DIY Garden Project: Aluminum Garden Markers

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Aluminum flashing becomes a rustic garden project, great shiny, all-weather plant markers, which clearly mark out rows and stylishly designate garden favorites!
- Printer paper
- 1 (5 x 8-inch) galvanized flashing tile
- 14 and 20 gauge galvanized wire
- Glass beads
- Computer and printer
- Scissors
- Spray mount adhesive
- Ruler
- Pencil
- Sturdy nail with large head
- Rubber mallet
- Scrap of wood
- Needle-nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- All-weather construction adhesive

Source: , Handmade Garden Projects: Step-by-Step Instruc...

Step 1

Compose paper template.
Size your word or words to a maximum of 4 inches wide and no more than 2 inches tall, selecting a clean, sans serif font with good readability. I printed “grow,” “bloom,” and “herbs” in Franklin gothic book, an interesting font that is standard on most computers. Print out template(s) and cut down to fit your plant marker. Spray the backside of the template with spray mount adhesive and set
aside while you complete the next step.

Step 2

Mark galvanized tile.
Measure and divide flashing tile into two equal 4 x 5-inch sections marking the line lightly with a pencil; this line will later form the folded top edge of your finished plant marker. My markers are two-sided for versatility; therefore each marker has two words on it. Measure and mark lines 2 inches in from each 5-inch edge; your printed word will sit on this line. Adhere paper templates in place; reverse orientation of the top word so it reads correctly once the flashing tile is folded.

Step 3

Punch letters.
With your template in place, position flashing tile on a scrap of wood. Repeatedly striking the head of a nail with rubber mallet, punch a series of closely spaced holes outlining each letter on your template. Remove paper.

Step 4

Finish tile.
Fold flashing tile in half bending it over the edge of a table along the marked center line. Using your fingers, pinch along this beginning fold, forming an even, uniform ridge. Roll all four corners of the tile with needle-nose pliers to eliminate sharp edges.

Step 5

Create wire holder and decorative leaf shape.
Cut a 36-inch length of 14 gauge wire. Wind one end tightly, six times, around the handle of your rubber mallet. Remove wire coil from handle and use pliers to bend remaining wire at the base of the coil into a right angle; this forms the upright “stem” of your wire holder. Cut a 10-inch length of 14 gauge wire for the leaf shape. Fold wire at 4 inches, pinching with pliers to crease; loosely coil the remaining 6-inch end. Bind leaf shape to the upright stem of your plant marker by wrapping the two together with a length of 20 gauge wire; trim ends neatly. Decorate wire leaf with glass beads, gluing end beads in place. Allow glue to dry.

Step 6

Final assembly.
Pinch the folded tile and slot it into the wire coil. Tension between the spring-like coil and the folded tile holds everything in place.

Step 7

Excerpted with permission from "Handmade Garden Projects: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creative Garden Features, Containers, Lighting & More" by Lorene Edwards Forkner and published by Timber Press.

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