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Plant Labels and Garden Markers from Used, Old and Broken Things

Gardeners tend to be a frugal and crafty bunch. It just seems that gardening and do-it-yourself projects go hand in hand. We don’t like to be wasteful and throw out something that could be reused, so we enjoy sharing the creativity and ingenuity of crafty DIY Gardeners, such as these creative plant labels for garden markers.

Recycle, upcycle, repurpose and make the old new again! We hope you enjoy these cute and quaint ideas for making plant labels and garden markers using old, used or broken things. Please send us yours favorites tips and photos and we’ll be glad to add them to this article.

Audio Article – Plant Labels and Garden Markers:

Garden Markers from Broken Pots

By Caitlin on HardlyHousewives.com1)http://www.hardlyhousewives.com/2012/04/2012-herb-garden.html

You don’t have to trash those old and broken terra cotta pots. There are a number of creative uses for them, from fairy gardens to plant labels, recycle and repurpose them into new and useful garden markers.

This is a fun artsy project to do with kids too… getting them involved in writing on and coloring them… just be careful of sharp edges of course.

Use Broken Pots As Garden Markers
This and cover image by Caitlin of hardlyhousewives.com

Next: Reuse those Mason Jar lids for easy-to-see plant ID’s.

 

Plant Labels from Mason Jar Lids

My sister in law, Sarah, came up with this one:

“I got really tired of plastic plant markers you could never see once the plants got high. Not only that but every year they got brittle and broke and had to be thrown away and replaced with new ones the following season, and they’re not cheap. So I looked around for a material that I was throwing away anyway and made these.

I tried them last year but the words wore off. Permanent ink wears off with the weather—that’s what I tried first. So does paint. That’s why you have to seal them. And the paint needs to be for metal. Other wise it just slides off.

An artist friend told me the kind of paint to get so that it wouldn’t rub off of the metal and how to seal them against the weather. There are several different brands of metal paint pens. I used a a Sharpie Oil Based Paint Marker Medium Point  and sealed it with Americana Multipurpose Sealer.”

You can reuse these each year, adding any new ones. If you don’t have stakes, you can buy them, or make some from old 1″x2’s” or 1″x1’s” lumber. Or, you may be able to buy some from your local hardware store.

Just store them in a crate, ready for next year.



Plant Markers – Lids and Pictures

We definitely like how big and bold these are. Not much point in having plant markers that you can’t read because they’re too small or covered up.

If you like the mason jar lid idea, (thank goodness there’s a productive use of all those used mason jars!), then here are more iterations of that.

These use juice lids, so whichever lids you have on hand are fine. This approach is another good one for making with children if you have them. You can cut out the pictures of the plants you order from the seed catalogs and glue those onto the lids. The images will likely fade in the sun though, so this may just be a one-season thing, but it looks cool!

Using a foam brush, glue each image to the juice lid using Mod Podge or other sealant. Spread a layer of sealant over the picture as well to give it a glossy sheen and protect it from the weather when it’s moved outdoors.

RESOURCE: StillParenting.com.au2)StillParenting.com.au3)http://stillparenting.blogspot.com.au/2009/04/juice-lid-garden-markers.html

http://stillparenting.blogspot.com.au/2009/04/juice-lid-garden-markers.html
From StillParenting.blogspot.com.au

Plant Markers from Coat Hangers and Juice Can Lids

Idea by Diane of InMyOwnStyle.com.4)http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/06/jewelry-for-your-garden.html

This uses lids from concentrated juice cartons, coat hangers and decorative beads. Now Diane said it just took her 15 minutes, so she’s fast… and she did use a dremel to drill the holes. But these look really cute. If you need more instruction, Diane lays it all out on her site.

http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/06/jewelry-for-your-garden.html
Image from Diane of InMyOwnStyle.com

Another novel idea: Broken silverware into plant markers up next.


Plant Markers from Broken Silverware

By Marcie on MossyMossy.com5)http://mossymossy.com/hand-stamped-plant-markers/

These work better for potted plants or raised bed herbs since they’re on the small side, but using old bent or broken spoons and forks make cool plant labels. Now, we don’t tend to have many—or any—broke silverware lying around. But if you really like this idea, but didn’t have any, you could try yard sales and thrift shops, and it doesn’t have to be sterling.

This  charming rustic idea actually stamps the names down into the metal so it will look like you’ve had custom markers created when in reality, you can create them yourself from silverware that was ready for the trash.

This photo example from MossyMossy are hand stamped, and you can find Marcie’s process for doing that here.

Turn Broken Silverware Into Plant Markers
Image by Marcie of MossyMossy.com

 

We love this next one: hand painted rocks!

Hand Painted Rocks

Idea and images excerpted from the lovely Aussie, Anne Gibson, on TheMicroGardener.com.6)http://themicrogardener.com/20-creative-diy-plant-labels-markers/

This is one of my favorites. It takes me back to when my kids were younger and used to paint rocks, so it’s a great option for involving kids too. They always enjoy seeing their artwork adorning the garden, and gives them a sense of involvement beyond just helping.

The only problem with the stones is that they will often get hidden in high season by the foliage of the plants they’re intended to reveal. However, by then, most family members will already know what’s where, plus as the plants produce, it becomes increasingly obvious by what’s growing on it.

There are many different ways to paint these, so break out the creativity… a good activity for a rainy (or cold wintry, or overly hot summer) day, when you can’t be out in the garden anyway.

You could even invite a few friends over for a different kind of garden party!

http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2012/04/vegetable-garden-rock-signs.html
Image from Sarah of RepeatCrafterMe.com
http://www.lubirdbaby.com/2010/06/our-veggie-garden.html
Image from Kristin Sellars of LuBirdBaby.com
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_EsrRVgKJIbc/SI4tnd51R7I/AAAAAAAACvM/wPwDAkGy7iA/s1600-h/100_5851_00.jpg
Image from Anne Gibson of TheMicroGardener.com

Source: Anne Gibson, TheMicroGardener.com

Another cool tip? Seed packets under jars!

The Plant’s Own Packaging!

From MarthaStewart.com

This is another favorite idea. Makes so much sense! You already have the plant image on the seed packet along with the instructional information on the planting and care.

This solves the problem of having hidden labels that are hard to see. You can also just reuse the stake and jar system in all subsequent plantings.

Source: MarthaStewart.com((http://www.marthastewart.com/272224/plant-marker-protector

Image from Anne Gibson of TheMicroGardener.com
Image from MarthaStewart.com

Okay! These should get your creative juices flowing! Let us know what you’re using, or if you end up choosing one of these ideas, or something else. We’re glad to add your ideas here to spark the creative muse for others.

Keep on Growing!


I’m LeAura Alderson, entrepreneur, ideator, media publisher, writer and editor of GardensAll.com. Pursuits in recent years have been more planting seeds of ideas for business growth more than gardening. However, I’ve always been interested in medicinal herbs and getting nutrition and healing from food over pharmacy. As a family we’re eager to dig more deeply into gardening and edible landscape for the love of fresh organic foods and self sustainability. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the creative ingenuity of the GardensAll community.

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References   [ + ]

1. http://www.hardlyhousewives.com/2012/04/2012-herb-garden.html
2. StillParenting.com.au((http://stillparenting.blogspot.com.au/2009/04/juice-lid-garden-markers.html
3. http://stillparenting.blogspot.com.au/2009/04/juice-lid-garden-markers.html

http://stillparenting.blogspot.com.au/2009/04/juice-lid-garden-markers.html
From StillParenting.blogspot.com.au

Plant Markers from Coat Hangers and Juice Can Lids

Idea by Diane of InMyOwnStyle.com.((http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/06/jewelry-for-your-garden.html

4. http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/06/jewelry-for-your-garden.html

This uses lids from concentrated juice cartons, coat hangers and decorative beads. Now Diane said it just took her 15 minutes, so she’s fast… and she did use a dremel to drill the holes. But these look really cute. If you need more instruction, Diane lays it all out on her site.

http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/06/jewelry-for-your-garden.html
Image from Diane of InMyOwnStyle.com

Another novel idea: Broken silverware into plant markers up next.


Plant Markers from Broken Silverware

By Marcie on MossyMossy.com((http://mossymossy.com/hand-stamped-plant-markers/

5. http://mossymossy.com/hand-stamped-plant-markers/

These work better for potted plants or raised bed herbs since they’re on the small side, but using old bent or broken spoons and forks make cool plant labels. Now, we don’t tend to have many—or any—broke silverware lying around. But if you really like this idea, but didn’t have any, you could try yard sales and thrift shops, and it doesn’t have to be sterling.

This  charming rustic idea actually stamps the names down into the metal so it will look like you’ve had custom markers created when in reality, you can create them yourself from silverware that was ready for the trash.

This photo example from MossyMossy are hand stamped, and you can find Marcie’s process for doing that here.

Turn Broken Silverware Into Plant Markers
Image by Marcie of MossyMossy.com

 

We love this next one: hand painted rocks!

Hand Painted Rocks

Idea and images excerpted from the lovely Aussie, Anne Gibson, on TheMicroGardener.com.((http://themicrogardener.com/20-creative-diy-plant-labels-markers/

6. http://themicrogardener.com/20-creative-diy-plant-labels-markers/

This is one of my favorites. It takes me back to when my kids were younger and used to paint rocks, so it’s a great option for involving kids too. They always enjoy seeing their artwork adorning the garden, and gives them a sense of involvement beyond just helping.

The only problem with the stones is that they will often get hidden in high season by the foliage of the plants they’re intended to reveal. However, by then, most family members will already know what’s where, plus as the plants produce, it becomes increasingly obvious by what’s growing on it.

There are many different ways to paint these, so break out the creativity… a good activity for a rainy (or cold wintry, or overly hot summer) day, when you can’t be out in the garden anyway.

You could even invite a few friends over for a different kind of garden party!

http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2012/04/vegetable-garden-rock-signs.html
Image from Sarah of RepeatCrafterMe.com
http://www.lubirdbaby.com/2010/06/our-veggie-garden.html
Image from Kristin Sellars of LuBirdBaby.com
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_EsrRVgKJIbc/SI4tnd51R7I/AAAAAAAACvM/wPwDAkGy7iA/s1600-h/100_5851_00.jpg
Image from Anne Gibson of TheMicroGardener.com

Source: Anne Gibson, TheMicroGardener.com

Another cool tip? Seed packets under jars!

The Plant’s Own Packaging!

From MarthaStewart.com

This is another favorite idea. Makes so much sense! You already have the plant image on the seed packet along with the instructional information on the planting and care.

This solves the problem of having hidden labels that are hard to see. You can also just reuse the stake and jar system in all subsequent plantings.

Source: MarthaStewart.com((http://www.marthastewart.com/272224/plant-marker-protector

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