January Project - Garden Signs

  Regardless of how long you've been gardening, there's always room for more garden signs.  The little white plastic ones sold at garden stores are fine, but have very little room to write down everything you want to know about your plants. And, by mid-season, rain has a way of reducing them to totally illegible.

Unless you have your own laminator, that becomes very expensive.  If you do, then the following can also be done using it, but I would suggest that you only use one that works with heat because the cold method laminator will ultimately open.

Materials Needed:

  • Craft sticks (popsicle) or 12" fresh sticks cut from 3/8" branches (free!)
  • Pictures for each variety of flower, plant, or vegetable you are planting. Or, use actual seed packets and scan pictures. (I prefer to find and download pictures and keep the extra seeds in the packets.)
  • Roll of heavy-duty CLEAR packaging tape.
  • Small sandwich bags (not zip-lock), if you want to view both sides of packets.
  • OR, heat driven laminator.  The business card size is a great one to use, if you have that.

What to do using packaging tape:

1.   a. If pictures are downloaded, print them all on one page using the multiple choice of your printer.  Keep them roughly just under the size of a business card.  

     b. If scanned pictures, put as many face down as possible on scanner bed, reduce size to 2"x 3", and scan.

2.  Using a surface that won't "catch" your tape, lay picture down and cover front lower side with one piece of packaging tape, leaving a 1/4" edge of tape below bottom edge of picture.  Fold each side to back, overlapping one edge and catching top 2" of stick. Pinch lower 1/4" edges together.

3.  Place upper piece of tape so that it is slightly overlapping the upper bottom tape by 1/4" so that rain won't seep in, leaving at least 1/4" above top of picture.

3.  Snip from both sides to edge of picture along upper 1/4" edge. Fold sides across back, first.

4.  Fold top edge down over back top side of picture; fold both sides around back, overlapping same as before.

  Example:  Your picture upright is 2" across and 3" high.  Tape length should equal at least 5" and be centered, sticky side down, horizontally (aqua) across the BOTTOM of the card, first, just above the 1.5" vertical center. 

The lower edge of tape should extend at least 1/4" below bottom of picture.  The second piece of tape (grey)  is then placed with the 1/4" bottom edge over the top center 1/4" edge of in place tape. Ends are wrapped around back and seams overlapped, catching stick. Fold top edge down and use a third piece of tape to seal and cover edge.

  What to do using Laminator:

If using the business card size laminator, just follow directions to laminate picture that has been cut to business card size.

Attach stick to back side using Clear packaging tape.

If using standard laminator:

  1. Cut pictures to just under business card size.
  2. Open laminating pouch and place pictures so that there is at least 1" between each one on the sheet.  Gently lower cover so that pictures don't move.
  3. Run through laminator; let cool.  Cut so that there is at least 1/4" of thoroughly sealed lamination around each picture.
  4. Place laminated pictures face down on surface. 
  5. Position sticks so that at least 2" is centered vertically on picture.
  6. Tear off a 5" piece of clear packaging tape.
  7. Position vertically over stick and picture so that there is a 1" edge above and below picture. 
  8. Press and secure stick to back of picture.
  9. Fold top of tape down over front of picture.
  10. Slit lower tape edge up to bottom edge of laminated picture and fold both sides up over front of picture.

These will definitely last the whole season, if not an additional two or three!

Using an old shoebox-type container, place all seed packets, alphabetically, for quick access.  If kept outside, make sure it will seal tightly enough to keep small critters from eating up your next plantings!








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