Free Beading Projects – Spoon Pendants!

Hello again, and welcome!

This is a bit of a new addition to the site, and I wanted to get it up here just as quickly as I could!

Christina and her mother were talking not long ago about some antique spoons they had, and wouldn’t it be great if we could do something artistic with them.

Well…one thing led to another, and Christina took the lot home and started to experiment, and wound up creating a spoon “pendant,” which, when coupled with her beading hobby, wound up creating a new free beading project for us to put up on the site!

Below, you’ll find comprehensive instructions and photos to help guide you if you want to try the project out for yourself! All you need to do to get started is grab a supply of beads and some antique spoons (check your local antique shops for those), and you’re set!

Ready? Let’s get to it! (Note: Click on any thumbnail for a larger version of the image so you can get a better feel for what’s going on)

 Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 1

Based on the pattern in the spoon’s handle, how much you want showing in the finished work, how long a pendant you want, and how much loop around you want, you cut off the unwanted portion of the spoon. The loop around may be small for stringing or a chain, or you may want it larger to go on a slide (see Figure 1).

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 Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 2

Take a small torch and heat up the end of the spoon to soften the metal. Once hot, you’re going to hammer the “loop end” flatter so that it isn’t so bulky against your neck and for a basic finish (see Figure 2).
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Free Beading Projects - Spoons, Figure 3

Hammer away! The smoother your hammer and the smoother the surface you are hammering on, the less scratches you’ll wind up with. This translates into less work for you in total, as the less scratches you create now, the less buffing them out later. (Notice, I am hammering on a brick and with an old beat up hammer). See Figure 3
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Free Beading Projects - Spoons, Figure 4

Once you’ve done all the damage you can do with the hammer, your next step will be to do like me, grab a file and start filing out some of the deep scratches you just made. Art is messy. I love it! (see Figure 4).
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Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 5 Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 6

I tend to put things on the buffer as I go. This just helps me to see where the really deep scratches are, so I know where to focus.

And the hammering made rough weird shapes on the end. You want to smooth all that out, and reshape the end to a nice round, or something fancier if you want. For this example, I stuck with a simple round end (see figures 5 & 6).
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Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 7

The piece has cooled off, so we are going to re-heat it to get it soft again so we can fold the end over to make our loop for our chain to run through (figure 7)
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Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 8

I lack a lot of equipment. You are going to want to start your turn by hammering your piece around something. I put a screwdriver in a vice and started hammering around that. Once the turn is started, you and flip the piece and start forcing it back around. I am using a mallet here, to try and cut down on scratches and dents. You will also notice I am holding the piece with a kitchen towel, as to not burn my fingers (figure #8)
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Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 9

My one nice piece of equipment is a pickle pot. It is basically a crock pot. (In college we used crock pots.) You put a special chemical (sodium bisulphate) in the water, mix it up, and let it get hot. This eats away at the oxidizing that happened while you were heating the metal. The directions tell you amounts and times and things (figure 9 shows the piece sitting in the Pickle Pot).
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Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 10 Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 11

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The scratches look light, so I am going to start on the buffer, see what there is to see.

I am using an item to help polish, you can put it straight on the buffer wheel while it is turning. The soft pads won’t hurt your fingers, though it will get your piece hot after a time – friction (see figs 10 & 11).
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Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 13 Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 12

So, I have been buffing a while and there are two places too deep for the buffer to go. So, I have to do a little hand work.

It can get a little dicey here. You need the file to get to this deep scratch, but you don’t want to make more deep scratches. And you don’t want to hit the intricate pattern in the spoon. Be light handed, and careful (figures 12 & 13).

Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 14

After I have done all I dare with the file, I move to sand paper. To get something smooth, you have to gradually get scratches out. That means to something of smaller grit each time. Again, you are having to be careful with this tiny piece of sandpaper (figure 14).
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Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 15

Once I think I am buffer ready I start over with the same polishing substance as before. Check the piece, looks good, so I then use an even finer polishing substance. This one I found easier to put it on the piece directly, rather than on the buffer. The amount of time you spend buffing stuff out is up to you. How shiny do you want it, in the end? But don’t be fooled. Something like 80% of jewelry work is sanding and buffing scratches. Not glamorous, but that’s the truth of it!

Free Beading Projects, Spoons, Figure 16

And here we are, finished pendant made from a spoon. Done in under an hour (figure 16).
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Take it in the house and string up some beads in a pattern that will compliment it, and we are done!
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Filed under: Jewelry Making Instructions

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