[Blog note: I have a more recent post about making garden tags with a laser cutter.]
I have written several recent posts about creating things FOR cats (see also: cat scratcher, printed toy ball, cut toy ball, etc.), but this is a short post based on creating something FROM the byproduct of cat ownership.
I do not know where I originally read about it, but a few years ago I ran across a project where someone used old flatware (spoons and butter knives) to mark parts of the garden by hammering embossed letters into them — and in the spoon’s case, hammering it flat first — and then sticking them in the ground.
I thought this was a cool idea and ordered some punches for stamping metal and leather. I never actually got around to finding random bits of tableware, though I poked around Village Merchants several times over the years.
Today, I planted a bunch of seedlings in trays and needed a way to mark which seed cups were which. Of course, it had to be waterproof so that watering did not damage the markers. This is when the metal-punch project came back to me — except since then, I’ve obtained a pair of tin snips. I spied a cat food can in the recycling and put two and two together.
Using the tin snips, I cut the cans into strips. I then hammered text into them and cut them apart. In a way, it was like a heavily manual and metallic version of the old Dymo labeler. Unfortunately, I have no photos of the process. It was a fairly organic experiment and I had no idea what the end result would look like, so I did not document it.
The results were certainly not perfect, but good enough to identify which parts of the trays were which.