Garden stakes can be pretty as well as practical.

Ideas for Homemade Garden Stakes

by Dana Hinders

Garden stakes, sometimes called plant markers, help you identify your seedlings as they begin sprouting through the soil. Functionality aside, homemade stakes are the perfect opportunity to add a creative, decorative touch to the area. You can use almost anything that is waterproof as a garden stake. For a fun project, get the kids involved in making pretty stakes that reflect your family's personal sense of style.

1. Seed Packet Garden Stakes

If you like to keep your seed packets for the planting information they contain, turn them into simple garden stakes by gluing the packets to wooden craft sticks. After you insert the stakes into your garden, place a clean glass jar over each one to protect the seed packets from rain and wind. Alternatively, you can decoupage the seed packet onto a small scrap of wood and eliminate the need for a glass jar. Be sure to use an outdoor decoupage medium or a waterproof sealer.

2. Wooden Garden Stakes

Large wooden spoons can be turned into cute garden stakes that would be perfect for a child's garden. Help your child use a woodburner to write the name of the plant on the base of the wooden spoon. Use watercolor pencils to draw a pretty design. Protect the finished garden stake with a clear outdoor sealant. If you don't have access to a large number of wooden spoons, you could also complete this project using wooden paint stirrers.

3. Metal Garden Stakes

Mismatched silverware can get a second life as part of a decorative garden stake. Use a metal stamping set to write the name of your plant on a tin can lid that has had the rough edges removed with a metal file. Lightly color over the words with a black permanent marker, then wipe away the excess with a clean cloth. Bend the middle tines of an old fork up so you can slip the tin can lid in between the tines. Another way to approach this project would be to use an awl and a hammer to add beaded charms on jump rings to the tin can lids. You could also stamp the plant name on the base of a large serving spoon if you don't have any forks and tin can lids handy.

4. Upcycled Garden Stakes

Upcycled materials such as wine corks and clothespins make clever garden stakes. Gently push a wooden dowel through the hole in the cork where the wine key went in. Let your children decorate the cork with acrylic craft paint, then push the stake into the ground. If you're not a wine drinker, clip a decorated clothespin to the dowel for a similar look.

5. Nontraditional Garden Stakes

If you don't like the look of traditional garden stakes, write the names of the plants on flat, smooth stones. You can use stamps with permanent ink, acrylic craft paint or tiny scrapbooking rub-on letters. You can either place the stones on the ground next to the appropriate plants or use a waterproof epoxy to attach them to a large nail that can be driven into the ground for added security. If you have a very large garden, you could paint or stencil plant names onto bricks that could be used as garden stakes. The larger surface of the brick would make this an ideal project for your child to help with.

About the Author

Dana Hinders is an Iowa-based writer. She earned her B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa in 2003.

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