How to Write on Metal Plates

Writing on metal like this doesn't work with a regular pencil or pen.
Writing on metal like this doesn't work with a regular pencil or pen. (Image: empty bowl image by e-pyton from

Ancient peoples used to engrave sacred writings on to metal plates. Nowadays, we don’t have the time (or inclination) to inscribe craft projects on to metal plates, but we do have the technology to write quickly and easily on them. You may not find tools to write on metal at a regular craft store, but you can purchase metal markers, crayons, and pencils, meant for industrial use, on the Internet.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal plates
  • Ball-point markers
  • Grease pencils
  • Paint crayons

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Wash the metal plates with soap and water. Leave them to air-dry on a clean towel.

Uncap a ball-point marker meant for metal. Press down with the tip before using it to draw a line. The tip is press-activated, so it won’t make a mark unless you apply pressure.

Use a grease pencil for shading. Unwrap the tip if you need to by pulling on the end of the string at the top of the pencil. Draw on the plate with only a little pressure. Unwrap more pencil as needed.

Use a paint crayon to cover a lot of surface area. Apply a bit of pressure while drawing, or puncture and peel back the crayon’s outer layer. Then draw as you normally would.

Allow the plate to dry.


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