Last year one of my friends gave me a beautiful small hydrangea bush for my birthday. Inside the pot she also had a tiny stone angel wind chime that read ” A True Friend is a Gift.” This gave me an idea to make some garden charms complete with a fun saying or phrase. It could be used as a planter accessory, or just a sweet little gift in itself.
How to Make Garden Charms
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You may have seen a similar approach creating garden markers, and you could certainly make them the exact same way. I used Sculpey clay which was really easy to work with, and the folks that make it say it is sturdy enough to use outdoors, though the color may fade in the sunlight over time.
We had a few black clothes hangers that I thought would make great inexpensive hooks for the garden charms. They are a little heavier than the standard white hanger. You could purchase wire to make these also. I’d suggest something in the 14 gauge or more range, though the charm is very light weight. I even thought about spray painting hangers with copper paint but decided against it.
To make the hooks, open the hanger and cut it in half at the bottom. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to twist the metal back and forth until it broke.
Then cut again at each side around the bend. Now you have two hooks for the charms.
Use the same pliers to bend the end up and around, forming an open loop.
Now onto the garden charms.
The clay comes in layers. Take one or two layers and knead the clay with your hands. I was surprised at how easy this particular brand was to work with. I was able to soften the clay pretty easily within a few minutes. The last time I used polymer clay was to make pressed flower jewelry dishes, and that clay took a lot longer to knead and soften.
Next roll out your clay and use anything you have on hand to cut out your shape. The picture above shows a lid from a bottle of hair spray. Originally I was going to use a mason jar lid but it seemed too big. You may also have some favorite cookie cutters that would work well.
Now you can use your letter stamps or rubber stamps to create your garden charm. The letter stamps I purchased for this project were a really cute font, but I think they could have been a little larger. These were 3mm in size. There were plenty of others that were 4mm but I’m not sure if they are available in a script-like font. I also used a blunt embroidery needle and hand carved a few of the charms.
Use the end of a paint brush to make a hole, and set them in the oven at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. I used parchment paper to roll out, cut and bake the charms and it worked great.
After they have cooled you can paint them to help bring out the letters. Use a sponge brush to really get the paint into the crevices and then gently wipe away any excess with a paper towel.
I really went to town, and before you know it my hands were covered in paint. However, this was probably my favorite part of the whole project.
The rubber floral stamp worked well for this project but the foam stamps did not.
Okay, you wouldn’t want to put three charms in one little fern, but you get the idea.
I’m thinking Mother’s Day, birthdays, teacher’s gifts.
I could even see them tied onto packages with a pretty satin ribbon.
So many options, and such a fun, creative way to spend the afternoon.