Crafty Manolo » SPOOOON!


By Twistie

Take my spoon, Blodwyn

Make it soon, Blodwyn

The valley knows the way I feel today

Take my spoon, Blodwyn

Make it soon, Blodwyn

Before some other spoon takes you away

Blodwyn by Badfinger

Okay, so now that I’ve referenced The Tick and mildly obscure British rock bands launched by The Beatles, let’s get down to what they have to do with crafts.


This is an antique Welsh love spoon. The one above dates from circa 1900.

Nobody knows for sure precisely how the tradition got started, but as far as anyone knows, it started in Wales, though they have also been carved in Scandinavia and parts of Eastern Europe. The earliest known example dates back to the seventeenth century, but they are made today by artists all over the world.

The idea is that when a young man falls in love with a girl, he should sit down and carve a spoon for her using various symbols to express his hopes for their life together. If the girl accepts the spoon, they are engaged. When they get married, the spoon hangs in a place of honor in their home. There’s no particular word of what happens to the spoon if the lady rejects it. Perhaps the gentleman uses it to eat a heaping helping of crow.

So what about those symbols? What are they and what do they mean? Here’s a short list to get you started:

Heart: Pretty obvious. The carver is offering his heart. Awww.

Chain links or balls in a cage: Either of these indicates the number of children the carver hopes he and his lady will have. A wise woman would count those links or balls very carefully.

A double bowl or intertwined hearts: Togetherness, true love.

Horseshoe: Good luck. Make sure the ends point upwards so the luck doesn’t run out!

Bell: A wedding or anniversary. Of course the whole point was to get married and one would hope for a large number of anniversaries, but it looks really pretty and was a popular motif.

Key: The key to the giver’s heart.

Lock: Security.

Wheel: A promise of support.

Cross: Faith in God, God’s love.

Anchor: Usually carved by sailors as a suggestion of finding a safe harbor, or giving up his wandering ways.

Nowadays, the symbols have gotten more elaborate and more whimsical. You can find love spoons based on themes from literature and folklore, hobbies, and dozens of other ideas.

In love with someone who’s into pop culture? How cool would it be to carve a spoon based around images from The Simpsons or a favorite band? Someone who has a thing for classic cars? Just imagine the variations on that!

As with any other craft, the biggest limit to your artistic expression is your own imagination.

4 Responses to “SPOOOON!”

  1. The Accidental Tangoiste Says:

    How sweet! I’d never heard of this!

    (Are jokes about spooning welcome?)

  2. Twistie Says:

    Welcome? They’re virtually required!

  3. Orora Says:

    Twistie, you won my heart forever with the Tick reference. “Not in the face! Not in the face!”

  4. Twistie Says:

    Hee! I still think my favorite Arthur quote has to be “I CAN TASTE THE FLOOR!” The Tick rocks my world.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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