Thursday, June 24, 2010

Garden Markers from Antique Silverware

This summer we planted my first herb garden. I am excited to grow and use my own herbs, and decorate my little space. I thought the best spot would be right off the back porch, since the door leads to the kitchen. We had some flowers growing there that we transplanted and planted away. Most of the herbs were organic seedlings that I purchased at a local nursery but a couple I planted by seed (they are the ones in the pots). I am attempting to grow rosemary, lemon thyme, sage, oregano, lavender, chives, dill, scallions, flat leaf parsley, and two varieties of basil. I thought it would be fun to make my own garden markers using old silverware. I saw the idea in a Country Living Magazine a couple years ago. My mother in law bought me some really cool silverware at antique shops.
I love different each utensil is. Some are more rustic looking than the others, adding to the antique look.
First step is to flatten the utensil out with a hammer or even a vice.
Here is what mine looked like all flattened. Next stamp your letters on the surface of the utensil. I used 1/8" size metal stamps, purchased from Harbor Freight. They are fairly inexpensive. Make sure you hammer the stamps on a hard surface (concrete). We used a concrete block. Do NOT use your kitchen counter or floor, the stamps will not get a deep enough indent if the surface is not hard enough underneath. It can be really hard to line those little letters up perfectly, so practice on a piece of silverware you do not mind giving to the cause. And if they are not perfect, that is okay, it adds to the rustic charm, don't you think?
Here is "Basil" stamped on a fork.
Here it is colored in with a sharpie marker.
Once you have stamped the letters, take a black sharpie and color over the indents really well.
Then take a baby wipe and wipe off the excess marker. The color should remain in the indentations from the stamp, but wipe right off the areas around the indentations.
See? Not perfect, but definitely better than the little paper tags that come with the plant, or the old school craft stick with the name written down the side.
Here are two comparing the one on the left which is colored in versus the one on the right which has not been colored in yet. Makes a difference.
And here they are proudly displaying their names in my herb garden - Lavender
Rosemary
Basil
Pretty awesome, huh?
We still need to get a little fence to go around the perimeter of the garden, but overall I am pretty pleased with how it came out. Now the real test is to see how it grows...

5 comments:

  1. These are GREAT! I love your garden space too. Beware of the oregano though, it's a weed and WILL come back next year and spread everywhere! I dug up a TON of mine this year to get ride of it. Your basil looks great though, I can almost smell it.

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  2. Super cute! and how fun to have all those herbs.

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  3. I LOVE your silverware markers! I need to come up with some new markers for my square foot garden (instead of popsicle sticks w/ Sharpie). Your herbs are looking great!

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  4. i would do this with jewelry too. it's very cool...

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  5. Super cute idea. Thanks for the link to where you got the letter stamps. Can't wait to try this.

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