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)
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.