Make them interesting with color! Super cute next to my little owl. Clearly marked! Hello strawberries

DIY Plant Markers

You don’t need to be Martha to pull this off; it truly is a piece of cake!

So I bought these cheap-o white, “easy to write on”, plant markers from my local Home Depot. I had visions of a neatly marked container garden on my balcony but when I tried to write on them I found out (even with a sharpie) the ink of the pen would smear. Not a hwat look. After messing around with a couple possible solutions, this is what I came up with: 


I’m not sure if you tried this when you were a kid, but I did and it’s called “scratch boarding”. In school you’d cover a piece of drawing paper with different colored crayons. Then you colored over the entire paper again, this time with just black crayon. Then (and here’s where the fun begins) using a pointed wooden stick or a lollipop stick, you etched a drawing, scraping away the black crayon, exposing the bright colors underneath. NEAT!

In a nutshell, this is exactly what we’re doing except we’re using paint and allowing the white of the marker to come through.

What you’ll need:

  • Colored paints in what ever colors you desire (if you have acrylics that works.)
  • Weather resistant, clear coat paint made for plastics
  • 1- wooden skewer
  • 1- paint brush

Step 1:

Mix a very small amount of paint (depending on the number of markers that need to be in said color - if using multiple colors) with a single drop of water. You should achieve a very thin consistency of paint.

Note: don’t add too much water. We need to thin the paint. If it starts looking like  watercolor paint simply add more paint to the mix. Work in tiny increments; a bit at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.

Step 2:

With clean plant markers, paint starting just above the hole on the marker toward the end that’s squared off or not pointed (see examples). Paint should go on thin but it should cover the marker evenly. If some of the marker comes through, apply a second coat. Allow the markers to dry (30 -60 mins depending on your paint instructions) before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: 

With dry, painted markers take your wooden skewer and write (ie: scrape or scratch off) the paint. You could write out the name of the plant or draw an image… the choice is yours.

Step 4:

Once you’re done with all your markers, cover with clear coat to seal and protect. You don’t have to cover the entire marker, just the area with the paint. Allow the markers to dry for 24 hours before use.


  • Since all colors come from only a few, to save money, I bought white, black, red, blue, and yellow paint then simply mixed them to make the colors I needed.
  • If you find that you make a mistake you can scratch off all the paint using a large coin.
  • Paint clumping when you scratch? You might have too much paint on the marker. Scrape off all paint and start over making sure you thin the paint with more water.


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