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DIY Gradient Wood Tasting Spoon Pendant Light – Part 3 — Prepping The Spoon Bowls (This Is The Exciting Part!)

I spent most of yesterday working on the pendant light that will go above my desk in the studio. The part I worked on is the slowest and most time-consuming part of the whole process, but it’s also the most fun. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting at my work table all afternoon and evening, paint brush in hand, painting spoon bowls and just imagining them all hanging en masse on the light cage that I built.

So yesterday was all about prepping the spoon bowls. This pendant light that I’m making was inspired by this piece of artwork that I made out of wood tasting spoons

I estimated that this pendant light would require about 1200 spoons, so I started this project a few weeks ago by cutting the handles off of the spoon bowls using wire snips. And then a few days ago, I spent an afternoon and evening sanding all of the spoon bowls to round off the cut. Here’s what they looked like before, with a straight cut edge…

And here’s what they looked like after I sanded them.

Since I don’t have a bench sander, I just used my little handheld rotary sander, and used my knees to hold it upside down. After several hours of that, my legs felt numb, but I got all of the spoons sanded.

After that, I needed to prime all 1200 spoon bowls. I started out priming them one at a time with a little craft brush, but realized very quickly how insane that plan was. So instead, I placed them flat on a work surface outside and sprayed them.

This was a pretty frustrating process because they’re very light weight, and every once in a while, the force of the spray would send them flying. But even with that frustration, it was much faster and easier than painting each one individually with primer.

So by the time I got to work on these yesterday, all of the spoon bowls had been cut, rounded, and primed. I started my work yesterday by grouping the spoon bowls into 15 piles, one for each of the 15 colors that I plan to use, and then worked on one pile, one color, at a time. I started by giving each spoon a quick sanding by hand to smooth out any rough finish from the spray primer.

And then using a small craft brush, I painted the backs of the spoons with liquid gold gilding.

This was a two-part process because I had to hold the tip while painting most of the back, then let it dry, and then paint the tip that I had been holding on the first go ’round. But this was the fun part. I could sit and paint spoon bowls while listening to podcasts all day every day. 😀

After the backs were dry (and gold gilding dries very fast), I flipped them over and painting the front of the spoon bowls using the paints that I mixed in Part 2 of this project. Each spoon required two coats of paint to get the full color. And those tiny little cups of paint that I mixed were plenty of paint for two coats even for the top, biggest rings of the light that will hold the most spoon bowls.

After the paint was dry, I used the tiny brush and the liquid gold gilding again to paint around the edges to “frame” the colorful paint. I purposefully did this in a messy, random way, just like I did on the piece of spoon artwork I made.

After all of that, I still needed to cover the edges. I tried using the brush and liquid gold gilding, but it wasn’t as fast and easy as I had hoped.

So I got out my 18kt Gold Leafing Pen, and that was perfect for covering those edges.

And the final step was to drill the hole for the jump ring that will hold these colorful little jewels into the wire lampshade cage. For this, I used my Dremel and a tiny drill bit.

So I did all of those steps in an assembly line fashion, one pile, one color, at a time. I only got two colors finished, but these are the colors that required the most spoons. As I go along, I’ll need fewer and fewer spoons for each subsequent color. But here’s my pile of red all prepped and ready to be hung on the wire cage. I needed 88 of these…

And here’s the dark pink for the next ring. I needed 84 of these…

And then I only got one finished of the third color so that I could take pictures of the process. 😀 But I’ll need 80 of the third color. So I’ll continue that process until I have all 15 colors done, with each subsequent color requiring four fewer spoons than the color before it.

I’m going to keep going until it’s finished. I don’t want to split my time or attention between this and another project this weekend. So we’ll see how long it’ll take me to get through 15 colors. Even if I get all of the colors painted over the next two days, I seriously doubt that I’ll be able to get them all hung on the wire cage before Monday. But we’ll see!



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  1. How in the world did you figure out how many spoons you needed for each color? Did you go over this in a prior post and I missed it? (Is so, I apologize.) Your patience and tenacity is amazing! I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  2. What a fun project! I wonder if using a needle nose pliers to hold the spoons would make the process go quicker?

  3. When spray painting something like this you can stick them to painters tape so they don’t blow around.

    1. That’s a great idea! I wonder if some of that Glad “Press-n-Seal” would work…it’s a little sticky.

  4. This was so interesting to read. I read it about 3 times. It’s going to be beautiful. It would take me 10 years to make this pendant light.

  5. That may be easy, but it is a LOT of work. I know it will be beautiful, because everything you do is beautiful.

    Enjoy your 15 colors!

  6. I am speechless and a lot in AWE…never, ever, in any way possible, would I be able to do such a thing…AMAZING!!!!

  7. I watch loads of DIY youtube channels – all very different I must say and mostly construction-oriented.
    I have such admiration for your vision, tenacity with tedious projects and your commitment to complete things – even if it takes longer than you want them too. Keep going and being an source of inspiration – cannot wait to see the pendant light in its designated position – I know it is going to be magnificent.