Friday, December 8, 2017

Easy DIY Plant Marker Ideas for the Garden and for Gifting Plants

I've gone a bit craft crazy with garden markers recently.  It all started when the only wooden sticks that I could find in a marker-suitable size at my local shops were rainbow coloured.  It's not a bad thing to be colourful, but they were beckoning to be played with and I couldn't resist. In our harsh sun, plastic markers don't hold up very well.  They quickly become brittle faded plastic trash. Boo. Wooden markers aren't impervious to our toasting rays or soaking rains, but with a little prep they last longer and are prettier too. Perfect.  

Popsicle sticks, plain or pre-coloured, can be used straight from the package, but the wood is vulnerable to the elements outdoors and to water wicking from the soil indoors. I'm sometimes too impatient/lazy, and always end up regretting it when my markers quickly need to be refreshed. Sigh. A light coating with a compatible sealer prior to use helps extend their lifespan to last through the growing season or longer, or  they can be painted.  Tip: If you're planting edibles, non-toxic sealers and paints are best.

I have to confess that my favourite option is plain old white-on-black. It's my kind of "colour" scheme for any purpose, but it's also a practical preference for planting. In the garden, it blends and disappears.  In the house, it melds into any decor - and in our house, that decor is black, white, and grey so all the better!  I use chalkboard paint, but you can also get a similar look with matt black paint with chalk or other markers that are suitable for dark surfaces if you won't be changing the label or are happy to repaint before re-use. 

Of course, not everyone shares my plain Jane preferences and sometimes you want/need something a little fancier, or just plain more fun. The ladybug markers below were created as an easy family-friendly craft for young gardeners (or the young at heart), and the how-to details are shared at Creativity UnmaskedVisit our archives to download  free mix-and-match children's garden colouring, journaling, and activity sheets that young gardeners can use to record and track the growth of their new plants.

With Christmas coming up, we also made a few special holiday designs.  The snowman plant markers below are an easy craft for Christmas plant pressies. I used the same technique to create Christmas trees and Santa suits, but the snowmen are by far my favourite! Check out the how-to at Creativity Unmasked for the easy instructions.  The post also includes how to make chalkboard markers like the ones in my indoor herb garden shown above and metallic markers, as well as tips for styling your plan pressies.

When we move yet again in the new year to our next (hopefully long-term) home, I'll be buying and creating some long-lasting labels to mark some of the shrubs/perennials throughout the garden and for repeat plantings in the potager (so exciting - I'm already planning!). For now, however, I'm still a short-term labeller who's in love with Popsicle stick crafts and chalkboard paint...and I'm pretty sure chalkboard painted sticks will be a regular feature in my potager for years to come. :) 

This post is shared in collaboration with our partner blog Creativity Unmasked. Join the fun for arts, crafts, recipes, and more!

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