Flatware Jewelry

198,560

1,033

75

Introduction: Flatware Jewelry

About: I work in IT, but enjoy a variety of things. I'll usually do something until I'm almost good at it and then move on to something else. There's probably a clinical diagnosis for that, but I've never asked. ...
It's really simple to make some fairly nifty jewelry out of what you've already got sitting around. For this bracelet I chose a stainless fork with some long tines and a bit of character, and then gave it a bit more. I like stainless steel because it's durable and polishes well. You can make it a bit easier to manipulate by annealing it, but I decided not to since I don't have the setup to temper it back up again. You just need to be a bit more stubborn than your materials and a bit smarter than your tools, and it should work fine ;)

Tools:
  • hammer
  • vise
  • pliers
  • drill
  • Dremel tool with:
    • fine sanding disk
    • small dia high speed cutting bur
    • polishing wheel

Step 1: Get Amongst It

Begin by flattening out your chosen fork with a hammer. Next, pull the middle two tines up to make it easier to cross the outside tines behind them. Do one outside tine and then roll the tip around before crossing the other side over and rolling it. When finished they should form a heart shape, you can tweak them in the vise a little to bring them closer together. 

Next, we want to bend the inside tines outwards similarly to how we bent the outside ones inwards. Curve them around the outside of the first two, and then put a little outward scroll in the tip of each one for good measure. Now congratulate yourself, the worst is over!

Step 2: Finish It Up

I thought the junction between the tines and the handle of the fork was a little plain, and decided to put another heart there. Draw a horizontal line, centerpunch a couple spots and drill them out so that the holes just touch. Use the high speed bur in your Dremel to flush out the bottom of the heart. 

The last step in the formation is to shape it into a bracelet. I used a vaguely arm shaped branch from the firewood stack and bent the fork around it by hand, but a few of the thicker sections needed a good whack from the hammer.

And lastly: polish it up! I made up a couple sanding wheels for the Dremel out of different grades of wet/dry paper with duct tape on the back for support to take the tool nicks out of the tines, then it was on to the polishing wheel. 

Just to show you a different design, the last photo is a commission I did for a friend recently out of 2 forks

Dremel Jewelry Contest

First Prize in the
Dremel Jewelry Contest

Share

    Recommendations

    • Game Life Contest

      Game Life Contest
    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest

    75 Discussions

    I can't bend the tines without marring them too much & when I use the blow torch, I can't get all the black off :(

    To Heraldo;

    I love your heart "forklet" and was wondering was the heart already in the fork, or did you drill it out of it? If so, how, like what did you use. THANK YOU to you all. Beautiful work.

    This is beautiful. I want to make it someday. I have small surgical steel plates that were removed from my wrist. I would love to make a bracelet out of them, but they need to be bent slightly. Could you please tell me how I could bend the played without damaging them? Thanks.

    I am really looking forward to trying this out! It looks super cool!!! I have a question though... Does the fork has to be out of nobel metal like... Silver for example...?

    Hi!

    This is beyond cool. Luckily I have a Dremel that has been collecting dust for ten years or so. Just don't invite mer over for dinner, or if you do, keep an eye on your silverware! LOL! Love it.

    Hi, I was wondering how you bent it without getting pinches in it, I've been practicing with forks you get at the dollar store and they all either have that pinch look or snap... also how do you make it even on both sides, are there measurements? Thank you!

    2 replies

    Hi, what sort of pliers are you using? If you take a close look at my pliers in the intro step, you'll see they don't have sharp edges. Bending tines with conventional square edged pliers could likely result in kinked looking tines. Also, the quality of the fork has a lot to do with it. I use the thickest, heaviest forks I can find. Ideally you want the thickness of the tines to be as close to the width of the tines as possible.

    To get both sides even, just do one side, then do the other to match it. You can pull measurements off the first side if it helps you, but I just do it by eye. I find it doesn't really matter what you do, as long as you do it consistently ;)

    I ended up using a bunsen burner at school to heat it and bend it and that made it a WHOLE bunch eaisier!... this is a really great project, thank you!

    Can't wait to try this! Some silverware jewelry is kind of boring but yours is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.

    I've tried this with stainless steel and without annealing it, it is impossible to bend unless you are super strong. Silver plated is a tiny, tiny bit easier and sterling silver is the easiest but still really hard without heating it. Sterling silver is a bit easier but difficult to find and very expensive for one piece. To anneal the silverware you need a firebrick that you can google and buy. Torch it and then quench it. Once you quench it then you need to get the ash coloring off and you need steel wool in the lowest grit to remove it. Then you polish it. But after doing it once, I just can't keep doing it without killing my hands and wrist. Has anyone else had better luck. I love the look of your bracelet. Beautiful!

    2 replies

    I heat and bend the tines on stainless forks with a small propane torch and they bend very easily. Heat and bend the tines one at a time and use "round nose" pliers to keep the scratches to a minimum. Polish them before hand and then more after for best results...

    Thanks for your post, it's so great to hear from someone who has given it a go! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    Sorry, but that's the only photo I can find of the octopus one, aside from the original design (you can even spot some differences) . I posted it to inspire people to try different designs using the tools & techniques already laid out in this instructable. Grab some pliers and some forks and give it a try, it's really just an extrapolation of the first one. Good luck :)

    P1020319.JPG

    Thanks! For those interested, I used a stainless fork and some old copper pipe that I annealed and hammered flat. Then I traced fork outline on copper and cut out with scroll saw. I applied heat with small propane torch to the stainless to bend the tines, then tig welded the copper onto the stainless with silver braze (Harris 15) and bent those tines. Polishing is what took the mist time...

    Thanks for the tutorial, I made one yesterday and sold it for $25 within the first hour on my FB Page... I did a search to figure out an easier way to bend the tines as they get pretty messed up and sometimes bend in a direction I didn't want. Thanks for sharing your method!

    bobs fork bracelet.jpg

    Andrew thanks for the great tutorial! Our profiles are so similar. I loved this art form when I first saw it and went straight to EBay and ordered a 135 piece lot of silver plate flatware. It is now piled up with the supplies from my last passion. Sorry, onto my question. What is the wooden tool that is shown in the pictures? I made some really great bud vases using a spoon and a knife handle and like most of the posts I am having trouble bending fork tines for other designs that I would like to make. The tool looks like it would really help. What is it? Thanks, Pam

    1 reply

    Hi Pam, thanks for your thoughts, I'd love to see some of the things you make. In response to your question, I didn't use any wooden tools on this build. I think you may be referring to Heraldo's photos which feature a ring clamp. Although a useful tool for holding very small items, I don't imagine it would be terribly helpful for bending. I can, however, recommend a pair of the round nose pliers you see in his first photo. I've recently treated myself to a 6" pair of them and they are much more versatile than the converted needlenose pliers featured in this instructable. Hope this helps, all the best :)