By now, you have probably figured out that while I’m not afraid to spend on a party, I am thrifty. I’ll splurge on something I know I can use over and over, but I just can’t bring myself to overspend on a small (but fabulous) touch.So while antiquing this weekend, I saw some deeply filigreed and tarnished candelabras that I really wanted for the girls’ birthday party. They rented for $20 each — ouch. But across the street, another antique mall had these two silver plate candelabras — not as tall, not as detailed, not as tarnished. But they did have the advantage of being on sale for $10 each. Half price and they’d be mine in the end? Sold!
I asked the clerk if she knew how to tarnish silver plate and she tried really hard not to look at me like I was crazy. Google to the rescue!
It turns out that all you need to create tarnish is sulfur. The Journal of Fancy Smancy Science Stuff (not it’s real name) said boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard and rubber bands all could create tarnish. I wasn’t about to slather my candelabras in mayo, so I Googled some more and someone on the BeadingDaily.com forum mentioned the boiled egg trick. This is super easy and really works — here’s how.
- Pot with tight fitting lid
- Zip top baggie or plastic container with lid
1 – Boil your egg. (Here are great instructions on how to boil an egg so it doesn’t crack and ooze. That doesn’t matter for this project, but come Easter, you’ll want to Pin this.)
2 – Immediately remove your egg from the water and slice it into quarters. Don’t remove the shell.
3 – Put your silver and the egg in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid or in a zip top baggie. Pop it in the fridge to avoid having your house smell like eggs.
4 – Wait. The longer you leave your silver in the container, the darker it will get. Here is my candelabra after about 3 hours. It’s got texture, but isn’t as dark as I want it yet.
And here are some photos comparing the one candelabra that’s gotten the egg treatment with one that hasn’t. You can see the tarnish in the candelabra on the right in these photos.
This is going back in the egg bag and I’ll probably leave it overnight, hoping it gets even darker and more mottled. It’s the hard-boiled egg white that does the trick. But, if you have a stubborn piece of silver, try something called Liver of Sulfur. I haven’t tried it myself, but you can read more about it here.