Condo Blues: How to Make Garden Plant Markers

Sunday, May 26, 2019

How to Make Garden Plant Markers

The theme of this year’s container herb garden is Hey, That’s Different, Let’s See If It Will Grow (and We Need Cilantro.)

Which means I need plant markers to identify what this stuff is once it comes time to harvest it for cooking.  Sure, some of the plants came with a plastic plant label stuck in the pot but I had to split some of those plants up into different plant pots that make up my small patio container garden.

I want a set of plant markers that is cute and somewhat unique.  I turned to my little stash of on deck items to repurpose (or formally recycle in our bin after a given time limit) and made plant markers from recycled aluminum cans. I got four plant tags from one aluminum pop can and put the scrap into my city recycling bin.

DIY Garden Markers from Recycled Aluminum Cans

How to make cute unique  DIY garden plant marker tags
Pin this post to your Pinterest Boards for later! Share it with your friends!

You will need the following craft supplies:

Aluminum soda, pop, fizzy water, beer, etc. can

Shop snips – I recommend these Fiskers shop snips because they are the best out of every pair of heavy duty scissors, tin snips, craft knives, etc. I’ve used to cut aluminum cans for craft projects. The Fiskers snips make the hateful task of cutting cans apart as easy as cutting butter AND without giving me blisters. Love! Love! Love!

Gloves – I protect my hands from the sharp edges while cutting cans with gardening gloves similar to these

Sizzex Big Shot Die Cutting Machine (learn more here)

Love/Message Frames Frameless Die Set   – Using a die cutting machine to cut aluminum cans automatically smoothes the rough edges unlike using paper punches.

Wood craft sticks (you can find them here) – I’m actually using wood ice cream taster spoons (you can find them here) for this project that are left over from two glorious months of stuffing my face with coconut milk ice cream bars.

Hot Glue gun – I recently upgraded to this Adtech Precision Pro Hot Glue Gun and wished I had done it sooner!


Hot glue sticks

Update 5/28/2019:  I had to reglue the metal tags with E6000 glue (learn more about it here) because the hot glue melted in the sun. Oops!

Hot Glue Gun Helpers

Permanent marker – I used this kind of permanent marker. At the end of the season I can remove the ink with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol and use the markers for the following year

Disclosure: I am including affiliate links to the items I used to make this project in this post for your convenience.

Step by Step How to Make it Tutorial:

1. Wearing the gloves to protect your hands from the sharp metal edges of the cut aluminum can, use the tin snips to cut the top, bottom, and side of the pop cans using the diagram below.

How to cut aluminum cans for recycled craft projects
Be careful handling the cut pop can. The edges may be sharp! Photo courtesy of my food blog Lazy Budget Chef

2. I flattened the pop can by sandwiching it between two cutting pads and running it through the Big Shot using Tab 2 on cutting platform. You can skip this step if your cut aluminum can already lays flat.

How to flatten aluminum cans the easy way

3. Cut the plant tag by making a sandwich using the Cutting Pad, a large Framelet Die, pop can, and  topped with the second Cutting Pad and cranking it though the Big Shot using Tab 2 of the Cutting Platform. Remove the tag from sandwich.

How to make recycled aluminum can DIY plant markers
I'm using colored paper as my cutting material in this example so you can see how this Sizzix sandwich thing works since metal on metal was hard to distinguish in my test photos.

4. Use the permanent marker to label the garden markers with the name of your plants.

5. Wearing the Hot Glue Gun Helpers so you don’t burn your fingers, use the hot glue and hot glue gun to glue the center of the tag to the craft stick and allow the glue to dry.

Unique DIY garden plant maker ideas

Pressing the cut metal covered in hot glue is all the incentive you need to wear the protective silicone finger caps. Unless you don't mind burned fingers - ow! 

6. Put them in your garden and watch it grow!

Please grow!

If you'd rather buy than DIY, check out the following garden marker ideas - and more! - below!

Did you enjoy this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Condo Blues RSS Feed or to Condo Blues by Email.

1 comment :

Teresa B said...

Oh, I have a Big Shot too and I had no idea I could cut cans with it! Suddenly I'm seeing a whole new world of possibilities...
Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

Post a Comment

I love comments and read them all! If you’re shy and don’t want your opinions made public, you can always email me at condoblues [at] gmail [dot] com.