METAL STAMPING – HERB GARDEN MARKERS
1. Start off by finding your nearest Harbor Freight store. Go inside and get the Metal letters either 1/8″ or larger. I like the 1/8″ the best for longer words, but do what you want. You can also use design metal stamps that you can find online (Etsy would be a good start).
Lots of options if you want to spend some money…trust me.
2. Gather your supplies. Clearly I needed a new hammer. I did go out and buy one after this picture.
SO, I went to my local thrift store and found a bin of silverware. My only tip is not be impressed with the weight of the silverware. MUCH HARDER TO STAMP. Find the cheap ones that bend easily. Silver plated silverware is best. Stainless steel is near impossible to pound.
Supplies: Hammer, or a Steel Mallet, Silverware, Metal Stamping Alpha’s, Sharpie and a rag. That’s it! Get excited!
PS. I’d also suggest a good pair of gloves. Smashed my thumb a few times. All is well, but I wish I had those gloves on after the fact.
3. Your Alpha’s/Numbers will come a little greasy. Just take out and wipe down with your rag. You don’t want to be sliding around when you are hammering (tried it…hence the smashed thumb).
4. Now comes the fun part. Start with the back side of the silverware. Hammer away until it’s flat. I flip it over once it’s flat and hammer some more. You really want it as flat as possible. I just hammered on my back porch steps (concrete) but you can use a fancy anvil or something like that. I didn’t have time for that so I improvised with what I had…a backyard slab.
5. Gather the letters you will use. Some people like to be perfect and make a line with a ruler and all but I’m RUSTIC and don’t care. Do what you want. I just went with it. I like how it turned out.
TIP: I would suggest putting the cloth folded up in a square under the silverware for balance because when you hit the letter it sometimes jumps and creates a mirror image and you have just ruined your project. Yeah…went through like 5 pieces before discovering that tip out. Start out by holding the letter in the middle straight up and down and whack it hard once. I found myself hitting the mallet down about 3-5 times then looking. It worked fine. The tougher the silverware the more you have to hit it.
6. LOOK at how cool!! Now time for the sharpie.
7. You want your letters to stand out. You know, so you can read them from a distance in your garden. 😉 Just marker in the grooves and around the letters you stamped. Wait like 1-2 minutes and wipe away with the same cloth. If its hard to get off you can use a nail file, but I never had to. The cloth worked perfectly.
8. Place ever so proudly in your garden next to it’s namesake. (This one isn’t the greatest picture but I still wanted you to see.)
9. It was “MINT” to be. I love it so much.
10. My favorite herb of all time…CILANTRO. Yay!
11. Here is my small herb garden this summer. I have Cilantro, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Basil, Mint, Sage, and a Jalapeño plant at the moment. I’m so excited! I love herbs.
SO, I hope that all made sense. These little stamped lovelies would be ADORABLE tied lovingly with ribbon around some seed packets for your best bud or neighbor. At the end of the summer just wash them off and store for next year! Happy Stamping!