These DIY plant markers for your garden are an easy – and cute way to display all the goodies you’re growing.
Hi Kenarry readers, it’s Lori from Greco Design Company. Our garden is one of my favorite things about summertime. And even though our garden is small, and I can easily remember what each plant is, these labels are a cute way to display all the good stuff we’re growing. If you like to grow your own vegetables, herbs or flowers, this is the perfect little project for you. These markers also make a nice gift for any gardener, or wanna-be gardener. Just add these markers to some pots and a few packets of seeds or garden tools.
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Here’s what you need to make these markers:
- Paint stirrers – you can get them for free from any paint supply store.
- Exterior stain, I used this stain, leftover from shining our deck.
- Exterior paint, I used this paint, also leftover from painting our front door
- Old rags
- Sharpie oil based paint markers
- Polyurethane, I like this spray
DIY Plant Markers for Your Garden
If you’re like me and your handwriting isn’t great, I’ll show you a trick on how to make it look much better. You’ll just need access to a computer.
1. Stain and paint the paint sticks.
I wanted my paint sticks to hold up in the weather but I also wanted them to help my garden look pretty. So I used exterior paint and stain and created a dipped look to the sticks. First, I added a coat of the stain to both sides of the paint sticks. I didn’t go all the way to the bottom since that will be painted black. When I stain wood, I use old rags and just throw them away when I’m done. Easy!
After the stain was dry, I painted the bottoms with the black paint. I measured 8″ down from the top, drew a line on both sides of the sticks and painted the bottoms. Let them dry fully.
2. Paint labels on your DIY plant markers.
Now it’s time to add the text. Since my handwriting is not great, I used my computer and typed all the names of my plants. I made sure the font I used was simple enough to rewrite and the right size to fit on my paint sticks. And here’s my fun trick on how to transfer type onto the wood. Tape the printout of the plant labels against a window with the front of the page facing out. With a pencil, trace the letters onto the back of the paper.
Next, flip the paper over and line up each word on a paint stick exactly where you want it to go. Rub the letters so that the pencil marks from the back of the paper transfer onto the wood.
The pencil transfer will be light but it’s a great guide for your paint pens.
Using your oil based Sharpie paint pens, paint the letters in along the pencil lines. When dry, add the type to the backs too if you choose.
A little graphic design tip when using type: we actually read type that is sideways – reading up, not down – better than type that is stacked. The reason is because our eyes recognize the tops of letters more quickly than any other part of the letter. And we’re accustomed to reading left to right. So if we see the word CUCUMBERS written sideways – going up, it’s easier for us to read than if it were stacked. Just a little tip that you may find helpful for this project – or many others.
3. Seal the DIY plant markers.
You can seal the markers with a coat of polyurethane to protect them a bit more. Let them dry and they’re ready to be added to your garden!
Now I just hope my pretty labeled vegetables grow!
If you like this post, here are a few others about working with wood and type:
While you’re here be sure to check out other summer ideas on Kenarry: Ideas for the Home:
- A Guide to Caring for Easy to Grow Indoor Plants
- Easy DIY Distressed Wood Tray with Potted Succulents
- How to Paint Terra Cotta Pots
Lori is a freelance graphic designer living in the Boston area with her husband, their three kids and a yellow lab puppy. She started Greco Design Company in 2014 when she realized that her love for design was extending beyond the corporate advertising world and into all areas of her life. You’ll find she shares unique but simple DIY projects, gives some great ideas for home design, provides her outlook on current fashion trends, and loves to do beauty and product reviews. She incorporates her graphic design background through her free printables, paintings, signs, art prints, invitations and stationery on her blog and in her Etsy shop. Lori believes in the importance of surrounding ourselves with good, purposeful design that can help streamline our lives and still be affordable. Her tutorials are easy to follow as she shows how you can make anything you set your mind to!