He called me a few weeks ago to tell me that my oldest grandchild, Lacey, was going to have the SPCA's first birthday party celebration. What a great idea! I immediately started to bombard his email with all kinds of shelter party ideas that I found online. One that I came across was giving out dog tags. That seemed right up my alley and something that I could donate. I got to work researching on youtube and came up with a few different ideas. I eliminated the idea of engraving. It seemed like I would need to get an expensive tool to do that any justice. Then the idea of etching popped in my head. I've always been interested in learning how to do that, so why not try?
There were a couple of problems though. While researching, I was on the train on the way home from Michigan and did not have any ferric acid hanging around at home. I read that I could buy some at Radio Shack, but that did not turn out to be successful. I looked up some homemade options such as one part muriatic acid to two parts hydrogen peroxide and gave it a try. It worked, but I am not sure that the shelf life is all that great. I also learned that you DO NOT do this over your stainless steel sink. DUH!!!!! And, whenever using anything that have the words acid, fire, saw, cut, etc., proceed with caution!
After some experimenting with my grand kids names and trying to fit too many words on one tag, I felt like I was ready to make the 24 dog tags that I had set out to do.
I got my tags ready by cleaning them and writing words on each one, mixed up the solutions, prepared my floating devices (styrofoam), got out the electrical tape to attach the tags to and started what ended up being a five hour job.
I did have my protection goggles and gloves, but the goggles were a bit frustrating because I could not see too well when I wanted to check the progress
I still need some practice, but for my first round, I thought these came out cute and did the trick. The marker that I used as a resist was not the best. I also learned that keeping them suspended in the acid longer, in hopes of having the letters raise more, was not always the best way to go about this. The acid eats away at the copper and some of the metal discs became flimsy if I left them in too long. And, I am not sure that putting them in liver of sulfur is the way to go for dog tags either.
I will do this again, but I do think I will try it with ferric acid. The home remedy was okay, but the more I did, the longer it took for the etching to work.
Here are some pictures of my finished work.
And..... if you ever decide that you would like to spread the idea of adopting shelter animals, please share this post on your social network sites. Maybe some of the shelters in your area have never given this idea consideration. It was not only fun, but educational for the children and their parents as well. I even think that one parent who had never considered adopting walked away thinking that this is something that he might like to do.
My younger granddaughter Chloe.
Happy Birthday, Lacey! I cannot believe you are already 6 years old.
As always, thank-you for supporting artists who create handmade with handmade,