Here is a great way to make 'low-to-no-cost' plant markersA smart way to recycle!
With only one set of old mini-blinds, you can make hundreds of plant markers in various sizes
and widths that are nearly indestructible! You can use up those old mini-blinds you have lying around. Re-using what would be otherwise destined for the trash heap is the best way to Go Green and score some resilient garden-ware.

This is a superb and inexpensive way to label your plants, whether in a container, flower garden,
or vegetable garden... and can be used in your starter seed trays, too.

Some people use plastic stakes, popsicle sticks, or metal to label their plants, but the mini-blinds are the perfect material for the gardens of "Makers or Recyclers'.

Hard plastic markers [the store bought kind] get brittle and break [due to weather], wood ones absorb what you write and the marker usually 'bleeds' [and eventually rots and disintegrates], and metal will rust [and you don't want that near your veggies!].

If you don't have any old mini-blinds, then check out friends houses, garage sales, thrift stores, etc. Otherwise, you might have to break down and buy a set for about $3 or $4 dollars at Wal-mart. But these days, a pack of cheap plastic markers runs at least $3and won't last half as long as your new mini-blind-stakes... and one store-bought pack will just not do!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a very low-cost, no-fuss project.

Assemble the following:

1. Mini-blinds.
2. Scissors.
3. A sharpened pencil. *

You will only need about four or five blind slats out at a time. You can do this in whatever manner you like, but cutting the string and sliding the slats out is best. [2nd Photo below]

If you are true recycler - you can cut the string in such a way that you can re-use the lengths at another time [like tying up those cukes or tomatoes later on in the season...???]


*I have tried using permanent markers, but was upset when the rain and sun faded my markings and left me more confused than ever as to what I had planted. Sharpie brand used to make a 'permanent marker' that did not fade.....but must have changed the ink. Seems they just ain't making markers like they used to. Thus, a pencil works best.
<p>Love your gift idea. You can get enamel paint markers that are like pens. Worth a try. Thanks for a great instructable</p>
<p>These are great. I've used them for years and years. I always retrieve broken blinds from people, so it's a great way to recycle. I've always used a black Sharpie, and yes, it usually fades by the end of summer on the top part, BUT what I also do is right on the bottom of the plant marker, and that never fades. I have plant markers that have been in the ground for several years, and when I pull out the plant marker, the writing is still on there. Sometimes I write it back on top where it faded, but most of the time, I don't care. As long as I can pull it out and remind myself of what it is, I'm good!</p>
<p>Sorry. Correcting my own typo! I &quot;write&quot; on the bottom; not right. Oops!</p>
WONDERFUL!!!!! What a great idea and so easy most of us have mini blinds we didn't throw out when we took them down. Thank you soooo much :~)
I, too, have been doing this for years.&nbsp; Check your neighbor's trash for a supply of broken blinds.&nbsp; Save the cord for tying.&nbsp; I find that leaving the stakes in throughout the winter, lets me know that something is supposed to come up there.&nbsp; Yes, grease pencils are the best, although once I did find some special marker that really was permanent, now only if I could remember what it was!&nbsp; It had a heavy rubberized case which was great for using with wet or muddy hands.&nbsp; My grand kids have done some of the writing for me, which is truly special to see their handwriting and spelling!&nbsp;&nbsp; I just cut the point with one diagonal - less cutting, one side is a left cut, one a right slant, no little piece flying all over.<br /> <br />
I've been doing this quite a while too... if I only knew this before 30 years of gardening, the money I'd have saved (well, actually I would have spent it on ice cream!) For permanent writing, I use what used to be called a "grease pencil" - not sure what they're called now but it's basically like a crayon. An added bonus to using them is you get to peel off the cool paper wrapping as the pencil gets used. They come in colors but black seems to last best. Another way to make the writing last longer is to make sure the writing-side of the plant marker faces away from the sun.
Glad to see someone post this, been doing this for years. I agree that sharpies don't last like they used to, and pencils seem to do best outdoors. I find a softer pencil is better; it lays down more graphite. I use at least a #2, and some of them seem softer than others. I've been wondering if a permanent laundry marking pen might hold up better. A light sanding to scuff the surface seems to help retain the writing longer, but that aadds a lot of labor to the project, I don't bother doing it anymore.
Voted for you.. Hope you win!
If you use a paint pen, the words will last years. I've never had them fade. Permanent markers will fade rather quickly if exposed to bright sunlight. Pencils will last a couple of years and then start fading.
Good idea, if I do say so myself. :D
Great idea. I was trying to find some tags recently and couldn't. I ended up buying a big bag of plastic knives from a dollar store. They worked perfectly.
Great idea!
Very Cool idea! My cats are always destroying my blinds and now I know what to do with them when I finally replace em!
Ingenious! Very very clever.
Cool use for those old blinds. When I bought my place they had some really ugly beige blinds that I replaced, but I better find out about the lead though.

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