As gardening season hits full swing, I’ve been inspired to find ways to bring a bit of whimsy and fun to the garden. Carole at Garden Up Green got me thinking about this when I read her book Startle Garden. I am by nature not super fancy, but the ideas she presented about “dressing up” our garden spaces appealed to me. Add that to my desire to use what’s available and not spend a lot of money, and the DIY chalkboard garden marker was born.
While thinking about what I could use in the garden as markers, I knew I wanted something durable. No one wants to replace labels year after year. And while the little plastic labels that come in many purchased plants are useful, they lack beauty. Flatware is incredibly durable, and even when exposed to rain and weather, they should hold up beautifully. If you have extra spoons, forks, or knives laying around, then you’re all set! If not, check out your local thrift store or put a call out on Facebook for anyone who may have some extras laying around. That’s actually what did. (Thanks, Dede!)
This DIY craft can easily be done in an afternoon, and most of the time spent is passive while the paint dries. While these would make a great addition to your garden, also think about who you could gift these beauties to. Homemade gifts are sweet tokens to our friends and family, and these garden markers would be perfect for any garden lover you know. With spring’s arrival comes Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Day. These would be perfect gifts for either occasion. The kids can get involved in writing the labels and wrapping or preparing the gifts. See the bottom of the post for gifting ideas!
DIY Chalkboard Garden Markers
Various spoons, knives, and forks
Chalk or Metallic Sharpies
How to Make DIY Garden Markers
- Begin by making sure your utensils are clean and dry. Dirt and water are no good when it comes to painting. Prep your painting area by finding an empty box. For items that need to stand up to be painted, boxes are perfect. Simply jab small slits in the box with a knife or boxcutter and slide utensils into the slots. It’s okay if they’re not perfectly upright, as long as what is being painted isn’t resting on the box.
- Shake your paint can well and begin painting using the instructions on the can. Give time for paint to dry and come back for a second coat.
- Once your second coat has dried, let them cure overnight. I don’t know that this absolutely essential, but I always like to be safe when it comes to paint. After this, you can label to your heart’s content!
- There are two labeling options: 1. Chalk or Chalk Pens- this is perfect if you plan to use the garden markers in different places and want to be able to erase and rewrite. The downside is if they are outside, a good rain shower could erase your label. 2. Metallic Sharpie– This is a great, more permanent marking. Since I tend to have the same herbs and veggies each year, I wanted a bolder less weather-prone label. You’re free to choose the method that works best for you!
- Place your garden markers in your flower beds, garden space, or containers (like my DIY Self-Watering Planter) and enjoy! And while these are designed for an herb garden, you could easily use these markers to identify anything you have growing in the garden, such as different salad greens, root veggies, or types of tomatoes. The possibilities are endless!
Give Garden Markers as a Gift
-Wrap five or six garden markers in colorful ribbon with a small bag of chalk.
-Create a small herb garden in a wooden box or a galvanized bucket and label planted herbs with the DIY markers.
-For teacher gifts, plant a flower or herb in a pot and place an accompanying garden marker inside. Have a different herb for each teacher! Rosemary and basil are both wonderful options for a teacher gift!
I’d love to know how you mark the plants in your garden using items from around the house! Have a great week and Happy Gardening!
Wednesday 25th of March 2020
Coutney, do the painted labels eventually break down over the course of the season from Heat and UV exposure? Do you need to repaint them every year? Do you intentionally refrain from painting the entire utensil? Or would the paint on the below ground surface eventually wear away anyway? Did you prime the utensils first? Did you use chalk paint exclusively? I like the looks. I think my daughters would like them too. Seedpath
Wednesday 25th of March 2020
Hey Tim! Great question! It took about two years for mine to start losing their paint, but that was also with no sealant on them. This spring, I'm planning to redo them with sealant. Obviously, this will make the chalk marker permanent instead of being able to erase and rewrite. Thanks for stopping by!
Ultimate Gardener Gift Guide - The Kitchen Garten
Tuesday 24th of October 2017
[…] Herb Garden Markers– (Amazon– $20) These petite herb markers are perfect for an indoor herb garden. They give a dainty and decorative touch to any container. If you’re looking for larger markers with more impact, try my DIY Garden Markers. […]