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Recycled Spoon Garden Markers

April 6, 2011

I started hunting around on Etsy a few weeks ago for garden markers for my mom and mother-in-law for upcoming gifts and quickly realized that I couldn’t really afford as many as I want to get/ thought they’d need.  So I started hunting around some more and realized that I could very easily make my own.

There are a ton of great tutorials out there for stamped antique garden markers, so I started with them.  If you like that look it’s an easy project(and one I’m going to do for a bunch of other garden markers) – I got a $5 set of steel letter stamps at Harbor Freight and followed the tutorials.  But, as I started looking around and seeing things I liked, I decided to try another project, too, and I can’t believe how easy they were and how well they turned out.  I scoured my favorite thrift stores for old spoons and filled in the gaps with the 4/$1 spoons from the Dollar Store.  I got the Modge Podge at Michael’s with a 50% off coupon, but it’s also on Amazon if you can’t find any.  I think the regular Modge Podge would likely work well, I just wanted the Outdoor version to try to avoid fading as we get into the depths of summer – I’d love to reuse these markers for years to come.


-As many spoons as you’d like to have  markers

-Paper and waterproof art supplies to use for labels – pens, crayons, markers(nothing that will bleed when you paint it with Modge Podge)

-Outdoor Modge Podge

-A paint brush

-Acrylic coating


1. Make a list of your plants and make the labels you want to use.  I still haven’t made all of ours, but I sat down with the big container of seeds and they kids’ big old roll of paper. Got out a black pen and sharpie and come crayons and went to town.  I liked the little drawings, but it would be faster and just as easy to just write or even print the different words on some sort of paper like these. Scrapbook paper would add some color and texture that would be fun in the garden.

2. Decide if you want to flatten the spoons.  I did on some and didn’t on some. It is an extra step to flatten, but it’s also a little more work to get them to completely stick on a curved spoon. Choose your battle:) If you’re going to flatten, pound out the spoons with a hammer or metal mallet.

3.  Gather your spoons, labels that are ready, paint brush and Modge Podge.

4. Paint the spoon with one layer of Modge Podge as glue, then stick the labels on the spoon and press in so that it lays completely flat. You may need to fold some edges a bit to ensure that it’s flat – no big deal. Let that dry on for a minute or two.

5. Paint another coat of Modge Podge over the label and spoon to seal.  You can choose how many layer that you want here, but know that they take a while to dry.  I did something like 4 or 5 layers on the first few that I made and they took almost a week to dry…oops.  I think 2 coats is probably enough.

6. Let them dry somewhere safe for a few days.

7. When they seem set and dry(or even still a bit tacky, mine were still after about a week on the spoons where I did a ton of coats), take them all outside with the can of spray acrylic coating. Spray just the part where you have the label, then leave them outside somewhere safe from the elements or somewhere inside that’s very well ventilated.

8. Let them dry a few days more and they’re ready to use!

105 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2011 1:32 pm

    I love it! These are so beautiful and will look great in your garden!

  2. April 6, 2011 5:05 pm

    Those are adorable! I didn’t know you were such a talented artist! The drawings are TOO cute. Do you think it would work to put the labels on the backs of the spoons, if you didn’t want to flatten them?

  3. April 6, 2011 10:06 pm

    Lillian~these are fantastic! I’d buy them for my mom {and myself!} in a heartbeat. When will you be opening your etsy shop? Seriously!

  4. April 6, 2011 11:20 pm

    Lillian you’re so clever. I love these spoon markers. I’m sure your mom and mom in law will love them.

  5. April 8, 2011 8:36 pm

    these are the cutest things ever!

  6. April 15, 2011 9:40 am

    what a lovely idea! I am so making som eof these!

  7. April 25, 2011 11:16 am

    Oh my goodness, these are just too great! I was just about to make some popsicle stick garden markers for myself, but now I’m going with these! I’m going to do a garden themed gift basket for my mom for mother’s day, and these will make a great addition!
    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  8. Jennifer permalink
    March 25, 2012 8:10 pm

    I’d love to hear how these weathered through the summer. They are darling – thanks!

  9. March 28, 2012 1:42 pm

    Love this idea and I posted it on the Facebook page for my Garden Club.
    but I did not realize that unless one is also a member of WordPress the link won’t work. Do you have it posted on a more public site? If not, may I have permission to copy it so that others can read your excellent directions?

  10. terry Spears permalink
    April 20, 2012 12:59 pm

    Thank you for shareing this. I am going to try this project soon. I will try flatting my spoons by using a vise that I have, this may be easier than flatting with a hammer.

  11. May 9, 2012 2:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Three Pea Homestead and commented:
    Maybe I should just rename this blog “garden markers collection”? I just knew that some of you would love this though, so had to share.

  12. February 27, 2013 4:05 am

    So cute !! I’ll do it !! 🙂

  13. Debbie permalink
    April 23, 2013 1:06 pm

    Perfect! Thank you.

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  16. Elaine Noble permalink
    March 12, 2014 12:12 pm

    Might have to try this with a group I am going to start to work with in the next few weeks.

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