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Homemade Plant Markers

Category Miscellaneous
The cost of buying plant markers may be prohibitive, but you can make some unique ones using purchased or household items. This is a guide about homemade plant markers.


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November 30, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about making Popsicle stick plant markers. Popsicle sticks are great for making inexpensive plant markers.

Making Popsicle Stick Plant Markers

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November 30, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cork plant markers. Corks can be used to make simple recycled plant markers.

Cork Plant Markers

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November 29, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about making stone garden markers. Choose some pretty smooth stones to use for making garden plant markers.

stone garden marker

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February 7, 20130 found this helpful

This guide contains sand dollar plant markers. These dried sea urchins can be made into colorful garden accessories.

Sand Dollar Plant Markers

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By 5 found this helpful
October 4, 2010

You can make garden tags out of leftover aluminum roof flashing (the kind on a roll). I took a simple tag design that I drew, printed it out on heavy paper, and cut it out. I took that template and a Sharpie and traced that design onto the flashing metal multiple times. I cut it out with regular scissors, then punched a small hole with a hole punch for a place to hang them. The garden tags can be decorated by embossing if you like, simply etch the name of the plant you are identifying with a sharp tool.


By jason0475 from Collegeville, PA

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By 3 found this helpful
February 10, 2011

I have moved multiple times and added and split perennials to each flower garden. Sadly, after tending to a variety of gardens, I have had trouble keeping track of what's been planted and where.

My solution? When plants are at their peak, I write with a Sharpie on white plastic knives, the name of the plant and when it blooms. I stick the labeled knife in the center of the plant so I can easily locate my investment each spring and summer. I have used this trick for over 18 years and haven't lost a plant yet!

By blasg from IN

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By 2 found this helpful
May 30, 2012

This is a method for making plant labels that are weather resistant and pretty, for the project presented in Birds and Blooms Magazine by Kirsten Sweet. The designer did not give measurements for the labels she made. So I came up with my own. There is no intent here to take credit from her. Plus she mentioned using ultra-firm stabilizer and iron-on adhesive. When I went to buy some I found it to be very, very expensive. I had to find a more economical way. (Besides, I don't get along with irons.) So here are my instructions for the labels.


Approximate Time: 2-3 days for glue and sealant to dry.


*Do not use Mod Podge! It caused several problems after 6 days!


  1. Cut plastic canvas in to 24 pieces for bases. Each base should measure 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.

    Note: You may use any base material that is weather resistant.

  2. Cut pretty fabric into 6x6 inch squares.

    Note: It's fun to have a different pattern for each base. I went to my neighborhood fabric shop and looked through their "scrap" box. Nicely, already cut squares of over 40 different patterns!

  3. Ad

  4. Glue the pretty fabric around the bases of plastic canvas just like you would wrap a gift. Do this in steps, allowing the glue to dry a bit between steps so the tackiness will help each layer of fabric hold. Not much is needed so be judicious.

    Note: Aleene's "OK To Wash-It" is very sticky and takes a long time to dry. So be patient. This makes the labels water proof and washable, which is needed as the labels will get wet each time the plants are watered. When I thought I was finished, there were still tiny sticky spots, so I put some baking powder on those spots.

  5. While the glue dries work with your heavy duty fabric canvas.
  6. Cut the fabric canvas into strips that are 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide, then cut lengths that are long enough to write the name of the plant and still fit on the bases.

    Note: You may use wider strips of fabric canvas, but it will cover more of your decorative background. The name of the plant doesn't need to be seen from far away. The label is for the person growing the plants.

  7. Using the Sharpie, write the names of the plants on the fabric canvas. One method for doing this is to write the name on the long strip first then cut the strip. However, remember that your base is only 3 1/2 inches long. Another method is to write the name on a small piece of paper first, measuring and adjusting till it's right, then doing it on the fabric canvas.
  8. Once the glue on your bases is dry enough to handle easily and your ink from the Sharpie is dry, glue the labels onto the bases in the center. Let everything dry completely before next step.
  9. It's best to seal it properly. Using the Thompson's Water Seal spray one side of each of the bases with a generous but not extremely thick layer of the sealant. Let these dry completely before continuing.
  10. Now turn your bases over and repeat step 8. Let everything dry completely.
  11. Use binder clips to attach labels to pockets of shoe holder.

    Note: There are binder clips that have pretty decorations on them also. So there is no need to use plain black.

  12. Hang the shoe holder from a strong door or fence or from nails placed through the grommet holes at the top of the holder into some wooden surface, fill each pocket with soil, plant the seeds, water your seeds, clip on a label!

    Note: The hanging shoe organizer I found was from It was the only one I found with a bamboo top edge, which I felt might support the weight of the soil better than one with a cloth top edge.

    By JazzyMe from Los Angeles, CA

    Editor's Note: JazzyMe doesn't have a completed photo of the vertical planter as she is giving it as a gift.

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September 21, 20041 found this helpful

Save those plastic knives from your picnic to make durable row markers. Mark plant variety and planting date with permanent marker. Push knife with handle side in the ground.

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November 12, 20050 found this helpful

One of the most difficult things to find for the garden is plant markers that hold up to the seasons. After experimenting for decades, I have many suggestions...

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April 29, 2013

I save all plastic labels that come with bedding plants. I clean them a bit and store them in a baggie along with a roll of good masking tape and a permanent marker.

Seedling And Plant Labels

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By 0 found this helpful
March 26, 2009

Use old forks as garden markers. Simply "weave" your seed packets through the tines on forks you no longer use. Stick them in the garden to mark your rows. Even plastic forks could be used, but be sure they are firmly pushed in the ground.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 24, 2006

Instead of buying plant markers go to your hardware store and ask for a bundle of shims. These are very inexpensive wooden slats and have plenty of room to use a permanent marker to write the name of the plant.

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June 25, 20050 found this helpful

Have leftover wooden spoons that come with the little ice cream cups or popsicle sticks? Use them as labels in your garden.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 24, 2014

Instead of paying $5 for 20 garden markers, go to the Dollar store and get 30 plastic knives for $1 instead. Use a permanent marker for your plant name and place accordingly.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 6, 2012

If you take a short length of 1/2 inch water pipe and cut it lengthwise about 1/4 inch with a hack saw and then cut one side in to your cut, it gives you a curved embossing tool. Making a straight embossing tool is easy. Any piece of metal with the same thickness as your curved tool will do.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 12, 2012

I am looking for ideas for making plant markers. They have gotten so expensive (like about 12 little plastic markers for $5.00).

By Regina


January 12, 20120 found this helpful

Hi Regina! Just found this site.

I used old horizontal blinds to make my plant markers. Each slat cuts easily to whatever size you prefer and they won't go bad in weather. You can use them for years! A neighbor was throwing them out and I rescued them from their trash. If you don't have any, check to see if you can find them at a thrift store. Best wishes and happy gardening! :) aprlfool59 (Sharon)

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January 12, 20120 found this helpful

I just cut up a used bleach bottle, or other fairly strong plastic bottle. I mark it with a Sharpie, or other permanent marker.

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January 16, 20120 found this helpful

Something you can use are the wooden tongue depressor-type sticks that craft stores sell in big boxes. Use a Sharpie or other waterproof pen and then after the ink is dry you can lay a number of markers on a sheet of newspaper and spray them with a clear spray...just a light spray to weather-proof the ink.

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February 8, 20120 found this helpful

I just replaced my white, plastic vertical blinds. They went straight into the garage because that area is where I keep things to be used differently someday! The blinds cut easily with just a scissors and need only a permanent marker for this project. When official warm weather starts, I plan on using them for plant markers.

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March 18, 20120 found this helpful

I could kick myself. My neighbor just threw out a set of the thin plastic blinds. The bulk trash was a week late picking up trash. In my heart I knew that there was something about those blinds that I could use. never the less I do have several milk jugs that I did some failed experiments (cut holes in them) and I still have them. Thanks

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