Monday, April 29, 2013

DIY: Garden Markers

If you look anywhere on the Internet for inspiration, you will more than likely come across Pinterest.  And if you haven't spent hours going through all of the pins, you need to sign up for an account now, but, be prepared to become addicted.

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 

We took out the letters that we needed for the stakes, based on the herbs that I put in our planter a few weeks ago.

The "R" for Rosemary. / Personal Picture

Next, we placed the stamp where we wanted the letter to show, and hammered it down.

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

After hammering your letters in, you will want to go over them with a black permanent marker.  Make sure that you get the marker in all the little grooves of the letter stamps.

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.  

Personal Picture


Personal Picture

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!

Personal Picture


"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!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

first you cant see at once what is written on the metal and second it´s a wast of fine metal
Kearny

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Jeremy Bloomberg said...

I'm a huge fan of DIY working and my hobby is gardening. Luckily I got this post and got some very good DIY idea about gardening. Hope this idea helps me to raise my garden.

Thanks for sharing.

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