Stick a Fork In Me

Last week, I took a whirlwind of a trip to New Orleans so that the fine folks at Rust-Oleum could show off their new Transformations products to me and a handful of other Bloggers.  I think the new products are really, really going to change a bunch of people’s lives (or at least the lives for their kitchens), and I will be sharing all about them very soon.

In the meantime, I want to show you a little craft I picked up while I was in the Big Easy.  During our Welcome Dinner, my friends at Rust-Oleum used the most adorable place card holders on the tables.

They used real place cards, not business cards.  But, alas, I forgot to bring my place card home with me to demonstrate.

You should have heard us squealing in delight.  Then, when we were told we could take them home, we acted like we were just given diamond rings.

I have no idea where they bought these cute fork place card holders, but I think they would be adorable for business card holders, recipe card holders, photo print holders, and everything else in between.  I knew I had to figure out how to make them.  So, the day after I got home, before I even unpacked my suitcase, I ran to the antique store to buy some forks so that I could show the process to you.

(UPDATE! The original fork place card holders were made by David of the incredible shop BasilicusJones on Etsy.  Please check out his shop – I am dying over what he does with vintage flatware – and his forks are way better than mine and come at a great price.  Also?  I seriously want his spoon bracelet…)

Fork Place Card Holders


  • Silver Plated or Sterling Silver fork – obviously, the SP is cheaper than SS (mine were 75-cents a piece).  Steer clear of stainless steel (which you probably use on a daily basis), because it’s too hard to bend.
  • Vise
  • Rubber mallet
  • Utensil w/ cylindrical handle – I used a wire whisk
  • Pliers


Now, I’m sure that there are a hundred different ways to do this.  My husband, who does a lot of metal working as a hobby, was pretty flabbergasted that this was the way I decided to do it.  He said it would be a lot easier with a propane torch, but I wanted to keep the supplies limited to what my readers most likely had at home.  Do a lot of you have propane torches?  I didn’t think so.

1.  To begin, I brought my vise in from the garage and set it right on top of a cutting board on my granite counter top.  Yep, I’m fancy (and am apparently lucky I didn’t crack my granite).  I put one of the forks in the vise like so:

2.  Using a rubber mallet, I hammered the top of the fork backwards into a 90-ish-degree angle.

3.  Then, I pulled the fork out of the vice about and inch and hammered that part backwards into another 90-ish-degree angle.

4.  Then, I adjusted the fork so that it was in the vice like so.  Do you see how I have my little pink footed helper in the background?  That’s certainly not a requirement, but it does help.

5.  With the rubber mallet, I hammered the handle of the fork over to the left a bit.  I know the “a bit” part is really scientific, isn’t it?

6.  Then, I stuck my wire whisk into the bend and folded the handle over so that it made a curved bend.  I was able to do that part with my fingers, so I didn’t need to hammer my whisk.

7.  Next, I flipped the fork around so the tines were in the vice and hammered the flat edge to make sure it was nice and flat.  If there’s much curve to it, the fork isn’t going to sit upright.

8. With a pair of needle nose pliers, I bent the tops of the outside tines forward and the middle tines backward.  Then, I stuck them in my vice and crushed them.

9.  Here’s where the fine tuning comes in.  I just had to bend and play with it a little bit to make sure the fork stood up straight.  I just used my fingers to do this.  Every fork is styled differently, which means it’s weighted differently, so you’ll just have to play around with your particular fork.

These little forks are just so fun an unexpected.  I used them to hold my 1940s vintage valentines, but they will soon move on to displaying printed photos.

What would you display in these whimsical holders?

P.S.  From the bottom of my heart, I really want to thank everyone for voting for my Emmy in the contest last week.  We didn’t win, but we came in 2nd place to a set of triplets.  How dare those little stinkers gang up on her!  LOL  At any rate, it really melted my heart to see so many of you vote for her.  You guys make me feel like the luckiest little Blogger on Earth.

P.P.S. The search is still on for my friend’s missing brother.  Please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers.  The latest news is that his credit card was last used at a Shell station on 2/5/11 in Tonopah, NV.  Since then, there has been no credit card, email, or cell phone usage.  His friends have set up a Facebook page –  UPDATE 2/17 @ 8 am – His car has been located in a remote and rugged area in NV.  Search and rescue crews will begin looking for him this morning, but the family has been told not to expect updates until this afternoon due to inclement weather.  Please, please, please keep the family in your mind this morning.

P.P.P.S. – I linked this post at Gina’s Transformation Thursday – my first blog party in like a year.  Go me!

Filed Under: Create Your Decor

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE these!

    Extreme Personal Measures

  2. Nadir@StitchSense says:

    I love that! You did an awesome job! Those I’m sure would go over well at a dinner party or something too. Been praying for your friend’s brother Adam, I hope they hear from him/find him soon.

  3. WOW. I cannot say how much I LOVE these. I need to put this on my list of crafts to do!! I finally did your book wreath project…a year after you did. So maybe in late 2011 or early 2012 I will tackle the fork holder project :)

  4. Wow! Those look great and very unique (IMO). Nice work.

  5. That is awesome! I am going to share a link to these on my blog tomorrow!

  6. this is brilliant! it’s great that you were inspired to remake these at home. next time I have a dinner party, I’ll have to do this.

  7. How perfect would those be for a thanksgiving table! I love it!

  8. Yup, I love them! I would totally put pictures of the kids in them, business cards at my portrait studio (and probably some pictures too!), maybe even use it as a recipe card holder? How fun would that be to give with your favorite recipe in it for a hostess gift?

  9. What a neat idea! And trust you to show us how to do it ourselves! 😉

    About your friend’s brother, I am so sorry to hear about this, it’s heartbreaking. They are definitely in my prayers.

  10. How do you know if forks are silver plated or sterling silver? Are they stamped on the backside? Sorry for the lame question!

  11. Love these!! They are amazing and I have to share on my FB page!! (BTW – I am thinking about your friend’s family – how nerve racking!)

  12. How Clever! I saw the perfect napkin rings on Etsy to go with your forks. The rings are made from spoons!

  13. Jasmine Ford says:

    These are so cute! I have a bunch of my great grandmother mismatched tarnished silver…this would be a cool idea for those! I think putting photos in them would be a great idea too!

  14. These turned out so cute! What a special way to display your valentines!

  15. love that! I must try this too.

  16. Those are really cute placecards! And I am excited about the new products. We were just talking about needing to update our kitchen…they might come in handy!

  17. I read about Adam on a post over at Reddit, and I hope someone can help find him.

    I am hoping for a positive outcome for your friend!

    Here is the link to the info being shared on Reddit and the efforts to find Adam:

  18. We actually do have a propane torch. My husband used it to light the birthday candles on my 9 yr old’s birthday watermelon (long story). I do not go near the torch. A vise, however, I can use! So excited to try this.

  19. What a fun little project – they are super cute (as opposed to just plain boring cute!)

  20. I LOVE this! what a great way to display cards or pictures! I am SOOO going to do this!

  21. I might have to do this for our wedding place cards!


  1. […]  Fork Place Card Holder ~ Learn how to bend a fork to hold and display place cards, business cards and greeting cards.  If […]