating has been chipped off. On the back of each, there was a symbol that I had never noticed until this week. By sketchily Googling on my phone while there, I discovered that they were silver plated silverware (though, the tarnish kind of gave that away).
Because they were in such bad shape, I decided to do the baking soda, aluminum foil, and hot water trick that I had seen on the internet. I lined the bottom of a glass dish with aluminum foil and added my silverware. I then added hot water into the mixture and a little bit of baking soda and let it sit. Immediately, you could see the tarnish coming right off of the silverware. It works surprisingly well.
|Shiny decided to take a bath too.|
Actually, let me geek out for a second and just marvel at how amazing this chemical reaction is. From Science is Fun (Shakhashiri’s Lab in University of Wisconsin):
Or in English, the tarnish on the silver reacts with the aluminum through an electric current (similar to how a battery works) that causes the sulfate to bind to the aluminum, leaving beautiful silverware. This also means (as I understand it—correct me, chemists, if I’m wrong), that this method of cleaning silver probably doesn’t work on other metals, sadly.
After I finished cleaning the silverware I marked on the forks with a permanent marker where I wanted each letter, only to realize that ALWAYS and FOREVER that I had originally planned, probably wasn’t going to work.
|Always barely fit on there.|
I decided on ALWAYS HAVE and ALWAYS WILL, which I found in For Such a Time Designs on Etsy. It was a sentiment that I thought was endearing and that I really liked.
I set the fork on top of a towel, which was on top of a scrap metal plate I found in lab. I highly recommend using the towel, which helps to keep the fork stationary as well as helps dampens the noise a little. I used my stamp set and hammered about four to five times for each letter to make each letter, while trying not to move the letter.
Afterwards, I filled in the letters with a sharpie and then scrubbed off the excess marker. I know the permanent marker might erase over time with use, but I have no problems going back over the letters every once in a while to make it more obvious.
I will say, the curves are a pain. It is nearly impossible to get a good indention on it. It is also nearly impossible to reposition the stamp back on the half formed letter, so I think getting a good letter on the first try is key. I had some trouble with some of the letters pretty consistently (I don’t think the W ever fully formed). But as a whole, I would recommend getting extra forks and using short words
Did anyone else try to stamp their own forks? Did you have better luck? What would you want written on your forks? Also, thoughts about what I should do with those spoons?
- Boston, MA
- Graduate Student
- Wedding Date:
- June 2013