I’m in the process of redecorating the side porch on my house. The goal is to make it cozier and more comfortable. Things are coming along as planned, but I wanted to add a few quirky, DIY touches.
Because I don’t have much of a yard, having a vegetable garden is out of the question. However, in the summer, I do like to have a ready supply of fresh herbs. So, as you may have seen a couple day ago, I used an existing shelf on my porch to plant a variety of herbs.
Although I can easily identity the plants by their leaves, I think it’s considerate to include some sort of maker for folks who aren’t as familiar with herbs. Plus, this shelf herb garden could use a spot or two of color amidst the green..
So yesterday, I grabbed some clay and paint and got to work creating these colorful DIY Clay Herb Markers.
With colors to match my outdoor decor and a touch of gold (of course!), these little makers are a fun and practical addition to my shelf herb garden.
To be a bit more subtle with my markings, I chose to use only the first letter of each herb. To my surprise, no letter was repeated in my collection. A happy accident.
I’m so pleased with the way they turned out and the color and whimsy they bring to the herbs. Let me show you how to make them.
Start by removing the clay from the package. Knead the clay until soft and smooth.
Next, take a portion of the clay and roll it into a snake shape with your hands. This will create the the shape of the makers. Try to make the clay as even as possible, but don’t go to crazy. These are homemade. You can make them as long as you’d like. Mine were a little over 6 inches.
Next, start creating your letter. Again, roll more of your clay into a snake shape, then shape it into whatever letter you need.
With your letter created, press the clay from the stake into the clay of the letter.
Use your fingers to join the two. Seal off and cover up any seams with your finger.
Place you’re finished marker on an oven-proof glass or metal surface.
Repeat the above process with all your herb markers. Once complete, bake according to the directions on the package of clay. In my case, I baked these for about 45 minutes at 275 degrees F.
Allow your markers to cool completely; then you’re ready to paint.
I decided to paint the letters a color and the stakes gold.
I had eight markers, so I chose four different colors. For four of the markers, I used each color right out of the bottle. For the other four markers, I added a bit of white to each color to create four more colors. After painting the letters, give them time to dry.
Once the letters are dry, the stakes are ready to be painted. Here, I used a gold liquid guilding rather than regular paint. The guilding gave the gold color a great shine and luster. (Please note that gold liquid building does not clean up with water.)
Once the guilding is completely dry, your herb markers are complete.
This project was relatively simple, and as I said, I couldn’t be happier with the way the markers turned out. I also love that this project is really flexible. You can change the size, shape / style of the letter, paint colors, etc.
As much as I love the gold accent on these, I ALMOST stopped after just painting the letters. There is something so attractive about the natural clay color. What do you think? I decided to go with the gold because … it’s gold. Ha! And because I wanted to provide some protection for the markers since they’re going to be in soil.
Once I finished the project, it was time to get these pots back outside and on their shelf on the porch.
They add an unexpected touch of color and sparkle to my space. Do you agree?
Now it’s time to get the rest of this porch ready so I can show you my progress. Stay tuned.