Thursday, June 17, 2010

Craft Corner: Plant Markers

My dad loves to work in the yard.  His mom, my grandma, grew up on a farm, and she still has a giant garden.  My dad has been yearning for a garden ever since I can remember.  When I was little we had a small garden, with tomato and cucumber plants.  Now, he's trying out square foot gardening, in some fancy garden boxes he built this spring.

What does every dad who gardens need for Father's Day?  Some fancy plant markers so everyone knows what plant is what out there in the garden!

I made my plant markers out of oven bake clay (I used Sculpey), aluminum foil, and an old coathanger.  If you have older kids, this would be a really fun project to do together!  You can find the clay and all the tools for it at the craft store.  Honestly, the only tool I use is a long blade (like a razor blade), and you could probably use a knife for that.  Oven bake clay is used a lot to make beads and such, so bead templates and things to poke the holes through the clay were included in my tool set.

First, take aluminum foil and crunch it up into the shape you want your plant markers to be.

Then take out your clay.  Each brick is scored into four sections.  I used 3 sections for each plant marker.  I cut up one section each of two different colors into slices:

And stacked the slices together, alternating colors.

Next I squashed them all together into a big roll.  How you do this will make a difference in how your final product looks, so think about it before you squash.  I didn't think before I did this one, but you can see some prettier patterns in the last couple of pictures.

Roll the clay out to the desired size, and cover one side of the aluminum foil.

See, only one side is covered.

Take the last section of clay (either color, it doesn't matter) and roll it out for the back side of the plant marker.

Take your coathanger, and some wire cutters and cut off one corner.  Sandwich this between the foil on the back side of the plant marker and the plain clay.  Cover the back side with the clay.

Now - to make it pretty!  Roll out a long, thin snake of black clay and use this to edge the whole plant marker.

Then, out of the same black clay, roll out another long, thin snake to make the letters.

Bake according to your package directions.  Mine was 15 minutes at 275 degrees.

Let cool, and show off in your garden.  Or, give to your dad or husband for Father's Day!!

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