Start the Guide
How to Make Polymer Clay Garden Markers
This guide is on how to make simple garden markers. They look especially great in herb containers.
Gather your materials. Any oven bake able polymer clay will work. I am using some sculpey. You will also need a butter knife, a rolling pin and a set of alphabet stamps.
For the alphabet stamps, use either rubber or metal. Just make sure that the letters are somewhat small in size.
When you unwrap the clay, it will be in rather rigid blocks. You must really work the clay until it gets soft. This is known as conditioning, and is necessary for two reasons
First, to make it easier to work with. Second, it activates the PVC particles, which strengthens the clay and makes it less likely to crack after baking.
To condition the clay, work in small batches. Knead it and manipulate it with your hands. Make sure your hands are very clean, especially if you are using a light colored clay.
Roll the clay into 1.25 inch balls.
Roll each ball into a log, about 6 inches long.
Take the rolling pin, and gently press down. The log will expand to about 6.5 inches.
Smooth out the edges with your fingers.
Using a butter knife, cut one end into a point. This will be the bottom, as it will get staked in the dirt. Transfer to a metal cookie sheet.
Use your stamps to write out the herbs or veggies you want to mark. Use your fingers to smooth out rough edges. Or go for a homemade, rustic look and leave any imperfections as is.
Make sure to cook your clay based on the package instructions. Each brand is slightly different in its temp and cooking time.
For my sculpey, the package instructions were to cook at 275 degrees for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay. However, it took about an hour until it seemed like they were done.
Turn off the oven, and leave inside until the garden markers are smooth and have firmed up.
Remove from pan when cool. Be gentle, as this material is strong, but not unbreakable. It will stand up to the rain outside in your garden, but you would not want to drop it on the ground.
Place in your garden!
Check out other guides by this author!
San Francisco, California
Librarian, Beekeeper, Gardener, Healthy home cook