All across Pinterest, you will find different ideas for garden markers, from rocks with chalk or paint on them, to wine corks on stakes. One of the most popular ideas that you will find for garden markers are stamped spoons. While these are a really cute idea, I just wanted something different. Loving the idea of stamping metal, I took a look at the Lowe's website, and found hollow welding tubes, and thought those would make the perfect garden stakes.
Once I picked them up from the hardware store, I was told that because they were hollow, they would cut very easily with a hack saw, so I headed over to the tools section and picked up a hack/bow saw that came with a few different blades, including a very small blade that would work on metal.
KOBALT Brand Saw from Lowe's / Personal Pic
I used some clamps that I had to brace the welding tubes to the workbench that way they would be still when we cut them. If you don't have any clamps, another pair of hands helping you hold down the tubes will work.
Clamps and Welding Tube / Personal Picture
Next, I had D help me saw the pipes off in 8" lengths. The sawing part wasn't hard, so if you don't have a guy around, you can definitely do it yourself. I just wanted to be able to get some pictures!
Sawing the Welding Tube (Please ignore the dirty fingers from weeding!) / Personal Picture
If the ends of your welding tube are really rough after cutting, you can use some medium grit sandpaper to get rid of the sharp pieces and making it a little more smooth.
Next, we got to the stamping part. I bought a Metal Stamping kit, with 36 pieces, A-Z and 0-9, in all capital letters. I bought this set from Hobby Lobby, and it was over near the jewelry making section. They had a few different fonts and styles, but I liked the generic font the best.
Metal Stamp Kit / Personal Picture
The "R" for Rosemary. / Personal Picture
Hammering the Stamp into the Tube / Personal Picture
When making jewelry with these stamps, they recommend that you only hammer once and make it really hard. We hammered quite a few times, and I leaned the stamp to each side a few times to make sure that the entire letter was going to show up on the tube. Make sure that you are absolutely positive that you have hammered hard enough for the letter to show up, that way you don't need to worry about lining the stamp back up with the imprint a second or third time.
Slightly misaligned "R" after needing to hammer more than once. / Personal Picture
Coloring in the Letters / Personal Picture
Let the marker sit and dry partially, then with a dry cloth, lightly wipe off the excess marker, leaving the color in the grooves of the stamped letter.
Wiping off the excess marker / Personal Picture
Repeat the stamping and coloring process until you have all of the letters you want on your garden stake. As you continue, you may need to go back over some letters with the marker to make them a little darker.
Once all of the letters in the name of your plant have been added to the welding tube, make sure they are colored in, and show nicely on the metal. Now, you are ready to add the stake to your planter or your garden!
"Chives" stake for my planter! / Personal Picture
Garden stake in the planter! / Personal Picture
I am so happy with this project, and so glad that it is something different from what you typically see around the Internet! I just can't wait to see how they look once my plants come in a bit more!