How to Make Plant Markers -Three DIY Styles

Spruce up your flower, herb or vegetable garden and seedling trays with one of these easy, useful and attractive plant markers.


Baked Polymer Clay Markers

My 9 year old daughter has been busy making all sorts of polymer clay creations.  It looked like so much fun, I decided to join her to make these plant markers.

clay markers

I used white Sculpey Polymer Clay from the local craft shop.  Here’s how:

  • Soften some of the polymer clay by working it in your hands for a few minutes.
  • Make a ball and roll it out with a rolling pin on a piece of wax paper until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.  Wax paper makes it easier to lift the clay off the surface and protects your work surface at the same time.  Note – the instructions recommend using tools and materials you don’t use for food prep.
  • Use cookie cutters or a utility knife to create whatever shape you want for your markers.
  • Poke a hole where you want to hang your marker.  The hole should be slightly bigger than the wire hanger you’ll be using.
  • Carve, stamp or imprint the name of your plants into the clay. (I used a set of embossing stamps).
  • Bake the pieces following the instructions on your clay (each type is different).  We baked ours at 275F for 15 minutes.
  • Once cooled, paint your clay with acrylic paint.
  • To give the antique look and make the lettering stand out, remove some of the paint with an old cloth, leaving a little extra paint in the crevices of the letters.
  • As a final step, I coated our markers with hodge podge with the hope it will help them survive a summer or two outdoors.
  • Hang on S hooks made out of old wire coat hangers as described below.

Aluminum Plant Markers

A great way to up-cycle aluminum cans.  These look great and make a gentle noise when the wind picks up.  Yes, the aluminum can be sharp, but it’s not as bad as you might think.  My 10 year old was able to do this without difficulty.

rosemary marker

Here’s how…

  • Wash out a used soda can.
  • Use a utility knife to cut off the top and bottom of the can.
  • Flatten the roll of aluminum you have left by rolling it the opposite way of the natural roll.
  • Once it’s flat, cut out whatever shape you prefer with scissors.
  • Use a ball point pen to write the name of the plant on the shiny aluminum side – push hard.
  • Turn it over and trace the lines of the word to make it pop out on the shiny side – push hard.
  • You may have to trace the lines several times to get the desired effect.
  • You could also engrave instead of embossing by reversing the process (start on the side of the can with writing (remember to write backwards/mirror style so the word comes out correctly on the viewing side)).
  • Add whatever designs you’d like.  My son thought the dots around the outside added a finishing touch.
  • Punch a hole in the top.
  • For the hanger, cut up a wire coat hanger to the desired length.
  • At one end make an S hook.
  • Hang the sign on the S hook, bend so the sign won’t slide off.

Utility Markers

We also made a ton of plant markers out of recycled, white plastic containers.  These were super easy and fast to make – exactly the kind of markers you need when you’re starting a lot of seeds and want a quick easy way to label them.

Here’s how…

  • Wash out a used plastic container (yogurt, sour cream, etc).
  • Use a utility knife to cut off the bottom and top lip.
  • Make a slice down one side to open the container.
  • Flatten the plastic by rolling it the opposite way of the natural roll.
  • Cut out whatever shape you prefer with scissors or a utility knife.
  • Use a Sharpie or other permanent marker to label your marker.


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