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Popular in Gardening

Country-Style Stakes

These ornamental copper cutouts will enliven your garden year-round.

Simple skills and materials turn copper sheeting into charming garden stakes.

Modeled after antique weather vanes, these designs are first cut out, then hammered to achieve a distressed look. Finished size of the rooster is 13-1/2 x 15 inches; the pig is 10 x 15 inches; the arrow is 14 x 4 inches; and the sandpiper is 9 x 15 inches.

What You Need:

(For each figure)

  • 18 x 20-inch piece of heavy copper sheeting (for stakes)
  • 30-inch length of 1-1/2-inch-wide wood lath
  • Three 3/4-inch-long brass bolts with corresponding nuts
  • 9 inches of 3/8-inch-diameter jute rope (for pig's tail)
  • Scrap of a 3/4-inch-diameter dowel
  • Sandpaper
  • Tin snips
  • Saw
  • Drill and bits
  • Tracing paper
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Hammer
  • Polyurethane (optional)

Instructions:

1. Cut out shapes. Enlarge pattern (next page) until one square equals 2 inches; transfer design onto tracing paper. Trace shape onto copper sheeting. Cut out using tin snips.

2. Cut one garden stake arrow for each figure.

3. Sand the rough edges of each piece.

4. Distress copper, if desired, by pounding randomly with a hammer.

5. For pig's tail, drill a hole as indicated on pattern. Tie dampened rope to pig; wrap rope around dowel until dry.

6. Complete assembly. Cut one end of each wooden stake diagonally. Position a figure on a stake with 2 inches of the stake extending beyond the bottom edge of the figure (see patterns for indication of placement). Drill two holes through both the copper and the stake. Fasten figures to stakes with bolts and nuts.

7. Finish by brushing on a coat of polyurethane, or allow them to weather the elements and take on the classic verdigris of aged copper.

Enlarge these patterns on a copier, or draw a 2 x 2-inch grid on large sheet of paper and use the pattern to guide your drawing of the pattern you wish to use.

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