Sunday, May 10, 2015

Small Garden-Part 7-Plant Labels

For several years, I have wanted to add name tags to my herbs in the garden. I wanted them so my family can learn what the herbs are and also because sometimes I get specialized herbs... and I forget what they are. :)

I have had different ideas.. and have seen things on Pinterest, but nothing looked like something I wanted to do either because of time and effort required... or the expense.

Recently, I decided to tackle this project, using an old mini blind shade. This is one we are not going to use again... and rather than throw it away, I decided to use it.

You can see at the bottom that I have cut the strings... the bottom section was cleaner. I took out 3 of the slats.

Here are the 3 slats... and I have started cutting them up. I wasn't sure how I wanted to do this, so some experimenting happened.
 I have a set of jewelry tools... I know this isn't really what they are for, but it is what I had, so I got those out.

I have been surprised how handy this set of jewelry tools has been for me... I bought them on sale for about $10.00 new... and I have been so glad to have them. :)

I also decided to use some heavier wire... this is #18 gauge galvanized utility wire.  I had bought a pound of it at a garage sale and it seemed perfect for this task.

 The one on the right is my first attempt at making this... and I think the rest are definitely improvements. :)

On the first one I did, I used the backside of the slat so that it was scooped...  that is the comfrey tag.

On the echinacea tag, I turned it so that the rounded part is what I write on... and I like it a lot better this way.

Step 1: Using scissors, cut slat piece to about 3".

Step 2: Cut the corners off

Step 3: Use hole punch to punch 2 holes at each end, as shown.

Step 4: Using a black permanent marker (A Sharpie works great), draw a simple border.

Step 5: Write the name of the plant

 Step 6: Using wire cutters, cut 18 gauge wire to about 15" length.

Step 7: Bend wire at 6" (90 degree angle)

Step 8: Make another 90 degree bend in the wire.... measure by looking at one of your slat/tags.

Step 9: Starting with long end, feed it into the tag... from the BACK of the tag. Do the same with the short end, when you get to that point.

 Step 10:  Lay tag with the backside up.... bend both wires ... once at corner, then again in middle to go down.

Step 11: Twist wire. This can be done with your fingers or pliers.

Step 12: The tag/sign will be flat... it can be used this way... or it can be adjusted (this is what I do), so that it faces upward a bit.

I like it this way so that a person who is standing in the garden can read it without having to bend down.

That's it... since the wire is quite stiff... it pushes into the garden quite well... it will bend, so push carefully.

As the patch of herbs grows, it will be easy to move the tag, if necessary. 

I have 2 kinds of thyme, so I am glad to label them both. 

I actually have 3 or 4 stands of yarrow around the yard... I'm not sure if I will label all of them or not. We'll see.

I also have basil in 2 places... this is the newest area... just transplanted a couple of days ago from another larger planting in the garden.

I hope to get some different lavenders also... I am thinking I will probably name the kind of lavender on the tag.. and maybe even the hardiness rating, so I know if I need to overwinter it in the house or not. 

 I hope to have a lot of borage this year. :)

The comfrey is new this year from a friend... I use a lot of comfrey, so I am excited to have it in my garden. :)

I don't know how long these will last... maybe only one season, maybe 2 or more, but I am so thankful to have the labels started.

Eventually, I would like to make these tags for rows of carrots, beets, radishes, peas and other veggies. It would be helpful to mark the rows until the plants come up. I would plan to take them in and re-use them the next year.

I love going to professional gardens that have their plants labeled.. that has helped me to identify some of my plants. What a treat to have my own labels now.

Thank you for visiting... I hope you found this information helpful.

     The Small Garden Series:
Small Garden-Part 1-Crop Rotation 

Small Garden-Part 2-Growing UP

Small Garden-Part 3-More Beds

Small Garden-Part 4-Companion Planting

Small Garden-Part 5-Signs

Small Garden-Part 6-Paths

Small Garden-Part 7-Plant Labels

Shared on:

Two Uses Tuesday
Funtastic Friday
From the Farm
Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Charm of Home
Green Thumb Thursday
Paula's No Rules Weekend Party
Homeacre Blog Hop
Share Your Cup Thursday
Create It Thursday
Thriving On Thursday
Wise Woman
Homestead Blog Hop
So Much At Home
Hump Day Happenings
Wordless Wednesday
Wake Up Wednesday
Talented Tuesday
Tell It To Me Tuesday
Maple Hill Hop
Tuesday Garden Party
Roses of Inspiration
Tuesday Talk
Good Morning Monday
What'd You Do This Weekend?
The Art of Homemaking


  1. Lovely homemade tags. i don't have any blinds to cut up but I guess that there are plenty of other plastic/wood alternatives to use. So far I only have garlic chives, parsley and oregano but would love to add tyme, sage and basil.

    1. There would be many alternatives.... when using wood, you would need a drill to go through the tag, rather than a hole punch. Your herbs sound great... I just realized that I do not have parsley this year... I need to remedy that! :) There are so many wonderful herbs to use..... I am adding lemon balm and some others. :)

  2. Such a clever and creative idea, I just love when we can recycle things we aren't using anymore than throw them away. Can I ask how you use your stevia, we bought a plant this year and am not really sure how to use it :)

    1. I like using things in creative ways to not waste them also... it is way too easy to throw things away!
      I cut off the stevia and dry it during the year... the main way I have been using it is to crumble it up to put into my herb tea blends.... like here:

      You don't need very much... sometimes I use it with tea and sometimes we don't use any in the tea. Stevia can also be used in making other foods sweet and that will take some experimenting... the key is not to use a lot... it is much sweeter than sugar and can get a bitter taste if too much is used. I store my dried stevia leaves in a labelled jar and then just crumble them when needed. If I didn't want any of the particles, I would use a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder to grind them to powder.

      Hope this helps... thank you for visiting.. it was so nice to have you stop by. :)

  3. Oh friend, what a delightful and useful idea! Blinds do not last forever and this is a perfect way to re-use them :) Thanks for joining Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!

    1. I see old ones in free boxes at garage sales often also... and so many of them get thrown away....There are so many slats to use... I only used about 2 of them! I am so glad to have plant labels now. :) I suspect I will have to re-do these every year, but I'll see how long they last - I would love for them to last 2 or more years. Time will tell. :)

  4. How cute is this!?! We are planting our garden this week - and I bet I could find some old blinds to do this. Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Talk! I'm giving away FIVE copies of one of my favorite books. Feel free to stop by to enter to win!
    Sarah (co-host)

    1. Thank you... it is so fun to get the garden started and to have things start growing... Seems like every day there is a difference in the plants. :) Thank you for visiting... and for the great link up party. :)

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you... I sure am glad to have plant markers now. :)

  6. Love how you repurposed those blinds. I saw some in my neighbor's recycling bin last week. Should have picked them up!
    Thank you for sharing this on The Maple Hill Hop!

    1. Too bad they're gone... but there will be more someplace. :) I feel like I need to think of something else to do with the rest of this blind since I only used about 2 1/2 slats or so. :) I need to get thinking of some creative things. :)

  7. Oh how creative. I love what you've done. Thanks for sharing. I linked too. Maybe you can come by and give me advice!
    I loved meeting you!

    1. Thank you... my husband keeps telling me that he loves seeing those labels in the garden. :) It will help him learn the names and I am glad, but I have been surprised how much he likes this project. Nice to please him that much. :) Thank you for visiting.

  8. I love these little markers - I like that they're small too! I'm planting on doing a feature post on Garden Markers later this month, Can I feature this article? -Carole email if that's okay thanks -

    1. I like them too...and they don't take long to make... and it went quite fast once I developed a system. :) I will contact you about the feature, but yes, that would be great. Thank you. :)

  9. Replies
    1. Thank you... that is so nice to hear. :) I'm glad you stopped by.

  10. Another great idea! Thank you for sharing this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!! :)

    1. Thank you.... :) I am really enjoying those labels.. and the praise from my husband about them. :)

  11. I don't know if I have said this before but you are absolutely amazing with what you do. This is a great idea and using the old blinds is a wonderful re-use of something not necessarily needed anymore. Thank you so much for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    1. What a wonderfully sweet and encouraging thing to say! The encouragement is so encouraging to me and I really needed some today. :) Thank you.

  12. What a clever idea! A great repurpose of an old blind. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Thank you... it is fun that God brings such an idea to my mind... and it works out so well. :) Thank you for visiting... it was nice to have you.

  13. So cute and creative! Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop! Hope to see you again this week. :)

    1. Thank you... I look forward to seeing how they look as the herbs grow larger also. :)

  14. What a great idea! Now, I just need to find some mini blinds!

    1. Thank you... it does work well so far. :) Those old miniblinds are usually plentiful at garage sales.... although when you look for something, it can seem to be harder to find. :)

  15. Very creative, I'm not sure I would have come up with that idea in a million years! My dad always cut up old plastic containers to make plant labels but yours are much prettier!

    1. Plastic containers would work also.... but those nice long strips on the miniblinds just seemed to be begging to be used for something! :) Thank you for visiting.