Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recycle Craft - Plant Markers

Traditionally Native peoples, like all early cultures, made the utmost use of the materials at hand. There were no Mega-Marts. No pre-fab kits. You made what you needed or perhaps traded with someone who could. So beyond just the respect for Mother Earth and her finite resources, I think recycle crafts are a modern incarnation of that ancient creative and ingenious spirit of our ancestors to use, re-use, and re-purpose materials at hand for all their needs.

The following is a simple recycle craft to create plant markers or labels out of containers that would have been otherwise thrown in the recycle bins.

Materials Needed:
• Plastic container -
     #2 plastic 1-gallon works best
• Scissors
• Permanent Markers

1.) Clean and dry containers as needed.

2.) Using sturdy craft scissors or kitchen shears, cut sections out of the container. Cutting along corners to maximize flat usable surfaces is best.

Cut off the bottom and save.

3.) Cut the sections into strips. The exact size is up to you. For the example shown here, the strips were approximately an inch wide.

If there are curves or uneven spots, do not worry. The last step addresses that.

4.) Make two cuts at the end of each strip to create a point.

5.) Use a permanent marker to write the plant's name or other information on the label.

Since I try lots of different heirloom varieties of vegetables each year, I use lots of these markers in seed starting!

6.)After the permanent marker has dried, fold or crease the stake lengthwise. This will address any curved parts of the plant marker, give the label some stability, and will make these markers easier to push into the soil.

7.) Label your plants and enjoy. Note: the permanent marker will fade if used outdoors. I get a growing season out of these before they are too faded. If you live in very hot or sunny location, you may get less time before fading.

8.) The bottom saved earlier in an earlier step can be used too. I use it as a saucer for some of those young potted seedlings!

I hope you enjoyed this simple craft. If you have recycle ideas to share, post a link in the comments to this article or send them to us at Thanks!


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