When I moved away from home, my mother gave me things to start my kitchen, including a mismatched set of silverware. Twenty one years later, I still have that silverware, despite moving a half a dozen times. It has great memories of newfound freedom and adulthood, so I’ve not wanted to give them up. Am I a packrat? You bet your bippy I am! But, what if I could reuse that silverware for something new?
Then it hit me. My new house doesn’t have a good place to hang kitchen towels, as I have a tiny oven, often referred to as my “EZ Bake Oven” in the wall, in a horrible place for towels. What if I used those silverware pieces to make a towel rack? I’d be able to see something that had such wonderful memories every day, but I’d be using it instead of packratting it. Perfect!
You’ll need a few things, besides your silverware, before you get started. I used a board I purchased at the craft store for around $3, but you can use any board you’d like. Barn siding would be beautiful, or even scrap wood that you have around the house. Decorate it as you like, remembering that part of the design might be covered up by the silverware. You’ll also need screws that are shorter than the board is thick, some picture hangers (I used the type that has teeth, but you could use eye hooks and string, or any style you like), a drill and a bit that matches the screws you chose, pliers, a hammer, a vise, and a screwdriver.
Start by drilling the silverware. Be careful to use proper safety gear and hold the handles down tightly. I used a drill press, but a hand drill would work just fine. I placed my holes about 3/4 of an inch from the end and halfway between the sides.
Once your silverware is drilled, it’s time to bend the handles. If you have a spare piece, try it on that first, so you know where you want your bends to be at. Place your piece in the vise, and hammer it until it is bent at a right angle. Repeat the process, so your utensil is “U” shaped, then repeat with all the pieces.
As I finished up this step, I had a visit in the workshop by my son. He had decided that since I was working so hard, I needed a glass of lemonade that he made for me. He couldn’t find a lime to garnish it with, and he used up all the lemons, so he used a slice of apple. He can be so sweet!
If you are using forks, using a pair of needle-nose pliers, roll the tines so that they aren’t sharp. If you decide to use this as a coat rack, this step is essential in saving your coats from an untimely shredding!
Now that all the hard work is out of the way, here’s the easy part! Attach your hangers per the instructions. I usually put one on each end so that it’s stable on the wall and can’t swing. Measure your board and decide where you want your silverware to be attached. My board was 17 inches long. I measured in 3 inches, placed a mark, then 5.5 inches, another mark, 5.5 inches, the last mark, leaving 3 inches on the side. Adjust this for your board and number of silverware pieces you are using. Screw the pieces to your board.
Congratulations! You now have a beautiful, one of a kind towel rack!