Last year, my husband surprised me with some carved wooden garden stakes, wood burned with various vegetable names. We quickly added many more, marking my culinary and medicinal herbs, as well as all my vegetables. They looked really adorable, and were a fun (and free!) project.
However, after a year of rain and sun, bugs and wind, the woodburning faded. The herb markers were left out all winter, and had become impossible to read. The vegetable markers had made it safely to storage, but we’re still very worn and faded.
I love the look of the stakes, but needed a more durable way to mark my plants, so I wouldn’t spend hours re-burning the letters in. So I decided to try paint markers!
I lightly sanded all of the markers, then painted them with some black chalkboard paint that we had from other projects.
Once they were fully dry, I took a white paint marker and hand wrote in all the herb and vegetable names. The result is stunning! The markers pop against the plants and garden, and are easily readable from across the garden, and even from or living room windows! We have had a lot of rain this Spring, and so far they are holding up really well. I will still store them indoors over winter, to protect the wood, but I am optimistic that this painted method will hold up longer than the wood burning.
My other “garden treat” is these adorable varietal markers I made using old canning lids. The lids cannot be used again for canning, and I have more than I need for storing dry goods, craft supplies, or for packing snacks, salads and beverages for workday lunches.
So I decided to use them to mark the different varieties of tomatoes, hot peppers and beets growing in our garden this year. I painted the inner portion (on the outside of he lid) with the chalkboard paint, leaving the raised edge plain for a nice shiny look. Once dry, I used the same white paint marker to carefully write in the varietal name.
For the stake portion, I cut and bent portions of aluminum wire, and secured it with duct tape on the back. I know, that part sounds ugly, but since I kept these markers very short, and wanted them tilted upwards, the backsides are not visible, it didn’t matter how I secured the backs. So far they are holding up just fine, but you could hot glue or come up with another more permanent (or pretty) way to secure yours if you wanted to.