Friday, June 5, 2015
Homemade Garden Markers
We have expanded our garden this year, fenced it in and built a gate to keep the chickens, children, ducks and dogs from running amuck. No more trampled or pecked plants! No more playing with garden markers! Now that's not to say, the children will not be allowed in the garden, because they will, but this year I made garden markers they CAN'T loose. Move? Yes. Lose? No!!
We love including our country kids in planting and growing a garden. These are wonderful skills and memories to grow up with. We try to make our garden as "kid friendly" as possible, this means we don't use harsh chemicals and fertilizers. But we also want to make it a magical, welcoming place. We have put in a brightly colored homemade hop scotch path through the garden for them, to encourage them to spend time in the garden. So, when it came to garden markers this year, I decided to go with the same bright colors, a much bigger size, and a little whimsy!
Your first step is to raid your local home improvement store. Sneak back to the paint department and grab a fist full of paint stir sticks and RUN! I'm just kidding! If you go to your local home improvement store and just ask, they will give you a bunch of paint stir sticks for free. I have used paint stir sticks in many projects and never had a store tell me I couldn't grab a bunch. Sometimes, they even ask what I am making with them!
Once you have your stir sticks it is time to paint them. I went with bold colors that represented the plant that would grow....
Yellow - corn, sun flowers, and summer squash
Red - tomatoes and peppers
Brow - potatoes
Orange - pumpkins
Green - green beans, zucchini, watermelon, broccoli, onion, etc.
You get the point, right? Since I have younger children, I wanted them to be eye catching and relate to the plants, but you can use what ever paint scheme tickles your fancy!
It did take a couple coats of paint to cover the writing on the back of the paint sticks, but I think it was well worth it to make them look good from the front and the back. You could also use spray paint. which would cut down on the time it takes to paint them, but since I already had acrylic paint on hand, I used what I had. So far I had invest NO MONEY on this project!
When it came time to label the markers, I did buy some puff paint because the tip of the bottle would make it easier to write and I thought the texture of the puffed up paint would appeal to the kids.
What I didn't know about the paint I grabbed, which was only a couple dollars, is that it was glitter! *smacks forehead* I thought this was going to be a disaster, but the boys loved that the markers sparkled, so I played it off like I totally planned it. *wink* The markers look ever more whimsical in the sun as the light plays off the glitter!
These markers are big, bold and totally fun! The go great with the hop scotch path we made a few years ago. And while my children may not necessarily want to eat the broccoli we planted, they will at least know where it is growing!