making plant tags-lables

northshore3March 9, 2014

My preferred method to construct aluminum plant tags is to use alum. pie plates or baking pans as your tag material. The 9"x12" baking pan is of a thinner gauge than say a turkey pan so you have a choice of thickness. Ball point pens work fine to engrave them if you use something soft behind them. To make the hole I use a ice pick or hole punch. My preference is the pick because it allows me to size the hole to the thickness of wire that I use to help minimize the tags from flapping in the breeze. The wire that I use is worth sharing because it stops the alum. from reacting with the wire the way regular steel wire does and it is cheap and pliable. I use .014 stainless steel lock wire [1 lb. coil] from Harbor Freight Tools. $7.99 their # 08895, it even comes with a plastic case and belt clip. Another trick I use to stop that flapping in the breeze effect is to leave an extra 6" or so after I secure the tag with a loop and use this extra wire to tie the tag to the branch by LOOSLY wrapping it around the tag and branch together. Painting the baking pans after sandpapering them and priming them and before cutting them to size also goes a log way to stopping that shiny ornament effect when grafting on branches to your fruit trees but the paint does not have the lifespan the alum. does.

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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I use mini blind slats and a sharpie. Nancy

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 11:57AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Aluminum pop cans cut into strips. Easy and fast. Cut them length wise of the can and just bend them over the wire of the cage. Write hard on the unpainted side with ball point pen and the indentations make it permanent.

Personally I never saw any problem with the flapping in the breeze as it deters birds and other garden pests.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 1:19PM
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ernie85017, zn 9, phx

No matter what I use, the printing always fades away in the fierce sun. Including sharpie, permanent marker, all of them.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 3:01PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Ernie, Try the Industrial Sharpie. It holds up well in UV light. I used it last summer and it was faded tags. Tags marked with regular Sharpies always fade and sometimes are pretty much faded completely away in a few months. I found these at a local office supply store. A pack of 3 cost me a few dollars. I'll never use the regular ones for plant tags again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Industrial Sharpie

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 10:11PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

When in HD or Lowes, go to drapes/blinds section. Sometimes they have bucket full of piece trimmed off customers' special size. They are usually wider nowadays. So you can cut them into 3 or 4 strips. Then use a permanent marker. You are set.

Other option is popsickl sticks. They are cheap but don't weather good.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 5:49AM
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I use dymo, the really old one that embosses (sp.) letters on plastic tape, this has one sticky side. Then stick it on either wood stake-popsickle-metal stake-piece of blind-or hang it (after adhering to a piece cut off coke/pop can), depends what I am marking.
(I have the gizmo from way back when we used it to make labels for storage in banker's boxes).
One can buy dymo embosser that works on metal I think, but it is more $$$.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 8:53AM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

I'll continue to use popsicle sticks in spite of their one-season lifespan, because I get double enjoyment from them: first, the cold sweet treat on a hot summer day, and second, the following springtime, the plant marker.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:34PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

With the mini-blinds, write with a pencil. It never fades and is legible years later.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 2:56PM
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