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How To Make Cheap, Permanent Plant Tags

By duane456
July 20, 2016

Tired of trying to remember the name of that plant? Or -- trying to read your faded plant tag that is falling apart? Here's an inexpensive, interchangeable, and permanent plant tag that is easy to make with a few tools and materials.

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 19, 2016 8:41 PM CST
Wire coat hangers are as scarce as hen's teeth around my house nowadays. Not too many pop cans here either, sadly.

You did make very nice plant tags that way, though. Hmmm, what could I use instead of the hanger wire?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Jul 19, 2016 8:49 PM CST
Do you know anybody who gets clothes washed or dry cleaned? Cleaners generally use cheap wire hangers... not sure how long that thin white wire would last. I'm sure you could just get a spool of wire to use, but I like the "repurposing" of using hangers.

Good idea for DIY markers!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Deebie
Jul 20, 2016 7:50 PM CST
Critter, You can buy a thin enough wire from a hardware store and use aluminum flashing, if you don't have soda cans. It will be a little more expensive though.
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
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grannysgarden
Jul 21, 2016 2:43 AM CST
I like repurposing instead of buying and I like garden chores I can do indoors when it is too hot, rainy or too cold to be outdoors. This is a good one. Thanks for posting it. Smiling
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
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LysmachiaMoon
Jul 21, 2016 6:03 AM CST
Great idea! I was just complaining how I need to mark my plants with tags. And as for soda cans, take a walk and pick up some litter. I don't drink soda or beer but I've always got LOTS of cans from the roadside.
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
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critterologist
Jul 22, 2016 11:31 AM CST
Thanks. that's what I was suggesting, wire from hardware store (or maybe baling wire from southern states) if you can't get clothes hangers... but anybody who gets their clothes "done" at the cleaners would have tons of extra hangers for you.

Do be careful of the edges on the cans, though. Might consider a strip of packing tape across the label and over the edges... I go barefoot a lot and can just see tripping over a label and cutting my toe.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Jul 23, 2016 6:36 AM CST
This is awesome. I posted a question about labels to a specific flower forum a few weeks ago and have since bought some expensive tags. Now when I run out, I'll know to find this!

Shirwise1
Jul 23, 2016 8:35 AM CST
I use aluminum Venetian blind slats that friends and neighbors are getting rid of. They are sturdier so I do need to use a cheap engraver or metal marker. They can also be stuck directly into the ground or potted plant.
Youngsville, LA (Zone 9b)
tabbycat
Jul 23, 2016 1:24 PM CST
What a great idea for making permanent metal tags. I've bought them & they are pricey.
For any marking that has to hold up in full sun I use a black china marker that's oil based & seems to last years on any label: plastic, metal, wood or stone without fading like felt permanent markers. I have a white one to mark on dark things, too. The aluminum blind tags last years but plastic blinds get brittle after a year. I prefer to make some very durable plastic ones I recycle from the tall plastic drink cups from Taco Bell, Burger King & such. They are a good thickness that I just cut in my spare time into wedge shapes 1/2" to 1 1/2" wide at top x 4" long with a point. I have some 3 years old that are still pliable & readable tagging my day lilies in full sun & weather.
Name: Carlos Peres da Costa
Aldeia,Camaragibe,Pernambuco,
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cperesc
Jul 23, 2016 3:27 PM CST
I too make plant tags from aluminum soft drink and beer cans. For inscribing the name instead of a pen, I use a sharp pointed iron nail or a broken bicycle spoke. Point is done by rubbing on a sharpening stone. Many times I use a paper punch to make a hole on the tag strip and tie it to the support.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jul 24, 2016 2:37 PM CST
Love, love, love this idea!!! Thanks for sharing!!!! One could go to Lowes and buy some copper electrical wire and strip that coating off, it has several good sized wires in there. Untwist them and then cut to desired length and bend into your holders. It is not expensive, I buy it all the time and work with it in my jewelry.
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Meri Taylor
SD (Zone 4a)
God made dirt! Dirt don't hurt!
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mnmat
Jul 25, 2016 9:22 AM CST
I have found the marking flags that the underground utilities use when locating pipe or cable to be very useful. I use them for ground staples and even bend them into plant supports. They would work great for these plant tags! I see them abandoned along the road side long after the jobs are done so I stop and pick them. Hey! I'm just doing my part to keep the roads neat and clean! Green Grin!
Meri
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Jul 25, 2016 9:28 AM CST
Great thing to watch for, Meri! I wouldn't have thought of it... D'Oh!
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
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critterologist
Aug 7, 2016 8:23 AM CST
Donna, thanks! I've been buying copper wire from beadaholique for wire-wrapping... D'Oh! @donnabking

I have a little engraving tool, battery operated, think it was from lee valley... writes pretty easily once you practice a bit,good if you are using a material that's hard to impress with a ballpoint or nail (great tip on using a sharpened nail, thanks Carlos! @cperesc )
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Jo Miklovic
Augusta, GA

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Roadrunner
Aug 8, 2016 10:46 AM CST
Many thrift stores bundle up wire....and plastic ...hangers and sell them cheap.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Aug 13, 2016 9:37 AM CST
You are very welcome Jill @ Critterologist! I usually strip it off with a box cutter, being very careful. Much cheaper than buying from jewelry supply! Now if I could just come up with a silver tone source, sigh! Here is a pix of some of the copper wire I have worked up.
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Aug 13, 2016 9:50 AM CST
Jill@ Critterologist, could not get pix to load. Have no prob loading them on FB but here, idk, this system seems so slow?? idk? I will try again one at a time, what a pIn!
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The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Aug 14, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Sweet, Donna! But I don't see how that would work as plant tags!
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
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critterologist
Sep 14, 2016 6:27 PM CST
Donna, those are great! I love the G-clef signs, in particular.

Barbalee, you're right that those aren't plant tags.. We got O/T. But it's worth noting that there's an inexpensive source of copper wire for those who want to use it to attach metal labels to trees or bend it into U-shaped holders for labels.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Sep 14, 2016 7:31 PM CST
True, true, Jill!

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