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DIY Herb Plant Markers

Growing a herb garden can be very rewarding, but all of the little extras like making your own plant markers are probably just as enjoyable. We have put 8 easy to use herb plant marker ideas together for you. We have used a mixture of them all this year with great success.

MarkerSuitable forSkill Level / Age
TwigsRaised Beds, Large PlotsMedium – Need An Adult
Stones paintedRaised Beds, Mixed PlotsLow – Perfect Wet Weekend Activity
Terracotta PotsRaised Beds, Mixed BedsLow – You Can Practice Spelling
Slate Plant MarkersRows Of Crops, Raised BedsLow – Artwork Appreciated!
Blackboard Painted PotsSeedlings, WindowsillsLow – It Doesn’t Need To Be Neat
Copper Plant LabelsMixed Beds, Side of PathMedium – Older Kids or With Adult Help
Wooden CutlerySeedlings, Young Plants, Plants in PotsLow – Super Fun For Kids
Milk Bottle LabelsSeedlings, Younger PlantsLow – Scissors Needed So Older Kids Or Adult Help

How do you make outdoor plant markers?

Very simply and from otherwise discarded items. We have been inspired by the Mini Smallholder and their twig plant labels.

plant markers that are biodegradable are the best for your organic garden
Simple to create from twigs, using a knife to shave a ‘bare’ patch ready to write on with a pyrographer

Simple to find the ‘perfect’ stick or twig. Make sure there is enough height as well as a wide enough section to cut down and write on.

You need a sharp knife, like a Stanley knife and you will need a marker that is waterproof. We got ours from amazon, as we have linked to below, but any local stationary shop should have waterproof permanent markers.

Hold the twig facing it away from you and then take the knife, very much facing away from you and gently strip the outer bark.

Once you have enough of a flat surface you can then write the herb name on.

The one thing that is good and bad about these markers is that they sort of blend in to the garden. It gives a much more natural look. This can mean that I miss them as I have quite terrible eyesight! I like to mix up the plant markers though so that is why we make so many!

Check out all of the different options you can have.

Stone Plant Markers

Really fun for the kids to do as a craft session before planting season even gets started.

Nice and easy to do, you will need to first go on a pebble hunt! A lot of fun with the kids and you can make it part of a fun day out, or a treasure hunt in the garden. Killing tow birds with one stone (excuse the pun) as they can be actively clearing the garden at the same time!

Everyone wants their children to eat more greens and this method of getting them actively engaged with what herbs they will be growing is fab. It is sort of covert as even the most mud adverse child will like to draw and be creative.

So let your kids be as creative as they want to be and maybe just help them with the spelling. As the pebble plant markers will be outside you need to use the acrylic pens we used. Simply shake them before use and press gently on to a pad of paper until the nibs have absorbed the colour. The markers will then be ready to be created.

Make sure that the stones are washed and free from dirt. This will clog up your pens and make it harder for them to work neatly. Then just decide on a fun design.

Broken Terracotta Pots into Plant Markers

Over the years you will find that your pots don’t always survive the high winds and a few casualties emerge. You can always use the scraps of pots to put a the bottom of any new plant, to give it a better irrigation, or you might like to try these.

terracotta pots
We bought some acrylic markers and were able to then permanently write up our herbs.

You can use them all around your garden, but because they are so portable you can also use them when you first plant your seeds up and want to keep a record of what you planted and where!

herb plant markers
These are really good fun to make with kids of all ages and help to fill the gap before the new planting season

Slate Plant Markers

How to write on slate markers

They also look really professional in appearance. Meaning that if you have kids it might be that you want to do these yourself – sorry kids.

Pots with blackboard paint!

herb plant pots with blackboard paint
Not so much plant markers as a way to really confuse yourself when the kids rub them out and change them!

For these plant markers you will need some Blackboard Paint – Black so check out the price on Amazon, but you may find it in your local DIY store as well, so just compare the prices. Get yourself a few terracotta pots and again, you will find similar in local stores, but just checkup the price to get the best value for yourself.

Skill level is optional!

Nice and simple with this one. Set yourself up with newspaper on the table or do it outside. You need to stir the tin of paint first to ensure a good mix and then apply liberally, you find that the terracotta is very porous.

Kids will find this easy, just don’t get too worried about the neatness of the rim. We have left ours ‘natural’ as otherwise the pot looks a little on the Goth side. You don’t want Emo herbs!

To get the neat edges, if you are not too handy with a paint brush. Then you can run a line of masking tape along the top. That way if you paint slightly over the liens you will not paint the pot itself.

We are all about getting the kids involved and understand that not all children enjoy gardening. However it is shown that when children get involved with growing food they are more likely to eat it.

You may be able to use these pots as a way to engage the kids on what to actually grow. If you have crafty kids they may also like to try making their own planters.

blackboard paint herb plant markers
it’s not always easy to get the straight lines to the top. We helped a little bit

Once the pots have dried out you can plant them up immediately. Use seeds from some of your best family favourites and make them your own by writing on them!

TOP TIP – Seriously you must write on them immediately!

As soon as you choose which one to put which seed into mark them! Otherwise be prepared for mystery herbs. Also beware of hilarious teenagers in the house! So funny to think you are going to plant out the weird looking chives!

herb planter
If you are planting more than one type of herb at a time, make sure to label before you put the seeds in!

Copper Plant Labels

How to write on Copper Plant Labels

Pop the copper on to folded newspaper that will absorb some of the pressure. With a blunt pencil or use the dull end of a wide kebab skewer made of wood. You will push down to dent the copper into the words you want to add. I am not saying you will struggle to read the signs but I really do unless I then add a waterproof pen to the indents. You can use the same pens for various different plant markers, including sticks for seeds.

Not Suitable for the younger kids to try this either. The copper marks so easily and it is a bit stressful at this price point. Sorry kids but sometimes the free stuff is better for you!

Wooden plant labels for seedlings

We had some wooden picnic cutlery left over from a big family do over the Summer. So after making a few other things from the spoons I decided to make some seed markers. You may find that you have something else suitable in your ‘yet to be used’ drawer!

plant markers
You can use lollipop sticks or any other suitable wooden flat surface!

The real game changer here are the Acrylic pens as they allow even the worst artist in the family to get involved. In our family it is me, so don’t worry if it’s not one of the kids in your house! You just need a steady hand.

With these pens you shake with the lid on! Then you press gently until you see the colour come down the nib. You are then able to write on wood without any issues. So if you have lollipops or wooden spoons you will find success.

perfect for seedlings
You will not see the spoon or fork part as they will be buried

Just bury the spoon/fork part into the soil and then plant up your seeds as per the instructions.

Perfect if you want to make up a little herb garden as a gift set for a someone too! The Perfect gift for any gardener.

We also helped with the spelling here, very much an ideal weekend activity.

Plant Markers From Old Milk Bottles

We like these as they are free and easy to make as you plant. Just remember to keep writing on them as you plant! I think that our plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are very likely to be either or this season.

large recycled labels for plants
You may need an adult to start this off for you. Child safety scissors don’t seem tot cut through the plastic very well.

We also love this project as it is a perfect recycling idea for your garden.

In our area the milkman delivers so we have asked our friends and neighbours for their old bottles. They are seriously useful around the garden too – the bottles not our friends and neighbours!

As the growing season develops you will need the milk bottles for other uses, so by only using the bottom section for our labels we keep the most useful part for another little crafty idea!

Once you have cut the bottom part you can then cut it into strips.

milk bottles recycled as plant labels
This is mid April in our little greenhouse. We have planted our earlier seedlings outside already and are now getting set up for the next wave of seedlings!

Just write on the strips with the permanent marker pen and you are ready to go. A little word of warning though, just make sure that the labels have dried before watering your seedlings! About five to ten minutes usually is long enough.

Labeling seedlings and plants is really essential if you ever want to ask someone else to go and collect a handful of thyme, or a sprig of rosemary. They may not even know what they are looking for!

Time to make your own plant markers!

There is nothing left to say but good luck with your own labeling. We hope that your garden is always plentiful and full of tasty herbs at all times! If you would like to share this article with friends that would be fab for us and please do share how you get on with us, subscribe if you want more ideas!

plant markers to try in your garden

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