Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recycled Can Lid Plant Markers

I'm trying my hand at some container gardening this year and so far things are not looking all that impressive. I think my downfall might lie in the fact that I'm starting things from seed. I really should buy them at the nursery after someone with some skill has ensured that they survived the sensitive seedling stage. I'm not exactly renowned for my green thumb.

(Yes, I know this is not a zucchini but it makes for a much prettier picture than my sad little seedlings do.)
I realized the other day that I would need some plant markers so that I could remember what was what. Sure I could have just used a sharpie and a popsicle stick but where's the fun in that?

(This isn't really butternut squash either but that antique chicken is neat right?)

In the end I came up with a plant marker that made use of some recyclables so that I could be a friend to the planet and lessen my guilt for the untimely death of all the plants that are sure to perish in my care this summer.

Want to make your own? Here's what you need:

Can lids (I have a can opener that takes off the lids without leaving sharp edges. This is a definite must. You could also use frozen juice lids)
Forks (new, used or antique)
Hammer
Pliers
masking tape (optional)
Permanent Sharpie marker and a baby wipe

Stamping set
(I used the 1/8" set and I got it from Harbor Freight. They have other sizes available so you could use a larger set if desired.)

Place your can lid on a stable surface. I just worked on my crafting table as it's seen a lot of wear and tear and is really sturdy, but you're going to be smacking this thing pretty hard so think about that before you choose a work surface.

I used a strip of masking tape as a guide so that I could keep my letters fairly straight. This is optional if you have a good eye for making things straight, or if you like the look of random letter placement.

Then you just grab a letter stamp and start whacking away.

You might want to practice on a spare can lid before jumping in with your stamps. It takes a little experimentation to find out how many hits you'll need to make to achieve optimum results.

Once you're done, remove the tape and admire your work. You could leave it as is, or use the Sharpie method to add a little more dimension.

First off, make sure you have a baby wipe handy. Then, take a permanent black sharpie pen and color over your stamped letters. Really get the ink down into the grooves. Before the ink has a chance to dry, wipe across the letters with the baby wipe. This will remove all of the markers except for what is trapped in the indentations and will give your letters more definition.

Now it's onto the fork. I found some at Goodwill, but if you've got some extra ones lying around the house, or one that's been mangled in the dishwasher then this is the perfect use for it.


Take your pliers and bend the two middle tines back and away from the rest of the fork. Then bend the tips of them back up. You'll probably have to play with it to get it in the shape you want.

There just needs to be enough gap for the can lid to fit snugly. You might also have to bend/adjust the angle of the fork handle as well so that your plant marker will stand up nice and straight and tall.

And there you have it. A cute and quick recycle project for the garden!





22 comments:

Daniel said...

Thank you so much for sharing it.
The Recycled Paper Printing can also be used in order to overcome the difficulties as paper is manufactured from the bamboo plant and hence the plant has to be cut off.

Recycled Paper Printing

smallgrapes said...

These are awesome. My gardening is of the eh variety, too. But this year, I bought a tomato seedling and we have two flowers!! Which is further than I've gotten in the prior two years with seeds. So, yay!

*evhcreative said...

Very cute! This would be much better than the popsicle sticks we use which out dogs tend to eat ;)
Thanks for sharing!! x

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育德 said...

與人相處不妨多用眼睛說話,多用嘴巴思考,...............................................................

東芳 said...

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Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

My garden is not looking that great either this year. I'm blaming the lack of a summer, or even a spring for that matter. =( Your can labels are great! I bet they will help keep the birds away too. Thanks so much for sharing, I'll be linking.

rodriguezp said...

你不能改變容貌~~但你可以展現笑容............................................................

The Tiny Homestead said...

what a wonderful idea. I love it- now I have to see if I can find one of those can openers for cheap. I hope your plants live this summer!!

Bethany said...

I love this idea and I think the fact that you took their photos in the prettier places rather than by their actual plants makes you my new best friend =)

creativejewishmom.com said...

I just love these! Would you drop by my blog linking party and share your creativity? I'd love to see you!

Amy said...

I love these! My poor pathetic little seedlings might not make it through the summer but I'm definitely going to make these markers anyway! I try every year to plant from seed and my "accidentally-wait-to-long-to-water-and-then-overcomensate-by-drowning-them" method kills them quicker than you can say "brown thumb". But I keep trying year after year. I have no veggies but plenty of enthusiasm. :) Good luck and thanks for sharing this great idea! Found my way here through One Pretty Thing.

juliancu said...

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Ann said...

This is a wonderfully elegant idea - I rushed away to order some stamps as soon as I saw your post and they arrived today - now for some fun with my hammer! Thanks so much for sharing.

Evie's Tool Emporium said...

I love the clean look of your plant markers! The can lids are a great idea!

Amy Nordgren-Ditz said...

I love this idea!!! I just added your idea to my Earth Day round up - I'm going to have to save my lids now! ;)

Joyce Fisher said...

This is such a great idea!!! I'm going to share it with my sister. I think it would be a good project for her class to do, I'm thinking they could make a whole set to give to their Moms for Mother's Day! By the way, I found my way to your website through a post on Totally Green Crafts. I'm going to share your post on Facebook & Twitter.

Peace, Love & Joy,
Joyce
peaceloveandjoyce.typepad.com

Helen Malandrakis said...

A couple of years ago, I used the lids with just the marker, but They faded. This is great!