Make Some Weather-Resistant Garden Tags
Whether it’s a vegetable patch, sowing herbs, or planting flowers, the gardening season has finally arrived! Instead of sticking the cheap little plastic inserts into your hard-worked garden, why not make these easy weather-resistant tags that are sure to add some country-chic charm!
- Wood tag blanks (I used mini chalkboard clothespins from Michaels)
- Acrylic and/or chalk paint (white and another color of your choice)
- Small paintbrush and/or foam brush
- Protective table cover
- Permanent vinyl (I used Oracal 651)
- Water-based wood finish (I used Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Exterior – glossy)
- Digital products: Garden Bundle
- Tape measure or ruler
- Transfer Tape
- Weeding tools and scraper
- Cricut cutting machine (or other)
Let’s Get Started!
Start off this project by preparing your workspace so that you have everything ready to go – don’t forget the protective table cover to catch those accidental drops! You will also need to have a cup of water and some paper towels handy to clean your paintbrush and/or foam brush. Having everything organized will save you the hassle of running around and looking for all of your supplies!
Prepare the Blanks
If you have blanks that do not have the chalkboards on them, you can go ahead and start painting them with whichever color you choose. However, if your blanks are the same as mine, and you don’t actually want to use the mini chalkboards, you will want to prime them first with a white or an off-white color. This will help to completely cover up the chalkboard section and make everything uniform. I actually used some chalk paint in an off-white for priming.
Once you have primed the blanks and let them dry for about an hour, you can then apply the color. I chose to paint my tags “leaf green” from DecoArt, and I mixed in a dab of the chalk paint that I primed them with to help soften the color.
After all of your tags are primed, apply two coats of the color and allow them to dry for a couple of hours.
Cricut Design Space
While you are waiting for the paint to dry you can begin designing the vinyl. Download the Garden Bundle from Creative Fabrica and unzip it to a folder of your choosing on your computer, then open up Design Space and start a new project.
The bundle has so many great items that can be used outdoors, but for today, just upload the “Garden Labels” within the folder.
Feel free to keep all nine labels if you are planning on making that many, but if you only need a few like me, then just ungroup the designs and delete the ones you don’t need. Afterward, simply re-group all of the layers of each one that you are keeping.
Next, grab your tape measure or ruler and measure the width and height of your blanks. Remember to take into consideration the shape of both your blanks and the labels – make sure to size them so that they fit nicely on all sides. I made my labels to be 3” wide and 1.78” in height; this size allows me to place them nicely in the center of the tag.
Once you have them the perfect size for your particular blank, select everything and attach. Feel free to layer different colored vinyl, but I want to have my nice fresh paint shine through.
Click on the “Make It” button and adjust your settings and materials accordingly. I chose to use the “Washi Sheet” setting with more pressure as the texts on the labels are a little on the small side, and I like how this setting cuts smaller details.
When you’re ready, cut your design. Choose a color that goes well with your paint, but creates a bright contrast as well. You want your garden tags to be clearly visible!
Weeding and Application
Once the cut has finished, remove the vinyl from the cutting mat and weed as per usual – however, I encourage you to mix things up! You can absolutely weed the vinyl as the design was intended if you like, but another option is to do a reverse effect on two of the tags.
When all of your vinyl has been weeded, apply the transfer tape.
Before applying the decals, you will first need to decide if you will be using the clothespins to clip them to your flower pot, or if you are just planning on placing them in the soil. My herb garden is in a raised wooden box container, so I put my decals upside down so that I can stick them in the soil. Use your squeegee and burnish well. Slowly peel back the tape and, just to be extra cautious, press down on the decals with your fingers.
Now you are ready to seal them!
Sealing and Finishing
Using a paintbrush or foam applicator, apply an even coat of the Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Exterior to every part of each tag. Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours before placing them outside and in the garden.
I do recommend adding an additional coat of the seal, especially if you plan on sticking them into wet soil like I am. This will help to keep your tags looking like new for at least a couple of seasons. It’s important to note, however, that if you are placing them directly into the soil they may not last quite as long as if you have them clipped to the side of a flowerpot. The wet soil will have an impact on the wood over time. You can clean them up and re-seal every autumn if you wish to keep them in tip-top shape even longer – but then again…why not make some new ones next year?
Voila! After your finished your planting, add your new tags and bring your garden to the next level!
Keep on Crafting!