Photo: Early Corn plant label made out of a plastic knife
Have you ever wondered what to do with those plastic knives you get with your take-out orders or have leftover from a mixed plastic cutlery set? Turn them into plant labels!
You can make simple plant labels by using a plain permanent marker (not the fine point kind) to label the knife handle. Alternatively, you can dress up your plant labels like I did with a little paint and creativity. Keep reading for instructions on how to make your own weather-resistant or weatherproof plant labels out of plastic knives.
Directions on How to Make Plastic Knife Plant Labels
- old clothes or smock
- masking tape or objects to weigh down newspaper
- sand paper (220 grit)
- plastic knives
- paint brushes
- artist palette or old plate
- acrylic paint (I used Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic Paint)
- cup to hold water (I used the bottom half of a plastic water bottle)
- paper towel (moistened)
Photo: Prepping the work area
Photo: Finished plastic knife plant labels
- Preparation. Change into old clothes or put on a smock. Then find a comfortable place to paint. Prep your work area by laying down newspaper to prevent paint from accidentally ruining your furniture. Weigh down or tape the edges of the newspaper to the table. Then gather the rest of your materials.
- Sand the Plastic Knife Handle. Roughen up the surface of the plastic knives with sandpaper. Then wipe down the knife with a moist paper towel. Allow the knife to dry. This will create a better surface for the paint to adhere to, and prevent the paint from peeling off the plastic.
- Prepare a Design or Dive In. Acrylic dries quickly so I like to think about what I will draw and what colors I will use prior to painting, but feel free to dive in and start painting.
- Paint. Start painting. I painted in layers. First, I mixed blue and white on my palette to create a light blue paint. Then I painted the knife handle and about 3/4" past the knife handle a light blue. It is not necessary to paint the whole knife because the serrated edge of the knife will be beneath the soil line. While I waited for my first layer to dry, I cleaned my paint brush by swirling it in water and drying off the excess moisture. Then I painted a picture of the fruit or vegetable (also in layers). Lastly, I used a fine brush and black acrylic paint to "write" the plant names.
- Stick it in the Ground. Place the knife in the ground so that the painted handle is exposed. Now you have a unique, inexpensive, weather-proof plant label!