Materials: Plant images and names cut from your seed catalogues or magazines Cardboard or balsa wood rectangles to fit your images Wooden tongue depressors, popsicle sticks or stainless steel skewers as stakes to mount your plant tags and poke them into the ground Elmers Glue-All or Mod Podge Scissors Small bowl of water Acrylic paint Bolts Nuts Factory (optional) Prep surface:If you are using balsa wood, you may need to sand off any rough edges. Do so gently to avoid splintering the wood. Then wipe away any dust with a damp sponge. Decide if you want a colored background. The balsa wood showing through is a nice look by itself kind of like old-fashioned orange crates. If you want color, apply two coats of acrylic paint, allowing two hours drying time for each coat. If there are any rough spots, sand again; and wipe away any dust as before.
Decoupage This is a great tip from Durwin Rice. If you are using images with color on both sides (like from a catalogue or magazine), soak each image in a small bowl of water until it stops curling and floats freely without wrinkles. This relaxes the paper fibers making it much easier to position the image cleanly on the decoupage glue/sealer. Images will slide easily into place and not be grabbed by the glue. Liberally apply glue/sealer to the area for each image and slide the image into place. Gently smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles with your fingertips. Using a damp sponge, wipe over the image and around the edges to remove any stray glue. Repeat until all your images and plant names are in place. Let dry thoroughly.
Check for bubbles while they dry. If some develop, smooth gently. If they are already set, pierce with a pin or craft knife, then smooth. It wont even show when your piece is done. Back (Optional): Paint the back of each tag with two coats of acrylic paint. Embellish (Optional):Use a wide nib pen to draw outlines, background patterns or border trims on the front. Run the pen around the edge to give a nice finished look. Seal: Using a sponge brush, apply at least two coats of acrylic-based polyurethane. Since the markers will be exposed to the elements, three or four would be better. Youll also see how additional coats add a special depth. Your markers will look as if you hand painted them! Mount: Using appropriate glue or fasteners, attach each plant label tag to a stake.