Introduction: Make a Steel Garden Flower
We've all seen metal garden flowers at the store or in other people's yards, but have you ever wanted your own that wasn't so cookie-cutter perfect and without personality? With some simple tools (and a few not-so-simple ones) you can make your own garden flower out of mild steel.
This Instructable assumes that you know a little bit about sheet metal work. I have written several Instructables that cover some of these techniques.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- 2 square feet of 20 or 22 Gauge sheet steel
- 3/16" x 1 1/4" bolt
- 3/16" nut
- 3/16" Plastic or Nylon Washers
- 3/16" Lockwasher
- Printed Design
- Spray paint in the colours you have selected
- 4 feet of 1/4" or 3/8" solid steel rod
- Ear protection
- Ball-pein Hammer
- Bandsaw or Jigsaw
- Metal files
- Scotch Tape
- MIG welder (and ALL ASSOCIATED SAFETY EQUIPMENT)
- Bucket of water
Once we have these things we can proceed to laying out our pattern on the material.
Step 2: The Pattern
So, the first step is to lay out the pattern on the steel. Start by cutting out the designs below with scissors. You can print them out whatever size you would like, but as a general rule:
Big Flower Petals: 1 foot diameter.
Flower Center: 5 inch diameter.
Leaves: 4 inch diameter.
Once they're cut out, tape them onto the steel, and use the scriber tool to scratch their outline onto the steel. This will be our cutting guide, so make sure its visible.
Once the guides are in place, pull off the paper and discard.
Step 3: Shaping the Stem
So, inserting a straight stick into the ground won't exactly be very sturdy, so the trick used by most garden items is to have a second leg come out of the main stem, turn at a 90 degree angle, and go into the ground to help stabilize the flower.
The easiest way to bend the steel rod is to bend it while it is still the full length, so that you can use the length for bending leverage. Place one end in a vice and apply torch heat to the place you want to bend, 6 inches from the end in the vice. Grab the long end of the rod and pull down with steady pressure. As the bending point heats up, the rod will bend easier and easier. Bend the rod to a 90 degree angle, stop heating and remove it from the vice. Quench the bend in a bucket of water.
Place the stem horizontally in the vice and use a hacksaw to saw off the bend portion 6 inches up the stem from the 90 degree bend. We will be welding this onto the rest of the stem later.
Place the opposite end of the stem vertically in the vice. Do the same technique of bending, this time applying heat about 1 inch from the end and bending to around a 35 degree angle. Quench it in the bucket again.
Drill a 3/16" hole in the top end of the stem as shown in the image below. This is where our flower will be bolted in place.
Step 4: The Leaves
The leaves are the first piece of real metal shaping that we get to do. Back in Step 2 we copied the patterns onto the sheet of steel. Using the jigsaw, cut around the shape of the leaves. Using a file, deburr the edges so that they aren't sharp and won't be dangerous to our fingers.
The sheet metal shaping is totally free-form and there isn't a "right" way to do anything, so I'm doing my best to explain it below.
The first step in shaping the leaves is to place them in the vice along a near-symmetrical line and using the flat face of the hammer, bend the leaf in half so that it has a 45 degree bend.
Place a old rag on the anvil and strike the obtuse side of the leaf to curve it into a more leaf-like shape. Strike the nose of the leaf to bend it downward. Basically, just keep hitting until it looks like a metal leaf. If its not turning out amazing, hammer it flatter and try again.
If everything is satisfactory, we can move to welding the stem together.
Step 5: Welding the Stem
The first thing we are going to weld the 90 degree bent piece of steel we cut off in Step 3 to the stem.
I'm assuming that you have first-hand and supervised welding experience and proper safety equipment to perform this task. If you don't have the equipment for welding, use nuts and bolts. Attach the metal segments as shown in the image below.
To weld the leaves, place the ground clamp securely on the shaft of the stem, and using one hand, hold a leaf securely where you want to weld it. Cutting a notch at the base of the leaf might make this easier to accomplish. Place your first weld on top of the leaf, then weld the bottom side once or twice to make sure the leaf is securely attached. Repeat for Leaf #2.
Step 6: The Flower
Finally, the main attraction!
Start by using a jigsaw to cut out the petal shape inscribed on the steel sheet. File the edges to deburr them and reduce your likelyhood of needing a hospital trip.
Drill a 3/16" hole in the center of your petal shape. Trust me, its easier to do this now.
Shaping the petals can be difficult because the other petals get in the way when you're trying to shoehorn the piece onto the end of the anvil. Simply gently bend the other petals out of the way to expose the petal you are working on.
Shape it using the same methods you discovered and developed while doing the leaves. Placing a center crease down each petal makes it much easier to maintain symmetry while shaping the rest of the petal.
The yellow ball in the center (or as Google informs me, the stigma,) is difficult to imagine on paper, but actually folds up quite nicely into a ball-like shape. Cut it out with the jigsaw and drill a 3/16" hole in the center of it, too.
Start by hammering one segment of the stigma into a gentle curve using the horn of the anvil, then bend it back so it isn't in the way of the next segment being worked on. Continue until you have a "widely opened flower" shape.
Bend each segment back towards each other to get a ball-like shape, beating it with a hammer to bend them tighter and to group them closer together. They will probably overlap slightly, so just keep rearranging their overlaps so that one segment doesn't dominate too heavily over another.
When you're done, see how they fit together. You may need to adjust the bends in the flower's petals until the hole in the stigma lines up with the hole in the flower, and they are touching at these holes.
If everything is to acceptable and fits together well enough, we can move to painting and assembly!
Step 7: Completing the Flower
The spray paint we are using should be rust-proof no primer outdoor paint, just to make things easy and long-lasting. Paint the stigma yellow or red, the flower whatever color you want (other than green, yuck) and the stem a dark leafy green.
Once the paint has dried for 24 hours, place a nylon washer in the stigma, over the hole at the bottom, and thread the screw though the washer and the hole. Hold the screw in place while you thread another nylon washer onto it, then the petals, then another (third) washer, then through the hole in the top of the stem. Now put on a fourth nylon washer and a lockwasher for good measure, and a nut. Tighten the nut down nice and snug.
So, to clarify, the progression is washer -> stigma -> washer -> petals -> washer -> stem -> washer -> lockwasher -> nut. Tighten until everything can't wiggle or rotate on the bolt.
Jam the pointy end in a garden and enjoy. Does not require watering or sunlight!
I hope you enjoyed this project. Please comment or send me any questions you might have about a Step, and please rate it above if you liked it. Thanks for reading!
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28 Metal Garden Art Ideas That Will Amaze You
There are many ways to decorate a garden. Perhaps, the most popular way is growing decorative plants and flowers. However, this way is a bit old and outdated. It is still decorative but there are many new ornamental ideas to adorn your garden such as metal garden art ideas. They are inexpensive, off the grid and above all, very beautiful and unique. We have listed the best of these ideas below, go ahead and check them out.
Metal flower garden
This makes a great DIY project. You could transform the rusty metal items in your garage into decorative items for your garden. It is an easy and cheap project. Besides, metal decorations last for years and they are perfect to embellish your garden since they will be prone to devasting elements such as raindrop, humidity, and heat.
2. Metal Bird
Have you ever wanted to see birds in your garden? This DIY project will make your wish come true. You can transform an old hammer into a metal bird. Although this project requires that you have DIY skills, you can still make it happen if you have enough determination.
These metal flowers are very beautiful and attractive. Making these flowers is one of the best Metal Garden Art Ideas. They will add so much elegance and sophistication to your garden. Besides, you can paint them in any color you want to blend in well with your plants. Silver is a recommended color.
4. Metal planter
This is one of the most creative and attractive planters. This planter is so beautiful that you can even bring in indoors to decorate your place. Since it is made from metal, you may need to hire a professional to build it for you. You can find more decorative planter ideas in this article.
5. Metal trellises
If you are growing some vines in your garden and you are about to support them, you should definitely consider using these metal trellises. They are both decorative and functional. They look like beautiful flowers, they will add beauty to your vines. Besides, they are metal-made, so they are strong enough to hold the weight of your plants.
6. Metal Garden Sculpture
You can use different rustic metal items to make sculptures for your garden. The sculpture in the picture is only for inspiration. You can create whatever comes in your mind.
7. Metal Flamingo
This is one of the most creative Metal Garden Art Ideas. Creating some metal flamingo birds and placing them near your pond or pool will make your garden look stunning. These beautiful metal birds will make you feel like you live next to a lake.
8. Metal Cattail
Cattail plants are not only edible but they are also extremely ornamental. They have a style. They are also remarkable due to their large size and unique shape. However, growing cattail and maintaining them is challenging and time-consuming. Therefore, if you want to decorate your garden with these lovely plants, you should definitely make some metal ones. They are easy to make and they will last for decades.
9. Nopal Steel Cactuses
This is definitely one of the most decorative metal garden art projects. These Nopal Steel Cactuses are amazing and they will make any garden looks fabulous. They can serve as the centerpiece of any garden. They are also suitable to decorate your yards, porches, or even indoors.
10. Kitchen Utensils
People don’t use metal utensils anymore. Most people have already thrown them away. But if you haven’t, you can transform them into decorative metal items for your garden. Take the one in the picture as an inspiration.
11. DIY metal flower
Adding flowers to your garden is always a good way to add beauty and charm to it. However, to make your garden exceptional, you should definitely add unique flowers such as the one in the picture. It is truly unique and exceptional. You can easily make it using spoons and forks. It requires neither much time nor effort.
12. Big Metal flower
There is no doubt that metal flowers are lovely and alluring. This one for example, although it is inexpensive, it will definitely make your garden more attractive and appealing.
13. Tin cans man
Making a snowman is an entertaining project to decorate your house at Christmas. However, making a tin cans man is a lovely project to decorate your garden. This tin cans man is cute, eye-grabbing and above all inexpensive. You can easily create it if you devote enough time to this project.
14. horseshoe sculpture
This Amazing horseshoe sculpture will not only decorate your garden but it will also impress your guests and visitors. It is creative and beautiful. However, making it will be challenging if you are not used to DIY projects.
15. Metal squirrel sculpture
We all love squirrels as long as they don’t eat our plants and food. This cute metal squirrel will adorn your garden without touching anything. It is an amazing decor. You can hang it on your porch or on one of the trees in your garden.
16. caged rock caterpillar sculpture
If you want your garden to look more contemporary and stylish in an inexpensive way, you may want to add some rocks to it in an artistic way.
17. Metal house centipede
Having insects in your garden is not fun unless they are metal. This gorgeous house centipede will definitely draw attention to your garden or yard. It is very creative and unique.
18. DIY metal flowers
This is one of the easiest metal garden art ideas. You can have these metal flowers in your garden in no time. You only need to find or purchase some soft metal stripes that you can fold and unfold by your hands.
19. Metal fish
You don’t need a pond to have a fish in your garden. Metal fish don’t need water and they are very ornamental and pleasant to look at. Besides, they are so small that you can hang them anywhere in your garden. You can also use them to embellish your indoors.
20. Metal cattle
If you want to transform your garden into a farm garden, you can simply add some metal cattle to it. For these metal cattle you will need the following:
- river rock
- railroad spikes
- railroad track
- steel wire
21. Metal tank
You can use some old tires and some rustic metal items to create this metal tank. Having it in your garden will give a unique vintage look. Metal tanks can usually be found in castles and museums. Thus, adding one to your garden will make it really artistic and historic.
22. Metal dog
This a nice garden metal art idea. If you want a dog to protect your garden but you don’t have enough time to care for, you should definitely get a metal dog. Metal dogs are decorative and most of all they bark neither at daytime nor at nighttime.
24. Handcrafted Metal Flower
Handcrafted metal flowers are extremely decorative. They are very attractive and charming. They will definitely draw attention to your garden. However, for this handcrafted metal flower, you will need professionals.
25. Beautiful Metal garden flower
If you want to invest your time in an entertaining fruitful DIY project, you should invest it in making this cute metal flowers garden. It is so appealing and decorative. Besides, it looks like a real garden flower only it survives for decades without care.
26. Metal garden art sculpture face
This is an exceptional metal garden art to place in your garden. This cute smiling face is definitely eye-catching. You can make it using a chain and spring hair.
27. metal garden art: Native face
You can recycle old metal items to make this fabulous sculpture of a native American. This is an easy project that does not require any special DIY skills.
These are the best and the most decorative Metal Garden Art Ideas. We hope these indeas have inspired you to add some metal art to your garden.
How to “Grow” Whimsical Garden Flower Stakes from Metal Wall Art
Learn how to “grow” flowers from metal wall art to plant a little whimsy with flower garden stakes! An easy DIY and way to add instant blooms and a whimsical addition to your garden.
Happy Thursday! It’s peak gardening season here in North Carolina and I have a fun DIY to help you “grow” flowers!
These flower garden stakes add a little whimsy in the garden! I “planted” them for some instant flowers, in front of the Limelight hydrangeas that won’t bloom until early to mid-July.
Note: If you’re looking for an easy-to-grow, low maintenance shrub for your garden that will provide you with beautiful cut and dried flowers too, see my public service announcement:Plant a Limelight Hydrangea…or Five.
I started with these metal flowers I found at Hobby Lobby. All the wall decor was 50% off the day I was there.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my disclosure policy.
In addition to metal flowers, here are the supplies I used:
Rebar (3/8 inch diameter) available in assorted lengths
Metal Conduit (1/2 inch diameter) about 4 – 6 inches per flower
Tube / pipe cutter
Sheet metal screws
Clear spray sealer, optional
To make the metal flowers into garden stakes, we used rebar that we already had. If you’re not familiar with rebar, it’s used for concrete reinforcement and commonly used for stakes in the garden. You can find it with the building supplies near the concrete at the home improvement store. It comes in various lengths and in 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch diameter widths. Rebar will acquire a rusty patina over time which I prefer. :)
We purchased a 5 foot length of 1/2 inch metal conduit for $2.68, found in the electrical department at Lowe’s. You’ll only need a foot or less for two stakes so you’ll have some leftover for another project.You’ll also need atube or pipe cutter which my hubby already had. A tube cutter is easy and safe for anyone to use, rotating the cutter and scoring the pipe until it breaks, about 6 rotations for the conduit.
Next, drill a hole for a screw to fit, about a half an inch of down from one end of your cut piece of conduit. Tip: A piece of tape on your conduit will help prevent your drill bit from slipping on the metal surface while drilling.
Add your screws to your cut pieces of conduit. The screws will serve as a “stop” to hold the conduit on the end of your rebar garden stake.
Now you’re ready to glue your conduit to your flowers. I used E6000 for a permanent, waterproof bond.
E6000 will bond to metal, glass, fiberglass, wood, ceramics, masonry and concrete, as well as many plastics. It will not break down or become brittle with temperature extremes. You can find it at the craft store or home improvement store.
Add plenty of adhesive so you have good contact to bond the round surface of the conduit to the flat surface of the metal flower. I used a piece of tape to hold the conduit in place and prevent it from rolling until it was set. E6000 begins setting in approximately 10 minutes with a full cure time between 24 and 72 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity.
I waited a day and half before “planting” my flowers to make sure the adhesive was cured and the conduit would hold.
Your metal flowers may fade or acquire a rusty patina over time. To protect the finish of the flower, you can give them a couple of coats clear spray sealer, matte or gloss, whatever you prefer.
This flower garden stake with solar light below, is one I’ve had for about 5 years that I found at HomeGoods.
I hadn’t realized how sad it was looking until I photographed it recently.
I decided it needed a makeover, so I picked up some spray paint at Lowe’s to give it a refresh and similar look to the galvanized finish the other flowers had. I found Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Flat Antique Nickel and gave it a couple of light coats.
When dry, I did some dry brushing and light pouncing of my brush using some brown acrylic craft paint I had, so it blended with the other flowers.
I allowed it to dry and gave it a couple of coats of clear matte spray sealer.
If you’re looking for more DIYs and craft projects for gardening season you might like:
Blooming Door Knob Hose Guards
Fun and functional, protecting the flowers in the garden beds from being crushed from the weight of the hose, while adding a little whimsy and serving as garden art!
DIY Mosaic Flower Pots
A fun DIY and way to upcycle your broken dishes or thrift store finds with a trash-to-treasure craft and create one-of-a-kind flower pots for your garden or for gifts!
DIY Gardener’s Sugar Scrub
Find the easy steps to make a sugar scrub that’s fragrant and pretty too. Ready to gift or use in just five minutes!
DIY Hand Stamped Garden Markers
Create hand stamped garden markers for plant identification or to add a little garden humor or whimsy.
You’re invited for a garden stroll and see what’s in bloom around the Potting Shed, HERE.
I’m joining my blogging friends for a Creative Craft Blog Hop today. A special “thank you” to our host,Andrea of Design Morsels, for organizing this hop!
You’ll find more creative craft projects at the links below:
How to Make a Patriotic Door Wreath from Dollar Tree
A Simple Outdoor Lantern Change
How I Made a Very Starry Patriotic Wreath
How to Make Fun Fruit Props
DIY Metal Flower Garden Stake
DIY Knotted Tote Bag
How to Paint a Flower Pot with Ceramic Paint
DIY Copper Rimmed Flowerpot
Dollar Store Bee Candle DIY
Scrapwood Projects That Sell
Creations Seaside Shell Tray
How to Make a Pillow Insert
Painting Terra Cotta Pots
DIY Patriotic Pizza Pan Door Hanger
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Between Naps on the Porch
Tags: conduitcraft blog hopgarden DIYmetal flower garden stakespotting shedrebartube cutterSours: https://homeiswheretheboatis.net/2021/05/27/how-to-grow-whimsical-garden-flower-stakes-from-metal-wall-art/
Flowers garden for metal diy
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