DIY Garden Markers

This year I’m planting my herbs in the sunniest corner of our yard, so hopefully they won’t turn yellow and die again. Third time’s the charm, right? I don’t really need herb markers (I mean, it’s pretty easily to tell the difference between basil and rosemary), but they are so darn cute that I decided to make myself a set with my old stash of polymer clay and rubber stamps.

DIY garden markers

This is what you need to make your own:

oven bake-able polymer clay rolled into 1.25″ balls (one ball for each marker)
appropriate baking dish (according to package instructions)
a rolling pin
a butter knife
rubber letter stamps
an oven

DIY garden markers

Roll each clay ball into a coil about 5.5″ long. Then flatten the coils to .25″ thick with your rolling pin.

DIY garden markers

Use the dull side of your knife to trim one end into a point (the dull side won’t leave behind serrated marks), and shape the edges of each marker with the flat side of your knife. Smooth out any imperfections with your finger, transfer the markers into your baking dish, and get your stamps out.

DIY garden markers

Stamp your garden markers, and bake them according to the clay package instructions. Polymer clay is plastic, so don’t worry about sealing it. Be gentle with your markers! Polymer clay isn’t the most sturdy material, but if you carefully plant them next to your herbs they should last.

52 thoughts on “DIY Garden Markers

  1. Sara

    What a fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing the photos of your adorable plant tags. I must make some. I knew that stash of leftover polymer clay I’ve got would be good for something someday. :)

  2. Lola

    My family and I have decided to do a home-made Christmas – these are going to be the best present ever for my mum :) thanks so much for the idea! x

  3. Jessica

    I need to make these for my dude-in-law next year. He has a huge garden and is always forgetting which peppers he planted where and what’s lettuce or cabbage or cauliflower.

    1. wit & whistle Post author

      Polymer clay is plastic, so they should hold up fairly well to the elements. I’ve had mine outside for several months now and they still look great!

  4. kirabell

    These look super professional but still with that nice homey vibe that emanates throughout Anthropologie stores. You wouldn’t think garden markers would be cute, but you certainly pulled it off. :)

  5. Emily

    What are the name of the stamps you use? I would love to use those ones. They are nice and neat. A lot of stamps you see now are weird or fancy and sometimes hard to read.

  6. eilee

    I know you say they held up outside for a couple of months, but how about leaving them out all winter to mark where my plants are in the spring. We live up north so our winters get pretty cold and lots of snow.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Well, I live in North Carolina so I can’t really test them in those conditions. :) However, I left mine outside all winter here and they still look great. We didn’t get any snow this past winter though, and the coldest it got was in the low twenties.

  7. Susan

    This was my first stab at crafting in general and they came out great! They’re a little more rough than these pictured but they will work!

  8. truebluemeandyou

    Just saw this neat DIY on Tumblr and these would make wonderful gifts. But I must bring up safety concerns. Anything that touches polymer clay can never touch food again… ever. Having a dedicated toaster oven is also a good idea or covering your clay in a way that the fumes do not escape into your oven at large. You can use cheap small acrylic rollers or even some cans to roll out your clay.

  9. Shinu

    Wow, I am bowled over by your creativity and it looks so professional! You make it look very easy and doable. Thank you for sharing your work and inspiring me.

  10. jet

    wooow this is a smart briliant idea, i think i will make some myself next spring
    thank you for this greate tute and the sharing;-D

  11. Roberta

    Hi – i must be all thumbs because I’ve tried to make these a couple of times and they just don’t turn out right. The stamped words look almost invisible in my version – what color clay did you use? Also, I’m a bit concerned about the poster who said that anything that touches polymer clay shouldn’t be used for food ever again – even if I wash the utensil in the dishwasher? What about cooking them in my oven? Thanks.

  12. Tania

    We are going to make these for our etsy craft party! Just wondering if you can recommend a good brand of clay?

  13. Elizabeth

    I just made my markers and they look great. I used Sculpey and had to cook them at 275 for 50 minutes. I also am using enamel acrylic paints (in moss green and metallic antique copper) to paint the herb names. If you do this make sure to get the TEENIEST paint brush you can find. I just tried to paint inside the depression that each letter made. It looks wonderful and I’m mixing and matching colors in sets that I’m giving away this Christmas. I’m not alternating colors on each stick because I think that’s tacky.
    But they look so pretty!

  14. Fitri Supardi

    I just starting into gardening and this makes me more into it, great and darn cute thank you so much for sharing …

  15. dayna

    hi! this is such a cute idea, i was just wondering where you got your supplies like the stamps and such? thanks! :D

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I got them at a local craft store—either Michael’s or AC Moore, I can’t remember which since it has been a while. ;)

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