Friday, December 8, 2017

Easy DIY Christmas Plant Markers and Gift Tags

This post was prepared in collaboration with our partner blog Green in Real Life.  Plants make great gifts. Plastic plant markers that come with plants from the nursery are not so pretty when wrapping pressies and if you're growing your own plants for gifting, little plastic garden markers aren't very flash either.  Not to worry!  You can whip up a simple and cute DIY plant marker or a whole set of markers in a few minutes plus dry-time.  Here are a few easy festive DIY ideas!

Tip: If you are buy a plant and it has a plastic label with detailed growing instructions that you'd like to keep with the plant for a quick reference but want to tuck out of sight for a pretty plant display or growing centrepiece, you can slide it into the soil all the way down deep against the side of the pot,  or cut and tape it to the bottom of your pot.

Before you start crafting, ensure that you have a mess-safe area for painting, with suitable ventilation for your chosen paint product(s). Paint can be messy for any age and skill level. I'm notorious for getting paint on myself!  Follow all of the safety guidance on your chosen paint products as well as product specific coat/recoat times.

To create you own snowman markers, you will need Popsicle-style sticks, base paint and/or sealer (optional - see tips), and slick dimensional fabric paint or alternative craft paints of your preference. Yep - fabric paint!  I like it for this craft because you can layer the paints all at once instead of having dry-time between colours. It's easy to apply and the glossy dimensional slicks really make the designs pop. Plus, once dry it's water safe which is handy for plants.   Tips: If your Popsicle sticks are pre-coloured, I'd suggest giving them a light coating with a compatible sealer prior to starting the craft so that the dye doesn't wick, streak, or run during painting (dye can leech and tint your paint) or during use. If they're plain wood or (like some of mine) the wrong colour for your crafts, you can pre-paint them prior to continuing the craft.  If you're planting edibles, non-toxic sealers and paints are best.  Paint your design onto the sticks and allow to dry completely. Use a permanent marker or pen on the back of the markers for labelling or tagging your plant pressies.

To create your own metallic markers, you will need Popsicle-style sticks and suitable metallic spray paint. For a slightly more grown up but equally festive alternative is to take your popsicle sticks and paint them with a metallic spray paint, such as silver and/or gold.  These work well for holiday pressies, but can continue to be used long after. Tip: Feeling extra fancy? Apply multiple paints to the front side of your markers using masking tape to create a colour-blocked design.  Use a neutral coloured or metallic planter to coordinate the look as well as keep things versatile for the recipient. Add a festive ribbon or bow in colours that work for the planter, and including a slight hint of the same metallic works great for tying the whole look together. Use a permanent marker or pen for labelling or tagging your plant pressies.

To create your own chalkboard markers, you will need Popsicle-style sticks and suitable chalkboard paint.  For another slightly more grown up alternative, take your popsicle sticks and paint them with a chalkboard paint. This finish is one of my favourites for the garden and for indoor use. Simple and classic!  For gifts, it works with any style of planter/pot and coordinating ribbon or bow. Use a suitable chalk pen or sharpened chalk for labelling or tagging your plant pressies.  Tip: If you don't want to re-use the plant markers, you can also get a similar look with matt black paint with chalk or other markers that are suitable for dark surfaces. Metallics are a pretty option.

If you're wrapping things up with ribbons and bows, but are having trouble getting the ribbon to stay in place on your pot, a little bit of double-sided tape, blue-tack, or glue dots can help keep things secure and straight, but make sure that the pot's surface is suitable for safe removal without damaging any special finishes. Struggling with pretty bows?  There are handy tutorials online for all sorts of different designs. Check out this how-to post at Personal Creations with instructions and videos for making bows for a few ideas. You can buy ready-to-use bows.  The bows shown on my planters are ready-to-use bows with reinforced "ribbon" to permanently hold shape, which will  help them be reused over and over. 

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