Failing to identify newly planted seedlings with garden signs can be extremely irritating. Fellow gardeners understand the frustration one feels as plants begin to grow and you have no idea what they are. The only thing to do is to wait for the plant to grow more and flower in order to be identified.

Seasoned gardeners know their plants well. Still, unlabeled seedlings can sometimes be confusing. Hence, experienced gardeners and nursery keepers keep their seeds, seedlings and young plants meticulously marked with colorful and cute garden signs.

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Novice gardeners especially need to label their plants. Store-bought garden labels and tags are commonly used. But you can also try your hand at making your own garden labels. Besides saving money, you’ll get a chance to play around with different colors.

These crafty, colorful and cute garden signs will add to your garden’s charm. The best part, however, is that you will never confuse your plants again.

Here are two crafty methods to make unique and cool garden signs:

Method 1: Wooden Plank Garden Signs

Things you’ll need:

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method 1 things need

  • Wooden planks, various sizes (for boards and stands)
  • Acrylic paints of any colors of your choosing
  • Glass bowl, small
  • Water in a tumbler
  • Assorted brushes
  • Paper towels
  • Pencil
  • Nails
  • Hammer

Step 1. Paint the front of the wooden boards

Paint the front of the wooden boards

Paint the front with another color

Use a flat brush to paint the front face of the wooden boards in any color of your choosing. There isn’t any need to paint the back of the board, so you can easily save some paint supplies.

Don’t fret if you don’t have a steady hand. A flat brush should help you easily spread the paint on the planks. Be sure to use even strokes for a uniform look, or else your plants will end up with a patchy appearance.

When you are done, let the paint dry. Handling the boards with wet paint will result in smudges.

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Step 2. Clean the brushes in between

Clean the brushes in between

Clean your brushes in a tumbler full of water every time you switch colors. This will ensure that traces of one color don’t mix into another shade. Regularly replace the murky water with freshwater.

If you’re a neat freak, you can also keep water in two tumblers – one for cleaning the color from the brushes and the other filled with clean water for a final rinse. This way you’ll only need to change the murky water of the first tumbler, but comparatively fewer times.

Step 3. Mix the colors together for different hues

Mix the colors for different hues

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Mix the colors together

Paint the mixed colors

If you only have basic colors at hand, you cans core some new colors by mixing together what you have. This will definitely add some colorful variety to your signs. Manage spills and splashes with paper towels.

Here, black and white have been mixed to create a dark grey. You can just go with the basic combinations (like mixing red and white for pink) or you can experiment with combinations of your choice— let your inner artist out!

With any color, you can add a little black to get a darker shade or white to create a lighter tone.

Step 4. Paint the sides of the wooden boards

Paint the sides of the wooden boards

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Paint the sides

When the paint on the front is dry to the touch, it’s time to get on with painting the sides of the wooden planks. Use the same color as before on each plank. You can use a thick, round brush for painting the sides.

Those who prefer their signs to be super colorful can paint the back portion as well. Just be sure to let the paint dry before you start with the sides or back. Besides saving your boards from smudges, it helps keep your hands from becoming messy with paint.

Step 5. Paint the front of the wooden stands

Paint the front of the woode stands

Paint-the-front

Having finished with the wooden boards, start painting the stands for your boards. Paint the front of the stands with even strokes using a thick, round brush. Allow them some time to dry.

Step 6. Paint the sides of the stands

Paint the sides of the stands

Paint the sides of stands

When the paint on the front dries, you can start painting the sides of the stands, using the same colors on each stand.

Step 7. Let the paint dry completely

Let the paint dry completely

When you’re completely done with the painting job, set the boards aside to dry for another 30 minutes. The drying time may vary according to the type and brand of the paints you’ve used, as well as the temperature and humidity in your environment.

Step 8. Make a rough draft of labels

Make a rough draft of labels

Make a rough draft of the wording for the wooden boards with a pencil. You can experiment with the style and size of the letters until you get it right. Writing with a pencil will ensure room for any changes you wish to make.

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You can try your hand at calligraphy as well. However, first-timers should stick with a simple writing style.

Step 9. Paint over the penciled labels

Paint over the penciled labels

Paint over penciled labels

Once you’ve sketched out the look you want, you can flair it out by painting the words using the pencil sketching as a guide. Use colors that contrast with the background, so that your labels are clearly visible. Again, allow the paint time to dry.

Step 10. Affix wooden stands to the boards

Affix wooden stands to the boards

Affix wooden stands to boards

Affix a stand to each board with 2 nails. Arrange the stand below the board. Hold a nail at one side and hammer it down. Hammer in the second nail about one finger’s gap from the first one.

Affix wooden stands

Wooden stands affixed

Repeat the process with all the other garden signs. Depending on your liking, you can match the color of the stands to the boards or you can contrast the colors.

Step 11. Place the new signs in your garden

Place-the new signs in your garden

Place the new signs

Now that you have prepared your colorful and cute garden signs, it’s time to use them. Drive the stands like stakes into the soil to make your garden signs stand upright in the pots or near the plants.

If you find driving them into the soil difficult, use your hands or a tool to make a small hole in the soil. Place the sign in the hole and then pack it in with soil.

New signs in your garden

Stand back and enjoy your work!

Method 2: Stone Garden Signs

Things you’ll need:

things need rock garden signs

  • Small stones of assorted sizes
  • Acrylic paints of any colors of your choosing
  • Glass bowl filled with water
  • Assorted brushes
  • Paper towels
  • Pencil

Step 1. Paint the stones

Paint the stones

Paint stones

Paint the stones

Paint stones

Paint the stones with a flat brush using long, even strokes. Align your strokes parallel to each other to avoid a patchy look.

Feel free to be creative and fashion new colors by combining different pigments.

When one side of the stone is covered in paint and has dried to the touch, turn it over to paint the other side. The goal is to cover every inch of the surface with paint.

Step 2. Clean the brushes regularly

Clean the brushes in water

Dry the brushes in paper

Be sure to clean the brushes regularly. Traces of previous colors on the stones will give an untidy look. Wipe the washed brushes on paper towels to clean them completely.

Step 3. Let the stones dry

Let the stones dry

After you’ve finished painting all the stones, set them aside to fully dry. You wouldn’t want to spoil your paint job by accidently smudging them.

Step 4. Pencil in a rough draft of the labels

Pencil in a rough draft of the labels

Again, write the names of the plants or herbs on the stones with a pencil. Adjust the size and style of the words to your liking.

Step 5. Paint over the pencil sketches

Paint over the pencil sketches

Paint over the pencil labels

Paint the labels using the penciled draft as a guide. Use contrasting colors so the labels are clearly visible against the background color of the stones.

Step 6. Let the painted labels dry

Let the painted labels dry

Allow the newly painted labels to dry for some time.

Your stone signs are now ready to add some color to your garden.

Additional Tips:

  • Cover your workstation with newspapers to prevent paint from getting everywhere.
  • Wear gloves if you have sensitive skin or if you don’t want to get paint on your hands.
  • The size of your signs should be proportional to the size of your gardening pot, planter or area in your yard.
  • If the wooden stake supporting your garden sign is pointed at the bottom, you can drive your sign into the ground with more ease.
  • Always use colors that are a shade darker than the stones. Light-colored stones can be easily painted.
  • Always test if your paint is dry before moving forward with the process. Choose an inconspicuous area to check if the paint has dried.
  • Be informed that your paint, after an hour or two, is merely ‘dryto the touch’. The paint job may take a few days to a week to be completely ‘cured’. Your newly crafted garden signs can still be used if you avoid any rough handling.
  • Rinse the brushes clean with plenty of water and dry them with paper towels before storing them away. Taking proper care of your brushes extends their life.
  • Be sure to fully screw on the caps of the bottles or tubes of your acrylic paints to prevent them from drying out.
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