I simply cannot WAIT for the SPRING weather!! I feel like it will be here, just around the corner and I wake up in the morning and there is snow and sleet everywhere. I get excited when I see the first tulips barely poking a little green leaf out of the ground, only to be covered an hour later by old man winter. SO. What to do? Garden crafts of course! Today I am going to show you how to use simple baked clay to create pretty, stylish plant label tags for your pots.
Supplies needed to make your own plant label tags:
- Clay (I used brown, but pick whatever works with your pots/decor)
- Clay Press (optional, but makes the process MUCH faster!)
- Circle Cookie Cutter
- Serrated Knife
- Metal Stamping Letters
- Oven/Baking Sheet or Glass Pan
Note: You might be tempted to skip the clay press, but let me warn you that this clay is HARD and takes quite a bit of rolling and kneeding to get it soft enough to work with. The clay press saves TONS of time and makes a really nice, even surface and tags that are of even height all the way around the circle. Bonus: It also works on homemade pasta! Bonus 2: It is half off right now – go get it!
On to the instructions! Cut off a piece of clay with a knife. I cut off about 1″ sections using a serrated knife. Push a section down into the clay press, rolling the handle as you push down.
The clay will flatten out like this:
Gently, pull the clay up from around the piece you cut out. DO NOT do this the other way around (by picking the circle out of the clay). You will get smudges and fingerprints and smooshed sections all around the circle trying to remove it.
Handle your circles gently at this point. They are very soft and moldable. Using a metal stamping kit, I added plant names to my tags. You can also carve words by hand into the tags or use a picture stamp – anything you choose!
Once you are happy with each tag, it is time to bake them! Set the oven to 275 degrees, place your tags (carefully!) on a nonstick baking pan or glass dish and bake for 30 minutes. (True story: I forgot about one batch of tags and they went longer then 30 min. (oops!), but were ok. Apparently, the right temperature matters more than the right time!) Clay will darken into its true color as it bakes and cools. You can see the variation in the fresh clay and fully dry product below.
You might notice that my fresh clay is flat while the finished tag is slightly curved. This was intentional so that the tags would attach to my pots seamlessly. They will not typically curve when baked. If you want them to curve, simply squeeze the ends gently to create a slight curve every 5-10 minutes as the tags are cooling. They will settle into the curved shape without a lot of hassle. Once stamped, baked, dried and curved, your tags are ready to work! I attached mine with hot glue directly onto my pots (from IKEA), but you could certainly attach them to sticks and place into your outdoor garden.