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Mini Tart Pan
Garden Markers

© Stephie McCarthy

©StephieMcCarthy

Fanciful and practical, we designed these hand-made
metallic markers stand up to all sorts of rough weather.
And … they are not very hard to make.

©StephieMcCarthy

If you need plant labels that will not fade
etch them onto metallic tape as we do,
and your words will last season after season.
We usually attach our labels to plastic stakes,
but here's how to take it up a notch
and make them decorative.

To open a PDF of decorative marker patterns
in a new window , click here.

©StephieMcCarthy

Attach your labels to flattened tart pans
and old cutlery so that you can use them to
decorate your garden and container plants.

Mini tart pans are so pretty, but there are two shapes that
work the best for this craft:

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Look at all the variety … but,

round and oval mini tart pans work best!
(We like American-made pans because
otherwise they may rust very quickly)

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Shown above are the two best shapes for making these markers:
round and oval.

You will also need:

Nashua Waterproof Tape Craft by Stephie McCarthy

click to buy this product

waterproof repair tape, aluminum
(We buy Nashua brand, 1.89" wide, which we find
in the duct-work section in hardware stores or Amazon.
Both blue and white backing tapes seem to work the same.)

GE Silicone craft by Stephie McCarthy

click to buy product

For glue, we used GE Silicone.

For a stronger bond, you could use E6000 glue.
But, be sure to do your gluing outside with good ventilation …
this product has unpleasant fumes, but does a great job.

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click to buy product

YOU'LL ALSO NEED:
rubber mallet
small tack hammer
pencil to etch tape and make patterns
old cutlery
(we used dull dinner knives and flattened spoons and forks,
sandpapering any sharp edges as needed)
scissors
old towels to protect sufaces while flattening.

If you use other shapes other than round or oval, your markers will need to be snipped in order to flatten properly. You will also need to file the edges because otherwise they will be sharp! Use caution when you make shapes that have to be snipped.
Here's an example of what snipped pans may look like when complete, shown on the left and right. The round pan was used to create the smooth-edged, marker in the center:

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READY? Here`s how to make these: place a tart pan inside
the layers of an old towel or drop cloth.
Strike with rubber mallet against a firm surface
until pan is mostly flat around the center.

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Remove the pan and use a tack hammer to refine
and flatten around the center.

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Time to make the etched labels! Roll out a bit of aluminum tape.
Find a template the same size as the label you wish to make.
We used the top of a salt shaker to mark the outline of our label
for the round pan. You can also make paper templates …
very helpful when you want it to look just right .

To open a PDF of decorative marker patterns
in a new window , click here.

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Next, etch your design into the surface of the tape using a pencil.
Add words, designs, a picture … whatever you like.
We often start with a simple hash-mark border as shown above.

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Here we are working on a honeybee design.

Gradually deepen your design with the pencil, but don't
press hard enough to tear the tape.

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Optional:
Rub on a bit of chalk paint with a cotton swab.
Rub it off again to emphasize your etchings.

To Assemble:

Cut out your label with scissors, remove the backing on the tape
and attach design to the center of the flattened tin
(either side of the pan will work).
Smooth with a cotton swab or paper towel
being careful not to flatten your etchings.

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A rosemary marker glued to a flattened fork.

Glue your marker to a piece of cutlery.
We glued most of ours to the decorative ends of dinner knives
so that pointed ends would be pushed into the ground.
(Forks and spoons can be flattened with a rubber mallet.)
Let glued pieces dry overnight.

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To make the flower marker shown above, etch a happy face label to attach inside a round mini tart pan. Glue the pan to the center of
a flattened round tart pan.
Make leaves from an aluminum pie pan bottom,
etched with leaf details on top.
Glue finished leaves to back of flat pan and when dry,
attach to a piece of old cutlery.

©StephieMcCarthy

We've got lots of pattern ideas here … click to open the PDF
in a new window, and please remember my designs are
for personal use only. Do not use for them commercial
purposes, or don't be surprised gnomes eat your garden!

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