Let me show you how to personalize your garden with these DIY plant markers made out of air-dry clay.
Are you looking for a fun way to personalize your garden this year? I just made a set of air-dry clay plant markers today and it’s such a cute way to label your garden!
Instead of the little plastic plant markers that come in the pots from the nursery make a set of these clay markers for a pretty touch.
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How To Make Clay Plant Markers
1. Roll Out Clay & Cut Out Circles
For this set of plant markers, I am using terra cotta air-dry clay. I think that the terra cotta shade is perfect for the garden.
One of my tricks, when I am working with clay, is to use a silicone baking mat underneath.
When you are rolling and cutting out shapes with clay the mat prevents the clay from sticking to the counter.
Using a wood rolling pin I rolled the clay to about 1/8 of an inch.
Then I cut out 2.5-inch circles with the rim of a plastic cup. A circle cookie cutter would be ideal but use what you have. It just happened that the water cup I use for my paintbrushes was a perfect size.
After I had all the disks cut out for the plant markers I dipped my fingertips in water. Then I used my wet finger to smooth out the edges and any imperfections on the surface of the clay that I could see.
3. Stamp Plant Names Into The Clay Markers
Now for the fun part! Using a set of small alphabet stamps to stamp out the names of the plants onto the clay markers.
There was no way that I could hold all the stamps for each herb name at once, 3 was my max to actually be able to stamp.
So for most of the herb & plant names, I grabbed 3 alphabet stamps at once and made the imprint in the clay.
For the longer plant names, I grabbed all the letter stamps and figured out where I would need to start the word before I started stamping.
Umm, I didn’t do this on the first try of stamping “broccoli” and ended up rolling up the clay and starting over…gotta have the “i” at the end!
After the plant name was stamped on I poked a hole in the center of the plant marker near the top (but not too close to the edge).
Also, I dipped my finger in water and smoothed out some of the marks made by the corners of the stamps on the clay.
4. Let Clay Dry
After all the disks were stamped and I had poked the holes in the clay it was time to let the clay air-dry.
It was a warm, sunny day so to expedite the drying process I put the markers on a tray and set it out on my patio table.
It only took an hour or so for them to be dried, you will be able to tell because the clay changes colors and it will feel hard and not pliable anymore.
5. Seal Clay Plant Markers
Since the markers are going to be outside and exposed to rain and the elements, I used my favorite topcoat when working with clay, Krylon Triple Glaze. This spray paint leaves your clay with that authentic glazed pottery look and sheen.
First, I sprayed the front of the markers then waited until they were dry and flipped them over to spray the backs.
6. Assemble the Plant Markers
To hang the clay plant markers I found a set of small metal plant stakes on Amazon (they came with wood disc rounds that I will use for another project I’m sure)
I slid the marker up from the bottom of the metal stake, much easier than trying to get it over the curly end!
Using Plant Markers In The Herb Garden
Now to get out in the garden and plant some herbs so I can put the markers to good use.
The warmer weather is finally here in New England and it is so nice to be able to get out in the garden again!
To prepare this raised garden bed for new plantings I first added a few small bags of garden soil and compost to start things off right for the new growing season.
This morning I picked up a few herb plants at Home Depot and my local nursery Gardener’s at Rolling Green.
Aren’t the leaves of this French lavender so pretty?
One of the things that I tried last year in my garden that I really liked was to do mixed planting in the raised beds by planting herbs, flowers, and vegetables in each bed.
Doing this made for such an interesting-looking garden and really gave it an English cottage garden feel.
So in this raised bed, I am planting the herbs and between the lavender plant and the sage, I sowed calendula seeds.
Calendula was one of my favorite flowers in the garden last year and they flowered right up until the first frost. So easy to grow by seed too and not fussy at all!
Since I am also trying to be a good host to pollinators I add as many small places for a drink of water for them in my garden.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy bird bath, I am just using a terra cotta pot upside down with a saucer on top. In the saucer, I added a handful of glass beads for resting spots for the butterflies that will be stopping by later in the season.
On the other side of the raised bed, I planted Swiss chard and Brussels sprouts, and on the metal folding trellis, I have snow peas growing.
It’s so early in the season there aren’t even leaves on the maple behind the garden, give it a couple of more weeks and everything will be leafed out!
I’ll be sure to take a picture next month when the herb plants grow in and don’t look so little next to the plant markers.
Happy Gardening! -Jennifer
Looking for other clay projects?
Other Garden Ideas
Shop my gardening favorites! Raised beds, plant supports, & tools to make your garden grow.
- Terra Cotta Air Dry Clay
- Alphabet Letter Stamps
- Small Plant Stakes
- Spray Glaze
- Roll out air-dry clay to about 1/8 inch in thickness
- Cut out circle shapes using a round cookie cutter or drinking glass rim. These are 2.5-inches
- Use small alphabet stamps to write out the names of herbs, plants, or flowers
- Poke a hole for hanging in the top center (but not too close to the edge)
- Let the clay air dry
- To protect the clay markers seal with spray glaze
- Hang the clay discs on the metal plant stakes.
I recommend Krylon Triple Spray Glaze to seal the clay markers, it gives a glazed pottery look to the plant markers.
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Amazon.com: Temlum Wooden Plant Labels, 25 Pcs Garden Markers with Stake & Marker Pen, Garden Labels Plant Sign Tags for Flowers, Herbs, Potted Plants, Seed : Patio, Lawn & Garden
Crayola Air Dry Clay, Terra Cotta, 5 lb. Resealable Bucket, Modeling Clay for Kids
Krylon I00500A00 12-Ounce Triple Thick Clear Glaze Aerosol Spray,High-Gloss
Amazon.com: Alphabet Stamps Set, KMIKE 70pcs Letter/Number/Symbol Vintage DIY Craft Card Making Wood Rubber Stamp : Arts, Crafts & Sewing