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Recycled Pop Can Garden Markers {Tutorial}

Happy Earth Day, mommas! Today we celebrate Mother Earth and what better way to show mad respect for our planet, than a recycled craft for the garden. 

garden markers

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, which in Colorado means the all-clear to plant flowers and veggies outdoors. But how to mark those little baby sprouts so I can tell my beets from my rainbow chard, or the sweet peppers from the hot ones? In years past I’ve just scribbled the name of each plant on a popsicle stick, a plastic spoon, or whatever I could find laying around. This year I decided I wanted something more unique.

I remembered a craft I did as a kid where we embossed pieces of aluminum can and colored them with Sharpie, to make Mexican Folk Art-style Christmas ornaments. So I showed my kids the basic technique, and an hour later they’d made a full set of plant markers for my whole garden! 

It’s very simple and with a grown up to help cut the aluminum, even the littlest ones can help. Of course they might need a hand to spell plant names-the letters must be written backward-but the embellishments can be all theirs! 

What you need: 

Several empty pop cans

Can opener

Sharp scissors

Emery board

Paper towel or newspaper

Ballpoint pen

Colored Sharpies (optional)

How to:

1. Using the can opener, remove the top of the can. With sharp scissors, cut straight down one side, around the bottom, and remove the thick band of metal from the top  as well. You should be left with a rectangle of aluminum. Be sure to use sharp scissors. Dull scissors will leave a jagged edge that can cut/poke you. 


2. Cut 1-inch wide strips from the rectangle and taper one end of each strip to a point by snipping off the corners. Run the emery board over any jagged edges. The aluminum won’t have sharp edges as long as it’s cut straight. Carefully inspect each strip for sharp points before giving them to the kids for the next step. 


3. Fold several layers of paper towel or newspaper and lay an aluminum strip painted side up on the paper. Using the ballpoint pen, draw your design, remembering to write letters backward. Press hard. Flip the strip over and a raised design will be visible. Fill in the design with bright-colored Sharpies if desired, or leave plain.


4. Place in your garden, or in a cute potted plant for a sweet Mother’s Day gift!



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