How to Make a Copper Plant Marker

by Alexis Rohlin

Copper plant markers brighten up your garden with attractive, easy-to-make signs. They are a permanent way to label the perennials, bulb flowers, roses, trees and shrubs that you have planted in your garden. Make a copper plant marker with thin copper sheet metal and copper wire, then emboss the name of the plant onto the sign.

Items you will need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Thin copper sheet
  • Heavy-duty craft shears
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Paper punch
  • Rolling pin
  • Towel
  • Blunt #2 pencil
  • Black paint marker
  • Fine-grade steel wool
  • 12-gauge copper wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Soldering iron
  • Flux
  • Solder wire
  • Clear enamel spray paint
Step 1

Draw a template for your plant marker. Draw an outline 1/8-inch away from the edge of the template, all the way around the shape, to give yourself cutting room. Cut out the template on the 1/8-inch outline mark.

Step 2

Tape the template to the copper sheet. Cut out the copper sign by cutting along the inside/inner line of the template -- the first design you drew -- with heavy-duty craft shears. Remove the template.

Step 3

Sand down the edges of the copper sign with sandpaper until they are smooth and no longer sharp.

Step 4

Punch decorative holes into the copper sign as desired with a paper punch. Roll the sign flat with a rolling pin.

Step 5

Lay the copper sign on a soft padded surface or a towel and write the name of the plant with a blunt #2 pencil. The blunt edge will emboss the copper sheet without much effort. Fill in the indentations with a black paint marker.

Step 6

Shine the copper sheet with steel wool by scrubbing the surface until it shines.

Step 7

Plug in a soldering iron. As it is heating up, cut a 10-inch piece of copper wire for the stand of the sign. Apply flux to the back of the sign and the wire. Position the wire onto the center-line of the back of the sign. Touch the solder wire to the soldering iron until it begins to melt, then touch it to the copper wire and sign. Apply molten solder to both sides of the wire to ensure that it flows beneath it to affix the wire to the copper sign.

Step 8

Wait 10 minutes for the sign to cool. Spray an even layer of clear enamel paint onto the sign and copper wire post to protect it from the elements. Copper plant markers that are sprayed with a protective coat of enamel paint will not tarnish and will last for many summers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Position the markers near a footpath in your garden, in an area where they can easily be seen and read.
  • Handle hot soldering irons and soldering wire with care, as they can burn.