Stylish Garden Markers
Learn how to make a garden sign that's as pretty as a flower and as practical as some leafy greens that seals custom text between clear acrylic blanks - beautiful and weatherproof.
Materials and Tools:
2 clear acrylic blanks (same size)
wire cutters (to snip hangers off blanks)
dried leaves or flowers
1/2" inch machine screws with nuts
butane pencil torch
drill or rotary tool
- These small signs can be used to identify plants and give brief care instructions. Use a variety of fonts and letters to format the information on the computer; make sure the final type will fit on the acrylic blanks. Use abbreviations to keep the text short, and print out the final product on distinctive paper.
- Place one of the acrylic blanks over the final lettering to get an idea of the size required. Tear the lettering out of the larger sheet of paper, making sure the final piece is will fit between two of the acrylic blanks with no paper sticking out. Michele Beschen tears for this project instead of cutting to give the paper an attractive rough edge.
Some acrylic blanks come with small hangers. Remove the hangers, if present, by snipping them off with a pair of wire cutters.
- Apply spray adhesive or clear-drying white glue to the back of the paper, place it on one of the blanks and smooth it down.
- Dress up the piece with dried leaves, pressed flowers or small dabs of plastic paint around the edges.
- Line up the second acrylic blank on top of the first and press the pieces together. Secure with a small clamp.
- Place tape over the teeth of the vise so they don't mar the acrylic. Secure the sign in the vise and remove the clamp.
- Use a pencil butane torch – available at home improvement stores – to seal the two pieces of acrylic together. Wearing eye protection, light the torch and run it lightly over the edges to melt them together. Don't hold the torch too long in one place, or the plastic will over-melt and start to bubble.
Be extremely careful when using even a tiny butane torch. Wear eye protection and follow all fire safety rules and product instructions. Keep the torch and its fuel out of the reach of children. If you don't have a torch, seal the edges with clear caulk.
- Use clear acrylic plastic knives to create posts for these signs. Attach the sign to the smooth side of the knife handle with contact adhesive or machine screws. (The serrated end of the knife will go into the ground.) To use the screws, drill two holes through both the sign and the knife, insert the screws and secure with nuts.
You can use this method to create all sorts of small outdoor signs. Get some acrylic blanks and see where your creativity takes you!