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Make A Steel Garden Flower

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We've all seen metal garden flowers at the store or in other people's yards, but have you ever wanted your own that wasn't so cookie-cutter perfect and without personality? With some simple tools (and a few not-so-simple ones) you can make your own garden flower out of mild steel.

This Instructable assumes that you know a little bit about sheet metal work. I have written several Instructables that cover some of these techniques.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Metalworking-Techniques-and-Making-a-Steel-/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Flame-Coloring-and-Making-a-Steel-Flower/

http://www.instructables.com/id/More-Metalworking-Techniques-and-Making-a-Steel-Bi/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-A-Metal-Fish-Key-Holder/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Paint-Aging-Techniques-and-Making-a-Steel-Ladybug/
 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials:

- 2 square feet of 20 or 22 Gauge sheet steel
- 3/16" x 1 1/4" bolt
- 3/16" nut
- 3/16" Plastic or Nylon Washers
- 3/16" Lockwasher
- Printed Design
- Spray paint in the colours you have selected
- 4 feet of 1/4" or 3/8" solid steel rod

Safety Gear:

- Goggles
- Gloves
- Ear protection

Tools:

- Ball-pein Hammer
- Blowtorch
- Anvil
- Scriber
- Drill
- Bandsaw or Jigsaw
- Hacksaw
- Metal files
- Screwdriver
- Scissors
- Scotch Tape
- MIG welder (and ALL ASSOCIATED SAFETY EQUIPMENT)
- Bucket of water

Once we have these things we can proceed to laying out our pattern on the material.

Step 2: The Pattern

So, the first step is to lay out the pattern on the steel. Start by cutting out the designs below with scissors. You can print them out whatever size you would like, but as a general rule:

Big Flower Petals: 1 foot diameter.
Flower Center: 5 inch diameter.
Leaves: 4 inch diameter.

Once they're cut out, tape them onto the steel, and use the scriber tool to scratch their outline onto the steel. This will be our cutting guide, so make sure its visible.

Once the guides are in place, pull off the paper and discard.

cheyenne433 years ago
where is the best and cheapest place to get steel? They are so pretty cant waite to get started.
I live in west virginia.
mattthegamer463 (author)  cheyenne433 years ago
Well you could order from this site: http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?pid=12779&step=4&showunits=inches&id=944&top_cat=197 That 22 Gauge steel is a little thin but about the best you can cut with tin snips. You could go to 20 gauge for something a little stronger. 22 Gauge is great to work with though, it hammers and bends beautifully.
mattthegamer463 (author)  cheyenne433 years ago
Well, I would have to know where you live to answer that one. If you live in Canada, Canadian Tire isn't too overpriced for this kind of stuff. You might be able to do it for $25 or so from there. I went to a place called Metal Supermarkets, its in Oakville, ON and they have no-minimum purchasing on just about all metal, at industry prices, so its a great place to go. The steel was like $2 sqft and the rod was $1/foot I think.
Pilgrim554 years ago
Matt,

Love the flowers, can't wait to try to make one myself.  Love the wild bright colors.

Luke
mattthegamer463 (author)  Pilgrim554 years ago
Thanks very much
Scott_Tx4 years ago
Nice. You can get your stem premade from the local dollar store too if you dont want to weld. They sell them as bird feeder and flower hangers. Just cut off the hangy portion.
mattthegamer463 (author)  Scott_Tx4 years ago
Thats true, although the dollar store variety are a little spindley.  I thought about using those originally.  Garden centers normally have bigger, taller, thicker ones.
Z..4 years ago
Lovely!!.................(rushes off to get metal cutters, and peers thoughtfully at next door's shiny new metal letterbox...).
ChrysN4 years ago
Nice, I really like the colours you used.
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