I saw a similar project online and decided to see if I could duplicate it myself with a few simple tools. I thought these might not only be nice in my herb garden, but would make excellent Christmas gifts.
I started with the purchase of a metal stamp letter/number set at my local Michaels. They are also available at Amazon.com (or .ca) and eBay. I also went to a thrift store and bought a few silver soup spoons – the price will vary with where you find them, but I paid a dollar apiece for these ones.
I pulled out my anvil (actually it’s just a vise with a hard flat surface that I can hammer on) and my hammer and my safety eyewear. Metal on metal hammering is responsible for more eye injuries than anything else, so safety first.
Flattening the spoon was easier than I expected. I began at the deepest part of the bowl, then worked my way outward. The rustic look is what I was going for, so it didn’t have to be perfectly smooth.
I then drew a pencil line across the widest part of the flattened spoon and beginning with the middle letter of the herb (that is, for Thyme I began with the Y) I hammered in the letter with five or six strikes. I then proceeded to move outwards with each new letter, trying to keep a reasonable balance and spacing.
When all of the letters were completed I used a black permanent marker to fill in the recesses and wiped off the excess with a cloth. Voilà – ten minutes each to create these nifty herb markers. Guess what everyone’s going to find under the tree this year?