Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oven Baked Plant Markers

I love spring and after a winter like the one we have just finished here in New England how can you not?  Long days outdoors, mud and planting, watching the garden come back from its long winters sleep and my kids enjoying every minute of their new freedom outdoors. With that though life gets extra busy with more sports activities and end of school year preparations. I am sure it's so that I can fully appreciate those long slow days of summer in all their glory. Anyway all this means my poor blog took a back seat for a while but as I start planning out all the fun things I want to try over the summer with the kids I'm hoping to stay focused on sharing it here with you all.

For now here is a really simple project my girls made; we actually sold them at a fundraiser we held recently in the barn. The fundraiser was for a charity started by a friend of mine, Jonahs Just Begun  heres a few pics, it was such a fun afternoon. The plant markers were so easy to make and look so pretty I thought it worth sharing.

You will need:

Oven bake clay (We used Sculpey do not use the air dry we did the first time and they dissolved in the rain leading to sad children)
Letter stamps (we picked up some in the print section of Michaels)
Rolling pin

Step 1

Take a piece of clay (we used about 1/2 of what is pictured here to make one marker). After playing with the clay a little to warm it up, roll it out into a sausage shape.

Step 2

Take the rolling pin and flatten the clay sausage to about a quarter of an inch.

Step 3

Think about what you are using your plant marker for and select the letters. We chose to make them for our herb garden but if you don't need plants marked you could even write one with expressions such as 'hope' or welcome greetings. It is a good idea plan the letters next to the marker before you stamp so you can work out spacing. You can turn letters sideways if needed. Longer words will need longer plant markers rolled out.

Once you have marked out the word, remember to leave space at the bottom for it to go into the soil, you can stamp the letters. Push hard enough to mark the clay but not too hard that you squish the marker too out of shape. Younger kids are more likely to push too soft or too hard and may need help to get it right. Remember if they mess up you can just roll it out again.

Step 4

Once you have written your word take a sharp knife and cut the bottom into a point to make it easy to stick into the soil. Then bake your clay per the instructions on the packet. Our sculpey clay took just fifteen minutes, it is hot when it comes out the oven so use a baking sheet and warn kids not to touch.

After it has cooled you can take it outside to your yard. So pretty and these make great gifts added to potted herb. 

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