Monday

Etched Garden Sign

Garden signs have a way of eroding with the elements. Wood rots, paint peels off and soon the well intentioned markers are no more. Here is an easy way to make permanent, professional looking signs that should last for decades.

You will need copper or brass sheets. My copper is from a roll of roof flashing, but if you don't want to invest in all of that copper ($$$), you can find small sheets of brass and copper at a well stocked hardware store or hobby shop. The large crafts chains might carry them as well.


Materials
copper or brass rectangle
StazOn ink
permanent marker
acetone
Ferric Chloride (available here)
black spray paint
rock
JB Kwick

Tools
masking tape
rubber stamps
Qtip (optional)
plastic container
fine sand paper

Thoroughly clean your metal rectangle, then tape a 1/4" border with masking tape, burnishing with your fingernail. Stamp your message with StazOn ink. Add drawings with a fine (not ultra fine) permanent marker. *note - you can remove mistakes with a Qtip and acetone.

Completely cover the back of the metal with masking tape and place in a plastic container with ferric chloride to cover.
Wait 30 to 60 minutes. Jiggle the dish every few minutes or so. The longer you wait the deeper the etch will be, however fine lines will be lost during the longer etch. If you have finer lines, etch 30 minutes; thicker lines - 60 minutes. (I recommend thicker lines) Check every 5 minutes or so. I started to lose some of the "O" in COTTAGE at about 45 minutes so I removed my copper.

Take the metal out of the solution. Wipe off as much of the solution as you can then rinse. Remove the tape and scrub off the ink and marker with cleanser. Pour baking soda into the ferric chloride to neutralize it before you throw it away.

Paint the entire sign with black spray paint. Allow to dry and then lightly sand with a fine sandpaper (I used 180 grit wet/dry paper) to reveal the label. You will notice that what was covered (masking tape, ink, marker) is now copper and what was not covered is now black. Keep this in mind when you design your sign.

Mix the two parts of JB Kwick, apply it to the back of the metal and adhere it to a clean, dry rock in your garden. The metal will patina over time and leave a lasting memento for years to come. If you aren't patient, spray with a mixture of salt and water to hasten the patina.

*note - when I first made this craft I used PCB Etchant Solution from Radio Shack. I understand that it is no longer available (wouldn't you know) so I've found a number of sources on the web; one of which I've referenced above. You might check with your local RS to see if they have a bottle in their inventory.

15 comments:

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [26 Jul 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

NanaDiana said...

Lovely idea! You did a great job on that!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

That turned out so pretty, I love this! Thanks for the great idea, I'll be linking.

Holly said...

I am really impressed with your creativity and DIY ability. What a wonderful project. I have all of my supplies to try those beautiful enameled numbers - I am so excited! Thanks for more inspiration.

Debbie said...

I am new working with metals but your idea looks simple enough to try. I have been wanting a personalized sign for my rock garden and I think this idea is it! Thanks for sharing. Donna

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