How to Make Metal Garden Art & Designs

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Creative metal art works can enhance the look and feel of any garden. Whether you have sprawling grounds or a small courtyard, metal art can set just the mood you want. Make highly stylized and abstract patterns or create realistic animals and insects. Produce two-dimensional sculptures or assemble scraps to develop new pieces. You'll need space in a workshop or garage because the work can be messy.

Things You'll Need

  • Transparency paper
  • Projector
  • Sheet metal
  • Metal cutters
  • Electric sander
  • Metal wire
  • Metal poles
  • Sketch out designs for your garden onto transparent overhead projector paper. Or if you are competent with computer graphics, you may choose to create your designs on a computer. Then print a copy of each design onto transparency paper.

  • Stand an appropriate size of sheet metal against a blank wall to create life-size templates for 2-D sculptures.

  • Place the transparency paper onto a projector and project the image onto the sheet metal. Transfer your designs onto the metal by drawing an outline of the projected image. Use a tapered black marker. It's best to make a thin line so the marker ink is not so apparent when you cut out the design.

  • Put on a protective mask, coveralls and thick suede gloves. Cover your hair. Use metal cutters or a flat metal knife cutter made for that purpose. Starting at one end of the metal sheet cut along the marker line. Cut out any interior design segments using a sharp metal knife.

  • Use an electric sander to smooth out the cut edges. Buff along all cut edges until there are no sharp parts. Clean up with soap and water and dry with a lint-free cloth.

  • Attach one or more metal rings, depending on the sculpture size, onto the backside of the flat metal artwork. Wrap wire to create the rings. Use a liberal amount of epoxy glue to attach rings to the metal. Allow to dry overnight.

  • Slide a metal pole through the metal rings and mount the sculpture into the ground in the garden. If the pole is too thin, epoxy the pole to the rings while in a horizontal position. Allow overnight drying.

Tips & Warnings

  • Indirect ventilation is best when you're working with your paper templates.
  • Wear protective clothing when you cut the metal. Be sure to wash thoroughly afterwards to avoid any metal irritation or poisoning.

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References

  • Photo Credit Schrott - Eisen - Skulptur im Grünen image by Marem from Fotolia.com
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