Instructables
Ok, I first posted this on a forum at a cactus website, as I did not think of instructables at the time. Second, this is my first instructable, but I'm not going to tell y'all to go super-easy on me. If you see some errors, let me know! I don't want to be putting out error-ridden instructables. Anyways, on with the good stuff! With yesterday being arbor day, I figured that it would be a perfect time to post this! Being a student, I often find myself finding ways to save as much money as possible. One of the things that costs quite a bit of money (at least here in Dallas) are garden tags. a mere 25 of them cost about $5. While this isn't a huge loss of money, I'd still rather save my $5. The other day, while walking through a grocery store, I saw some plastic spoons, and thought to myself "Wow! Those would work great!" Being only about $2 for a pack of around 200 or so, I snatched 'em up, and went to work to make a garden tag, and within half-an-hour, I'd found a great, quick method!
 
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Step 1: Obtain The Materials

The first thing that you need to do, is obtain your materials. For a basic identification tag, you will need:

*Plastic Spoon(s)
*Cigarette Lighter
*Sharp Scissors
*Fine-Tipped Sharpie


If you are wanting to make the "advanced" garden tag, which uses a color-code system to eliminate the need for writing down the genus, you will also need the following:

*Colored Thumbtacks


Optional:

*600 Grit Sandpaper
*Pencil
prismcat1 year ago
Great instructable! If I get around to doing this though, I think I would just light a candle to melt the plastic instead of taking a chance of burning my thumb holding the lighter. Thanks!
ehfish5 years ago
I love this project, but I have to add that I'd so much rather people hang on to their plastic after using it at a fast food restaurant than going and buying a box of them at the store, that would truly be recycling then.
Agreed.
kellyndiy2 years ago
I use plasticware too-for marking my seed trays for the veggies i grow every spring. I have everyone I camp with save decently clean spoons and knives.. if its super yukky-just toss it. I dont take the spoon part off though, I just write on it. As shawn_allen said below too, everyone buys those sets of plasticware but mostly the knives dont get used so those work wonderfully. SInce the ink doesnt last forever and each year I dont plant the same things, I actually leave mine out all winter, by spring the ink fades enough to just write back over them and reuse them... or write on the other side :) I like the color coding tacks , will adopt that into my markers for perm flowers I have-thanks!
This is a 5 star solution. I was looking for an inexpensive way to mark my seedlings... and now I have one!
sonic_dan6 years ago
instead of paying money for plastic spoons, i make them out of the tubs that butter / ice cream etc comes in. just cut strips about 1.5cm wide, and cut them to the desired length, then make them pointed. The piece of the tub's rim that's left at the top of the tag is good as it's easy to grip and pull them out. But this instructable is pretty comprehensive - i don't think its worth me doing one. +1 from me!
What I use is mostly the plastic knives that come with the sets. Most people don't even use the knife for anything and the blade sinks right into the garden soil. I also use a Sharpie to mark it, but first put a piece of "invisible" cellophane tape on the handle. When that plant is taken out (or the end of the season) just pull off the tape and it's blank again for next use. (BTW, don't put them back for use. I, for one, wouldn't want to use a utensil that had been in fertilizer, no matter how often it's washed! :-) )
Another option is using mini blinds. Those mini blinds don't last all that long, but instead of throwing them away, cut them into 6 inch pieces. Write on them with a Sharpie. Or since they only cost about $5 each, you could buy the blinds just for this. You get several hundred tags out of a blind.
minerallad (author)  sonic_dan6 years ago
That's pretty cool! I never thought of that! I love how there are so many ways to save money, and at the same time recycle, and help out the environment! Maybe I'll play around, with some of the tubs, and make an instructable off your idea for you =]
nwlaurie4 years ago
From England: we don't have Sharpies here (whatever they are!) but I find that a CD labelling pen works on most things plastic. Also has the advantage of being sold in packs of four different colours. Let the colour-coding continue!
foobear6 years ago
Oh, this is such a good idea. Good job. Isn't it funny how hard it is sometimes to see beyond the form a common thing that we are used to. This is a great solution for what to do with those plastic utensils. I always feel guilty about tossing them out, now I have a reason not to! =)
DainiusGB6 years ago
i would always just use popsicle sticks. They are easier to write on and we would sometimes color code them with different color marker. Plastic spoons might leak some evil plasticky substance into the ground that would hurt my flowers but i dont really know.
Awesome! You know, you could've added this to the contest. Great job. +1 rating.
bigt46166 years ago
you know, i would never think of this, are you left handed because leftys are more creative
iq_abyss6 years ago
ooh, prison shanks...
Brennn106 years ago
Wow, excellent instructions! And Thank You, for reusing this piece of silverware that is so often ignorantly just thrown out.

Thank you, and very nice job!

I love when people are Green!
Very Cool! Great Instructable! Thanks Joe