Do you ever wander through the $1 section at the front of Target? I ALWAYS take a stop there on the way into the store, and sometimes come across gems. A couple weeks ago when they had plenty of fun garden goodies out, I snagged a couple packs of these wonderful metal garden markers that I thought we be perfect for our raised beds. [I don’t know if these are available at Target any more, but you can find them online at a bunch of websites, including this one.]
The come with sharpies for writing the name of the plant on, but I thought this would be a good chance to break out my metal stamping set (bought on etsy) and give it a whirl.
It was SO easy. I brought out a bench block to place underneath (a semi-expensive but wise investment), then you lay down the metal and press it down flat. Carefully position the letter, making sure the character is right-side-up. One tip is that I start with the center letter of the word and work out in either direction to ensure the word is centered on the marker.
This metal was very soft, so it only took a couple taps of the hammer to make a decent indent. In fact, after this photo was taken, I hammered out the back a bit to even out the circular depressions around each character.
Some people use an oxidizing chemical to achieve the darkness in the back of the letters, followed by a steel wool rub to clear it off the face. I didn’t do this because a) I didn’t have any, and b) I wasn’t sure of the metal these were made out of and I didn’t want to buy something pricey if I couldn’t guarantee the chemical reaction. So instead, a colored on with the sharpies, making sure the ink gets all the way into the depression. Then, I used a mild home cleaner on a paper towel to scrub off the surface ink, leaving the letters in contrast behind.
These were so fast to put together and they add a fun little charm to our beds. I haven’t had a chance to take photos of them in their natural habitat yet, but stay tuned!