DIY Garden Markers

April 19th, 2011

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.

45 Comments

  1. 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. Kaz

    What a great idea, thanks!

    I was going to use my label maker, but this is so much more stylish.

  3. love! awesome DIY. they look perfect.

  4. John

    Wow! These are nice!

  5. Talia

    whoa!! I adore this idea! I will be doing this for sure!

  6. Awe! I’ve had this idea in my brain forever – it is lovely to see them executed! I love the white/cream color. Bravo!

  7. an AMAZING idea. Right now I’m in my bird stage, but just wait… when I get to the herbs phase, I’m gonna be all over this XD

  8. Jenna

    I LOVE these! If I can manage to get my garden to survive to my next day off I will be copying you!

  9. Jenna

    Hopefully, but I’m not making any promises!

  10. Juliah

    I came across your blog via this post. What a great idea! They are perfect.

  11. Awww! Love them. But they also make me want bread sticks. They kind of look like them!

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. what a great idea !!!!!

  15. Thank you so much for this idea. I will make them for my mums garden. Great :)

  16. These are so cute! Can you put them outside? How does the clay hold up to the elements?

    Kristen

    • wit & whistle

      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!

  17. 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. :)

  18. So cool! I can do this while my little one plays with his play-doh. Just found your site, I really enjoyed checking it out!

  19. Becky

    I love these.. and making them in white ensures that they can’t fade in the sun.
    Love it.

  20. 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.

  21. These are PERFECT! Thanks for sharing!

  22. bravo, quelle bonne idée,et c’est rès gentil de donner le tuto
    je me suis permise d’ajouter votre blog en lien sur le mien

  23. 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.

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      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.

  24. I love the simple beauty of these markers – perfect for my garden. Thanks for the post! :) I shared your link at http://creativityunmasked.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/six-for-saturday-or-sunday.html

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. whatsthiss

    They are very shabby chic and practical at the same time, thanks for the instructions!

  29. 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

  30. i could use these for my different fruit trees or other perennials to remember what varieties they are! thank you!

  31. cassie smith

    How did you get them so straight? Mine are curvy.

  32. AMAZING! I love this idea, thanks so much for sharing :)

  33. 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.

  34. Tania

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

  35. 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!

  36. Hi there,

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve featured this tutorial in a Clay Craft DIY inspiration round-up on my craft blog Shelley Makes: http://shelleymakes.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/clay-craft-projects/

    Thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work!

    Shelley

  37. Ewa

    I made my own! Thank You!

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