Start Small: Making Garden Markers, Step One

04 19 2014 garden markers 1

It’s been mentioned once or twice before, but I have a kid who loves to do projects with me. And since I have a never-ending list of things I want to get done, it’s just a matter of tailoring them to fit a little kid. With summer coming up fast, we are starting to prep our garden. For the past three years, our garden has been so small and simple that there was never a need to mark any of the plant rows. This year will be different. I think we have about 20 different plants planned, so I had better make darn sure I can tell one plant from another. So we started making plant markers.

As a kid, I got to make a classic project, crayon rocks. That basic idea should (hopefully) work great for us. We need something weather resistant and hard to accidentally move. I will be interested to see how the crayon holds up on rocks when it gets really hot out. We may be in for some melting rocks. But even if that happens, it’s not like there will be a huge loss involved. So that said, here is a quick breakdown of how this first half of the project went down.

Supplies are pretty basic: cookie sheet (a ratty one is perfect), some rags (I used old blue jeans), crayons, rocks and oven mitts. If you have a lot of smaller rocks that will fall through the bars on the oven rack, you will also need another cookie sheet or a muffin tin.

This is a really, really cheap project. I spent $2 on two boxes of crayons at Target. All the rocks were gathered on a walk near our house.

This is a really, really cheap project. I spent $2 on two boxes of crayons at Target. All the rocks were gathered on a walk near our house.

To get the rocks ready, make sure they are clean and as dry as you can get them with a towel. Pop them into a 350 degree oven for at least ten minutes. Really large rocks may need another five minutes. While they are heating up, line your cookie sheet with rags. Once the rocks are heated up, pull them out one or two at a time and place them on the lined cookie sheet. Now the really fun part…start coloring. If the rock is the right temperature, the crayons will just melt on smoothly. Write fast for a smooth, simple line. Do slow, repetitive lines to create dribbling and pooling. Just have fun with it. I know we did.

Kid hands, hard at work.

Kid hands, hard at work.

This is one of mine, and I went nuts with the gold. It is sooo pretty and sparkly in real life.

This is one of mine, and I went nuts with the gold. It is sooooo pretty and sparkly in real life.

 

 

My kid also loves glitter. That purple was a pretty awesome choice.

My kid also loves glitter. That purple was a pretty awesome choice.

The wax takes a really long time to set up. The best thing you can do now is set the sheet aside and distract your kid with something else. Something like lunch or a nap. Just leave the rocks for the next day.

Come Monday, I will be using paints to add names of all the plants. I tried with just crayons, but the letters were impossible to read. So Monday, Plan B. And I will share pictures then. Have a great Easter everyone!

Not bad for an hour or so of work and fun.

Not bad for an hour or so of work and fun.

One thought on “Start Small: Making Garden Markers, Step One

  1. Pingback: Start Small: Making Garden Markers, Step Two | daydreamhouse

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