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DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

Have you ever bought a seedling from a nursery or hardware store that came with a little plastic-y garden marker stake to help identify it? They are totally useful for telling which plant is which (especially when they’re young!), but they sure are ugly! So I decided to make something a little more fun!

DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

My friend Melissa from The Happier Homemaker posted some ADORABLE wine cork garden markers which I love, but I wanted to try out my new metal stamping kit! So I made these hammered spoon garden markers instead. Cute and functional, how can you go wrong?!

Now, to be fair, metal-stamping is probably not the easiest crafty thing I’ve ever done…but I do have a couple of tips and tricks for you, so don’t get scared off if you’ve never tried it before! Also, the handmade look of misaligned or double-stamped letters is what I love the most about these garden markers! It makes them unique!

DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

Here’s what you need to make your own metal-stamped garden markers:

Start by flattening your spoons. I found the easiest way to do this is to place the spoon down on the anvil with the rounded back side facing up, and smash it with your hammer a bunch!!! (Not joking, just bang it with a hammer until it’s flat!)

The metal is pretty strong right at the roundest part of your spoon, but if you smack it with a hammer about halfway between the middle of the spoon and the edge, it flattens out much quicker. Also, the hammer may ding up the metal a bit, so if you want a nice scuff-free surface for stamping, just hammer the back of your spoon. If you’re not worried about scuffs, feel free to hammer on either side; whatever gets it flat!

This was the longest, hardest part of the whole project, and it’s the most important too. The flatter your spoon is, the easier it will be to stamp your letters into it. If your spoon is still a bit rounded, the stamps will slip a little and you’ll get double-stamped letters.

Once your spoon is flat, take your Sharpie and ruler and draw a line across the middle of the spoon to help you line up your letters. You can mostly eyeball this; it definitely does not have to be perfect.

Then grab your metal stamps and start stamping!

DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

Here are a few tips for metal stamping that might help you if you try this for yourself:

  • The flatter your surface, the “prettier” your stamped letters will turn out. Your stamps might slip a bit if your spoon is still round, causing a double-stamp
  • Start in the middle. So for the basil spoon above, stamp the “s” first, that way you can be sure it’s centered. Especially helpful for long words like “lavender”!
  • If your anvil was bouncing around a bit while you hammered your spoons flat, get a friend to hold the anvil still when you do the metal stamping; this will help prevent double-stamping (after the first spoon, I held the anvil and spoon while JM held the metal stamp and hammered, it worked great and he didn’t smack my fingers even once!)
  • You need to hit the metal stamp pretty hard to get a good impression, but accuracy is way more important than power! Be sure to hold the stamp still when you hit it; it’s easier to hit the stamp ten times kinda lightly than it is to whack it really hard and have it jump out of your hand. Then you’ll have to try to line it up again to get the second hit, and that’s hard to do!
  • Practice practice practice! Spoons are cheap, so grab a few extra and practice! You’ll learn really quickly what works for you and what doesn’t!
  • Don’t sweat it! (See above re: cheap spoons!) The “sage” spoon actually says “sage e” cuz I messed up on the “e” the first time around…and it doesn’t matter at all! Redo it if it bothers you, or leave it and just call it “character”!

Once you have your letters stamped, color them in with your black Sharpie. See how it’s a little hard to read the letters in the picture above? This part will help with that.

DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

Now take your sandpaper and scrub until all of the Sharpie on the surface of the spoon is gone! There will still be black Sharpie in the stamped letter groove, but you don’t want the Sharpie line to show on your finished spoon. Once you have it sanded and looking the way you want, wipe the spoon off with a slightly damp rag, and you’re done!

DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

The letters are darker now and easier to read, plus it gives it sort of an antiqued look!

Stick the handle of the spoon into your garden and voila: Metal stamped garden marker spoons!

DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

See how the letters are a bit misaligned on the oregano spoon? Character, I tell ya!

DIY Hammered Spoon Garden Markers

The spoons look especially cool with big bushy plants that sort of grow up around them like this lavender! And isn’t that pot cute?! You can see how I made it (and sealed it so the paint won’t be ruined when I water it!) in this tutorial.

Do you use garden markers in your garden? I know once the plants are this size, it’s easy enough to tell them apart if you’re familiar with the herbs you’re growing, but these spoons are so cute even if they’re just for decoration!

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I link up at these awesome parties!

Disclosure: The materials section of this post contains affiliate links to the products I used for this project. Any purchases you make through those links help me to keep this blog running!

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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about real projects that real people can actually do! You don't have to be a pro in order to craft or do DIY projects; Practically Functional is full of projects for everyday life that anyone can do, regardless of skill or experience! Whether you're looking for fun crafts, DIY projects both big and small, gardening advice, cleaning tips, or quick and easy recipes, you'll find them here! Follow the step by step instructions in every tutorial, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Make sure you follow along by RSS or subscribe to daily or weekly emails so you don't miss a single tutorial!

Comments

  1. These are so cute! Now I wished I snagged those stamps from Pick Your Plum, ha ha. I’ll keep an eye out for a set so I can stamp away!

  2. Crystal says:

    Super cute!! It adds a decorative touch to the plant. So fun and cute!!

  3. This is adorable! I love it.

  4. Courtenay says:

    Those are so fantastically cute! I wish I knew someone who liked to garden (besides me) that I could make a set for as a gift!

  5. so so cute, jessi! love the look of stamped spoons!

  6. Love, love, love these!!!

  7. They are gorgeous! What a great idea to use the black marker too!

    If you have a minute to spare I’d be so thrilled if you could share this post at my weekly Say G’Day linky party! This would be a brilliant addition!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  8. I love this – how pretty and a set of these would make a great gift for a food-loving gardener, too! I’m stopping by from
    Wednesday Whatsits – hope you have a great day!
    Ang
    http://www.jugglingactmama.com

  9. Jessi, I lo-0ve these stamped spoons. The industrial and charming look speaks to me. I’d love if you’d come and share at my brand-new Inspire Us Thursday link party http://organized31.blogspot.com/2013/06/inspire-us-thursday-link-party-2.html

  10. Marilyn says:

    I LOVE these hammered spoons for all sorts of projects! Thanks so much for inspiring me to get out my old mis-matched spoons and craft with them!

  11. I really love this idea! I have none of these tools at home, but would love to borrow them to try this project. Thanks so much for sharing, Jessi!

  12. So so cute!! Pinning this. Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!!

  13. Your spoon garden markers are so cute and I’ve got these linked to my DIY garden plant markers post too today!

  14. I love these because they’re more ‘permanent’ than some of the other plant markers a person could make. The fewer times I have to remake or re-do things, the better.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Also, what do you think of those little hammered spoon garden markers? Cute right?! You can find the full tutorial for them here. [...]

  2. [...] recently saw these cute spoon plant markers from my friend Jessi at Practically Functional and she inspired me to make some cute little markers for my plants too since for once they’re [...]

  3. [...] Metal Stamped Spoons @ Practically Functional [...]

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