I’ve had an obsession with metal stamping recently.

 The dappled, unfinished look of letters indented into brass is gorgeous. So when Founding Farmers requested signs for their outdoor herb garden, it was a perfect excuse to purchase metal stamping sets. Here’s a little walk-through on the process of making these signs:

 

[drop_cap style=”2″ bgcolor=”#dddddd” color=”#787882″]1[/drop_cap]I started with .05in brass sheeting and a soft piece of fence wood that would allow the metal to indent into it, while still providing a sturdy enough surface to hammer into. Letter by letter, I hammered each of the words into the soft brass. Hammering too hard will punch right through the brass. Hammering too light will leave a less visible intent to the letter.

[drop_cap style=”2″ bgcolor=”#dddddd” color=”#787882″]2[/drop_cap]  After the indents have been made, I took a little bit of black acrylic paint on the tip of my finger and smudged it into the letter indents. When it’s half-dry, dab it gently with a paper towel to get the paint off of the surface, then clean and polish around the edges of the letters with a q-tip to ensure you don’t wipe all the paint from inside the indents. This add’s a faded look, and helps add definition to the letters.

[drop_cap style=”2″ bgcolor=”#dddddd” color=”#787882″]3[/drop_cap] I cut a long 1/2 inch piece of wood to match the varied lengths of the brass signs, then stained and polyurethaned each piece to be a warm, amber color.

[drop_cap style=”2″ bgcolor=”#dddddd” color=”#787882″]4[/drop_cap] I attached each piece of brass to its corresponding wood block with short, rough copper tacks.

[drop_cap style=”2″ bgcolor=”#dddddd” color=”#787882″]5[/drop_cap] I cut some regular green bamboo garden stakes and staple-gunned two to the back of each piece. They look great in the garden, blend well because all the materials are natural, and will hold up to outdoor weather conditions really well. The copper and brass will tarnish with time, which will bring a worn beauty to the signs.

Did you enjoy this ‘how to’? I’m thinking about doing more for projects in the future – leave me a comment and let me know!