How to Make Metal Garden Art & Designs

By Erin Moseley
Your design here

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.

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.

Warning

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.

About the Author

Erin Moseley is an advocate for science education. Since 1985, she has written numerous technical, user and training manuals for major corporations, public agencies and universities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology.