How to Make Metal Plant Markers


Many plants look the same in their early stages of growth, making labeling with plant markers necessary to tell them apart. Plant markers are also useful in a perennial garden. Many bulbs and other perennial plants die back during winter, which can lead to accidentally digging up the plants if you forget they are there. Plant markers help remind you so you avoid this issue. Metal, particularly aluminum, makes a durable plant marker that lasts for many years. While purchased plant markers are expensive, you can make your own with aluminum sheeting purchased from a craft store.

Step 1

Lay the aluminum sheet on a flat surface. Measure out the size of your desired plant tags with a ruler on the aluminum. Make the tags three times as wide as the desired finished width. Mark the cutting lines with a permanent marker. Plant markers can be any size, or make them 10 inches by 4 inches to ensure they are visible.

Step 2

Cut out each plant tag along the marked lines on the aluminum with a pair of tin snips. Wear work gloves while cutting as the edges of the aluminum are sharp.

Step 3

Measure 3 inches up from the bottom of the plant tag. Cut off the corners on either side of the marker up to the 3-inch line to form a pointed end. This forms the stake end of the marker that is pushed into the ground.

Step 4

Fold the plant marker into thirds lengthwise, effectively tucking the sharp edges behind the marker so they are harmless. Use pliers to help bend the aluminum if necessary. Fold back the top half-inch of the marker to get rid of the sharp edge on top.

Step 5

Write the name of the plant on the marker using a pencil, garden permanent marker or a grease pencil. Write both the common and scientific name of the plant if desired. Push the marker into the soil by the plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Craft stores also sell copper sheets, usually right next to the aluminum sheets. Avoid using these in the garden as they develop a patina over time that makes reading the markers difficult. Be careful when working with cut aluminum.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum sheet
  • Ruler
  • Permanent marker
  • Gloves
  • Tin snips
  • Pliers


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: A Label That Sticks
Keywords: making metal plant markers, homemade plant labels, aluminum sheeting

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.