- Ideas & How-Tos
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Keep track of what’s planted where in your garden or containers using a variety of plant tags.
Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.
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Cut the 1/4 x 3 poplar boards into 6-inch lengths for the signs. Then cut the 1/2 x 36 square dowels into 12-inch lengths for the stakes.
You can vary the length of the stakes to suit your garden or containers.
Use the woodburning tool to apply a design to each sign and the fronts of the stakes. For suggested signs, download the Plant Name Woodburning Patterns. You can also use the decorative design and write in your own plant names.
Lightly sand with 120-grit sandpaper, wipe clean, and apply a coat of stain (Mineral Green shown).
Glue and fasten a sign to the top of a stake with 5/8-inch wire brads. Repeat for the remaining plant signs. Estimated cost: $12 for six signs.
Place a jar lid on a piece of scrap wood with the seal side down, and push an awl through the metal at the crease around the edge. Repeat for the remaining jar lids.
To avoid accidental scratches, flatten the jagged edge of the metal on the seal side of the lid.
Spray-paint the lids front and back (Dried Pepper, Honeywood, and Red Queen shown). Let dry and add a second coat.
Cut a pigtail sign holder just above the bottom loop to make a plant stake. Repeat for the remaining sign holders.
Write plant names on the tags with a permanent marker.
Use pliers to loosen the loops on the wire stakes. Slip a wire stake loop through the hole in a lid. Repeat for the remaining lids and stakes. Estimated cost: $24 for 12 tags.
Cut the 3/4-inch square dowel into three 12-inch or two 18-inch pieces, depending on the number of signs you want to add. Sand the shims with 120-grit sandpaper and wipe clean.
For an optional finish, mix one part water to three parts paint in the color of your choice and stir. Then paint the shims. After the paint dries, write or paint plant names and directional arrows on the shims.
Glue and fasten the shims to a stake with 5/8-inch wire brads. Repeat for the remaining shims and stakes. Estimated cost: $4 for three signposts (unfinished).
Save the plastic plant tags from previous purchases and wash them clean. Lightly scratch glossy surfaces with 320-grit sandpaper or steel wool.
Spray two coats of chalkboard paint on each tag. After the last coat dries, write plant names on the tags with chalk. To seal the tag and prevent the chalk from washing or rubbing off, spray the lettered tags with a clear finish. Estimated cost: $6 without the clear finish.