Crafts for the Garden

If you’re looking for creative (and inexpensive) ways to decorate your veg plot, then these homemade signs will be a fun and colourful addition to the garden. As so many of us are based at home with free time to fill – and often kids to entertain – this is a great excuse to get the whole family outside and use up any extra bits of wood you may have lying around.

I decided to make these after my father-in-law brought a load of mismatched wood from my husband’s family farm. When cleaning out the barn, he came across loads of thin fence planks – about a metre (3ft) long by 10cm (4in) wide. I was really grateful to get them – especially since wood can be rather expensive in this country – but I had no idea what to do with them. After building raised beds, I came up with this idea as a way to use up extra wood paint and to replace plastic plants markers I would normally use, which often break and are very rarely reusable. Making these signs are fun, easy, and relatively cheap to make – what could be better?

Start by sawing plaques to approximately 10cm (4in) x 35cm (12in) and paint these with outdoor wood stain on the front and back. Allow it to dry completely (about 2-3 hours per side) and use a pencil to sketch on the name of the veg. Then, using an acrylic based paint (note: it has to be acrylic to survive the rain) go over the pencil sketch.

I kept an eye on my vegetable bed layouts to make sure that none of the signs were painted the same colour if they were to be used beside each other – this is more me being neurotic than a rule of how to do this!

Once these have dried completely, it is time to assemble. This is roughly what you will need to begin:

Get a few spare stakes or bits of extra wood, a power drill or a screwdriver, a measuring tape, a pencil, and a saw.

I decided to upcycle some of the extra stakes from the garden which weren’t going to be used this year to make posts for the back of the signs.

With a measuring tape and a pencil, mark out where you are going to cut the wood. I decided to cut the stakes at 20-21cm (8-8 1/2 in) intervals, so I got approximately 9 posts from each stake.

Once you are happy with your markings, use a power or hand saw to cut the stakes to size.

Just as a precaution: follow all safety guidelines for using this type of equipment and wear good thick boots, just in case!

One you have sawed all the stakes to the correct length, it is time to assemble! For this I would recommend using a power drill – you can definitely use a screwdriver as long as you’re armed with a lot of elbow grease to help get them in! Considering the width of the stakes and the signs, I used 40mm PZ2 screws, just for reference.

Screwing from the back with 40mm screws ensures that you get through both the stake and the sign, but it is too short to go all the way through and come out the other end.

Keep assembling until all the of the signs have posts on the back. When you are ready to use, simply push the bottom end of the post into the soil or raised bed and voila! You’ll have made an inexpensive and eye catching addition to your garden.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch or comment below.

Happy crafting!

2 thoughts on “Crafts for the Garden

  1. Love this idea! We just took down an existing 4 board fence in our back pasture and the planks are just in a stacked pile. You saved them from being fire wood. Now l, if only you would do a post on how to paint words so lovely….


    1. Yay, I’m glad they’ll go to good use! I wrote very, very slowly – usually I have the handwriting of a serial killer! I do really like how they turned out, though. Especially since they’re not perfect and some of the wood is a bit rough around the edges. I feel like sanding it or ensuring that the stain was perfectly covering all the wood would have seemed a bit out of place in a veg patch. Glad you liked the post 🙂


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