A couple of summers ago we planted my first herb garden. I was so 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). The herb garden contains 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.
First, you need some old silverware. I love different each utensil is. Some are more rustic looking than the others, adding to the antique look.
Flatten the top of the utensil out with a hammer or vice.
Here is what they look like flattened out. You need the part you are going to punch the letters on to be completely flat.
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?
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.
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. If your lettering does not seem to show up enough, you can color it a second time, really getting the sharpie into the indents.
And here is one proudly displaying its name in my herb garden - Lavender.
And here is another - Rosemary. Pretty awesome, huh? These would also be very cute in potten plants with names, dates, or words of hope punched on them and given as gifts.