Dave and I made our own herb markers from flattened old spoons tonight. We saw them posted on a blog somewhere awhile back and thought, "Hey, we can do that!" And while browsing at Goodwill the other day, we remembered the spoons and rummaged through the dingy bins of used silverware to find the "good" ones - metal slightly thinner than what you'd buy new today, with beautiful worn and almost-golden patina.
Dave flattened them out with a hammer, and I finally got to put my cheap metal stamping kit ($5 at Harbor Freight) to good use.
If you want to try your had at it, here are some tips:
- Clamp the spoon down to your work surface while using the metal stamps.
- Work on a really hard surface. Like an anvil or a solid workbench. I tried it on an old wooden cutting board on the carpet and that was waaaay too cushioned.
- Use a hammer with some heft to it. After all, you are trying to pound metal into metal. Those little stubby hammers don't work out real well.
- If you want the letters to stand out more, rub black paint on the surface and push it into the crevices of each letter. Wipe off the excess with a paper towel.
- I'd also recommend having a good dog nearby to guard your workspace. It truly helps.
(P.S. You can find people making these on Etsy as well, if you'd prefer to just buy 'em rather than make 'em.)