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Sturdy Markers for Plants from the Thrift Store

By ViolaAnn
May 31, 2014

Are you tired of plastic markers breaking? I had often used sturdy plastic knives to mark plants, but they didn't last long in our cold climate. I suddenly thought of all the used flatware at my local thrift store. Stopped by there and came home with a whole bag of sturdy stainless knives which work well to label my small hostas. Use a marking pen designed for the garden and they should last awhile before they need redoing.

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Name: J.c. S.
Kansas (Zone 6b)
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StaticAsh
May 30, 2014 6:59 PM CST
That's a great idea. Also, for plants that you will always own or rebuy, you can use a handheld engraver to engrave the name on the knife and it will last forever.

Here's a pic of my ancient, cheap thriftstore engraver that has come in handy more times than I can count.
Thumb of 2014-05-31/StaticAsh/44960f

Name: Holly
South Central Pa
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HollyAnnS
May 30, 2014 7:20 PM CST
I love this idea, I am sure my printed labels will stick to them just as well as they stick to the EON markers.
Life is Great! Holly
Please visit me and learn more about My Life on the Water a Personal Journey Thread in the MidAtlanticMusings Cubit.
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Name: Angie
Concord, NC (zone 7)
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Hemophobic
May 31, 2014 3:50 AM CST
So, Holly, what labels are you using? P-Touch? I tried printing my own labels on clear labels,
spraying them with sealer, but they still didn't last in the sun. Faded away. Thanks.
I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace

Name: Sophie
Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
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sophie
May 31, 2014 4:32 AM CST
great idea. I am going to try it.
sophie
Name: Holly
South Central Pa
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Region: Mid-Atlantic I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Tropicals
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HollyAnnS
May 31, 2014 4:52 AM CST
Yes, I use P-touch the white labels with black printing. Some of them are a year or two old and still looking good. I do tuck them in close to the plant where they would be somewhat protected from the sun.
Life is Great! Holly
Please visit me and learn more about My Life on the Water a Personal Journey Thread in the MidAtlanticMusings Cubit.
http://cubits.org/MidAtlanticMusings/thread/view/5752/
Name: Kater
Northern Illinois (Zone 5a)
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kater
May 31, 2014 5:18 AM CST
Thanks for the GREAT ideas. I paid someone to put holes in many old spoons I had, to make a hanging spoon holder but the project did not look so great. This is a GREAT way to use old silverware from the olden days. Costco has the ptouch on sale this week.
Kater
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
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ViolaAnn
May 31, 2014 5:59 AM CST
What got me thinking was this picture I found on Internet using spoons with engraving in the bowl. I decided to use knives instead because they are better proportioned to the tiny hostas I have. And the long blade would definitely give room to add a label.

Thumb of 2014-05-31/ViolaAnn/99a092

Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 31, 2014 12:46 PM CST
ViolaAnn, that looks good. Those letters are not engraved on the spoons; a punch was used. You can buy a punch set for as little as $25 (or up to hundreds). Last a lifetime.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
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ViolaAnn
May 31, 2014 7:23 PM CST
I just finished replacing a lot more plastic knives. If the handle of the knife was large and flat enough to write on, I wrote the name there as the blade was easier to push into the soil, particularly if there was some serration on the knife blade. All the ones in the pictures have the names on the blade.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Jun 1, 2014 5:42 AM CST
Welcome Kater. Welcome!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Jun 1, 2014 7:01 AM CST
Ann and Greene - Oh my! I love those "punched" spoon labels! I immediately looked for a metal letter punch set and found an alphabet set for $22! I am going to get one of those sets and look for spoons at thrift stores! I have a vertical herb garden and have been trying to figure out a way to make long-lasting labels for each herb. I love the spoon idea! Thank you for posting that photo Ann! That is very attractive (to me) and just perfect for my herbs and even other plants!!!!! Love this whole idea of using thrift store flatware! Great idea Viola Ann! Thank you to all for these unique suggestions for plant labels! Thumbs up Lovey dubby Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jun 1, 2014 8:39 AM CST
@beckygardener,
Happy for you. Hurray!
Your plant markers would make great gifts for your gardening friends/relatives, would probably sell on eBay or other internet stores, and (hint, hint) would make a terrific not-a-raffle prize here on ATP. Whistling

In addition to the set of stamps you will also need a flat steel plate or an anvil to work on. If you place some non-slip-grip material under the steel plate or anvil it helps to reduce movement. There are many online tutorials, some of which are less than perfect, and many teach jewelry stamping, but the basics are there.

Here is two examples:
http://jewelrymakingjournal.com/metal-stamps-tips-and-techni...
http://www.ialwayspickthethimble.com/2014/01/04/metal-stampi...

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Holly
South Central Pa
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Region: Mid-Atlantic I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Tropicals
Ponds Hummingbirder Birds Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level
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HollyAnnS
Jun 1, 2014 9:17 AM CST
I've never done this but I would think that you will probably want to flatten the spoon a bit so you will need something that will work well for that and possibly a special hammer for the tools. When I did leather work I used a special weighted rawhide hammer so I wouldn't damage the tools I used for the stamping. In leather work we also used a marble slab to stamp on. Take a look at leather working tools on Ebay and see if there is something there that you would find useful.
Life is Great! Holly
Please visit me and learn more about My Life on the Water a Personal Journey Thread in the MidAtlanticMusings Cubit.
http://cubits.org/MidAtlanticMusings/thread/view/5752/

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