Forks, knives & spoons - oh my!

Normally when you think of silverware, you consider them to be used as eating utensils...but what about all of those orphaned forks, knives & spoons that are worn out or bent...what happens to them...well, let me tell you...

As many of you know, I have a fascination with metal...and with things that people would normally throw away.  I decided to make a lamp with the shade composed of silverware...here's how I did it...

Gathering up the raw materials

Old brass lamps abound at the thrift stores - ugly but very sturdy.  The wooden base will give more height and heft to the lamp.  I drilled four holes in the bottom lip of the lamp and screwed it onto the wooden base.

Metal lamp shade skeleton - I ripped off the stained silk covering to leave the bare bones.  I liked the straight sides.  I thought about leaving the silk wrapped edges...but only for a moment...ripped that off too.

Old silverware - can't say enough good things about it!  The old patterns and designs are incredible and the weight of each piece feels so much better in your hand than flimsy modern metal.  A couple of years ago, we swapped out our everyday silverware for an eclectic mix of old silver and silverplate.  Every piece is different so nothing matches and I run it through the dishwasher.  When a tine gets bent or too much silver rubs off from the back of a spoon, I pick up another random piece at any yard sale...and the discarded piece joins the mob waiting to be re-made!

Prepping the materials

I've said it before and I'll say it again...Priming is always a good idea.  (I must be getting through with my hosanna anthem because I actually have had two friends say to me that they knew they should prime...but didn't...next time!)  Especially with metal, primer will help to grab onto the metal and then grab onto the paint.  I primed the lamp base and then spray painted it a dark oil-rubbed bronze color.

My idea for this project involved having each piece of silverware hang from a length of wire...so I needed a hole drilled in each piece.  Purchasing a drill bit specific for metal simplified the process; clamping each piece of silverware to a wooden board ensured accurate (and safe!) hole placement.

Now I needed to put it all together...stay tuned for the next installment...


  1. i love this idea i have had a version of it running around my head for a few months. i want to make a hanging lamp for my new kitchen with old silver ware. thanks for sharing, now i know i can.

  2. I literally have buckets of vintage silverware...I'm into hammering pieces right now. Can't wait to see the rest of the project!

  3. I love this idea. i have been thinking of a hanging fixture but this table lamp is fabulous. BTW, the last picture is our everyday pattern. Neat.


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