Save Your Broken Garden Pots To DIY Adorable Plant Markers

If you've got an active practice that includes growing herbs in your backyard garden, it does take a bit of organization to keep track of all the goodies you've seeded. And you may have a supply of terra cotta pots on hand for the plants that you haven't yet transferred into the ground. If you keep them outside, you may have noticed the pots can break easily when the temperature drops. Terra cotta pots are made of a porous material, so they expand and contract with climate shifts. But don't discard those broken shards — you can repurpose them into sweet plant markers using paint, stenciled or hand-drawn lettering, and a protective finish.

This is the perfect DIY hack for you if your aesthetic runs along organic, rustic, magical garden gnome lines. But before you create your plant markers, a note about safety. Regarding any broken pieces of terra cotta, before you take another step, we encourage you to sand all the edges with fine-grit sandpaper. As you create your adorable custom signs, they'll be safer to handle.

How to craft cute plant markers

You may need to actually create these shards. Use a hammer to lightly tap and break pots. Take care to focus on the top smooth part because it should be included. After sanding, the simplest version of this project is to get a Sharpie pen and handwrite the name of your plant. But by customizing these markers to your taste, you can add a fun, personal stamp.

These signs can spring to life if you paint them a background color, possibly add a subtle pattern on top of that (polka dots, swirls), and then hand paint or stencil letters. For ideas, check out Pinterest or your favorite sources of interior design inspiration, like nature or unusual fabrics. Some supplies we suggest you gather include acrylic paints, brushes, and a finisher and sealant called Outdoor Mod Podge, which is water-resistant.

If a cobalt blue background calls to you, white paint for the lettering will be easier to read than black. Michaels and other art supply stores carry painting stencils for letters, or you can freehand it. After you add a background color, let it dry completely. Then, add your letters and allow them to dry. Finally, use a brush to add multiple thin coats of Mod Podge, which helps seal outside art projects. Let them cure for 72 hours before popping each sign next to its corresponding plant.