Jun 2, 2012

DIY Garden Markers using Polymer Clay

Hand-made, polymer clay garden markers are fun and simple to create and add a pop of unexpected color and whimsy to any garden. This is a great rainy day project to do with children and can be incorporated into a homeschooling science lesson on the effects of heat on polymer clay.
Hand-made, polymer clay garden markers are fun and simple to create and add a pop of unexpected color and whimsy to any garden. This is a great rainy day project to do with children and can be incorporated into a homeschooling science lesson on the effects of heat on polymer clay.
Materials
Aluminum floral wire (I used copper color)
a pasta machine (optional)
cookie cutters (optional)

parchment paper lined baking sheet
oven preheated to 375° F (follow manufacturer's temperature recommendation)
Polymer clay needs to be 'conditioned' or softened in order to make it easier work with and to align the molecules in the clay in order to create a strong, hard finished product.
 Polymer clay needs to be 'conditioned' or softened in order to make it easier work with and to align the molecules in the clay in order to create a strong, hard finished product. The clay can be conditioned by hand in the same way bread dough is kneaded or run through a pasta machine on the widest setting. Roll out, fold, repeat at least 20 times (the kids love this part).
Polymer clay needs to be 'conditioned' or softened in order to make it easier work with and to align the molecules in the clay in order to create a strong, hard finished product.
 Roll out polymer clay to 1/8"-1/4" thickness.  Form the garden marker in any free-form shape or by using a cookie cutter.
 Roll out polymer clay to 1/8"-1/4" thickness.  Form the garden marker in any free-form shape or by using a cookie cutter.
 Imprint the the name of the herbs/plants on the clay with the
embossing letters or the blunt end of a skewer.
 Imprint the the name of the herbs/plants on the clay with the embossing letters or the blunt end of a skewer.
 I pressed leaves from my herb garden into the clay for a fun effect.
 Imprint the the name of the herbs/plants on the clay with the embossing letters, a skewer or leaves.
 Make a hole in the top of each garden marker with the florist wire. The hole should be slightly larger than the wire itself.
 Make a hole in the top of each garden marker with the florist wire.
The hole should be slightly larger than the wire itself.
 Make a hole in the top of each garden marker with the florist wire. The hole should be slightly larger than the wire itself.
 Place the clay on parchment lined baking sheet and place in preheated oven.  *It is very important that the oven temperature not exceed the manufacturer's recommendation.*
Place the clay on parchment lined baking sheet and place in preheated oven.  *It is very important that the oven temperature not exceed the manufacturer's recommendation.*
 Bake for 15 minutes for thicknesses up to 1/4".  Remove from oven and cool completely.
Place the clay on parchment lined baking sheet and place in preheated oven.  *It is very important that the oven temperature not exceed the manufacturer's recommendation.*
 Painting the letters is optional. I think they look just as pretty with paint as without.
Apply acrylic paint with either a brush, pressing the paint into the grooves, or with a finger (another job ideally suited for the kids).
Wipe off excess paint with a paper towel and allow to dry. Baking the markers a second time after painting will adhere the acrylic paint permanently to the marker.
Apply acrylic paint with either a brush, pressing the paint into the grooves, or with a finger (another job ideally suited for the kids). Wipe off excess paint with a paper towel and allow to dry. Baking the markers a second time after painting will adhere the acrylic paint permanently to the marker.
Apply acrylic paint with either a brush, pressing the paint into the grooves, or with a finger (another job ideally suited for the kids). Wipe off excess paint with a paper towel and allow to dry. Baking the markers a second time after painting will adhere the acrylic paint permanently to the marker.
Cut an 8-10" length of aluminum floral wire and insert into hole,
twisting into any form desired.
Cut an 8-10" length of aluminum floral wire and insert into hole, twisting into any form desired.
Now they're ready for use in the garden! 
Polymer clay garden markers.
Polymer clay garden markers.
Polymer clay garden markers.
Polymer clay garden markers.
Polymer clay garden markers.
A friendly reminder for the residents of my backyard. ☺
Polymer clay garden markers.
DIY Polymer clay garden markers.
Admiring the garden markers?
Polymer clay garden markers.

20 comments :

  1. cute idea! might have to get some polymer clay and give it a try!

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    Replies
    1. It's really pretty fun, I think I liked making them at least as much as my daughters! :)

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  2. These are so pretty! I wonder how long they would hold up to the elements. Any idea?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! They should hold up season after season.

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  3. Is polymer the same as Fimo?

    Becca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Becca. Yes, Fimo is a brand name for a polymer clay.

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  4. I guess I didn't realize that polymer clay would last outside!!! Oh how this opens up a whole new world of possibilities :D

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  5. I'm so doing this.  What a fun project for my daughter and I!  

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  6. Jennifer Matthews5/5/13, 7:16 AM

    I love these! Going to make some for myself, and for my Mom for Mothers Day - thanks for the great tutorial.

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  7. Donna Wilkes5/7/13, 4:41 PM

    I was just lamenting my worn out garden markers I have been using for years. I like the way these turned out. I will be pinning this for use when I get ready to make some new markers. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Donna McGlasson5/7/13, 6:57 PM

    I've been thinking about getting the polymer's clay and trying this! Thanks! I am now totally inspired and appreciate your tutorial!

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  9. TheChickenChick5/7/13, 8:04 PM

    Thanks Donna! Have fun making them. :)

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  10. TheChickenChick5/7/13, 8:04 PM

    Thank you Donna. Have fun with it!

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  11. Fluster Buster5/7/13, 9:37 PM

    These turned out great! Heads Up - Your link on Fluster's Creative Muster Party is broken.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If only I can find a way to keep my _husband_ from messing with the garden markers!

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  13. TheChickenChick5/10/13, 12:41 AM

    Thanks for letting me know. I linked it up again. Not sure what the issue may have been.

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  14. I love working with polymore clay but, never thought of making garden markers love this idea. Theresa @ DearCreatives.com

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  15. My husband is difficult to buy gifts for...always says he doesn't need gifts. I started getting things that could be used by the family...games, appliances, etc. I wanted to make hand-stamped silverware markers for our garden but don't have the money to invest in the materials needed. I saw these and they look great! I think my husband will really appreciate them.

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  16. TheChickenChick12/7/13, 3:43 PM

    Happy crafting!

    ReplyDelete

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