4/2/12 Update: For a printable of the instructions and to see the updated photo tutorial, click here.
12/10/12 Update: To see video snippets of the tutorial, click here.
Here it is ladies and gents - the highly anticipated spoon ring tutorial! Before I get started, I just want to say how incredibly excited I am to have all you lovely new readers over here, and if you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to let me know! So without further ado, I give you, the tutorial:
Things you will need:
- Spoon (or fork) of your choosing - make SURE it is sterling silver
- Metal cutter, hacksaw, or jewelry saw
- File or sandpaper
- Dowel or ring mandrel
- Hammer or mallet (optional)
- Butane torch (optional)
1. The first thing you are going to want to do is to decide what type of ring you want to make. You can either make one that wraps up your finger (top image), or you can make one that wraps around itself (bottom image). The one you choose determines the length of the handle (longer for the one that wraps up your finger). For future reference, we'll call the rings that wrap up your finger "type 1" and the kind that wrap around itself "type 2."
2. Once you have picked out the type of ring to make, you then have to pick out your silverware of choice. To find mine, I just went to a local thrift store where I got these for around 10 cents each. When you do go buy your silverware, make sure it is sterling silver and not stainless steel (it will say on the back of the spoon). I didn't realize this at first, so my first attempt (pictured below), was with a stainless steel fork, and let's just say, it didn't work too well. You'll know it's sterling silver if it says "900" or "925" on the back.
3. The next thing you will want to do is to measure your finger. One of the easiest ways to do this is by simply cutting a strip of paper, wrapping it around your finger, and marking where it overlaps. If you are making the type 2 ring, add an extra 1/4 in or so for the overlap. If you are making the type 1 ring, this step isn't as crucial because you will just continue wrapping it until you've used all of the handle of your silverware.
4. For this next step you will need your saw or metal cutter. If you are making type 1, cut the handle right above the bowl. For type 2, cut the handle at whatever length you measured in Step 3.
5. File the cut end with either a metal file or a coarse grit sandpaper. Work your way down to a fine grit sand paper to get a super-smooth finish.
6. Now comes the fun (or frustrating!) part - bending the spoon. There are several ways to accomplish this. You can bend it around the dowel using shear force, you can hammer it around the dowel, or you can use a butane torch to heat it up before you bend it. I found this little butane torch for $7 at Home Depot. However, when I actually got the right kind of fork (sterling silver), I was able to bend it with just my hands.
If you do use a hammer, I recommend wrapping some sort of cloth (a dishtowel folded in half works well) around the head of the hammer and securing it in place with a rubber band. This will help to protect the metal from scratches.
If you torch it, you'll have to heat it up for awhile...but make sure you don't let it start glowing orange.
7. This last step is optional, but if you so desire, you can polish or buff the ring for a shiny finish.
If you have any questions, please let me know...good luck!