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These plant markers are written in stone

By Amanda Formaro, Special to Tribune Newspapers

3:07 PM EDT, July 1, 2013

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Your garden is planted and filled with those little plastic plant markers that come with your potted herbs and flowers. Why not make a fun, artistic statement in your garden instead? These easy plant markers are made from rocks you can find in your yard, or you can purchase a bag at the craft store. This is a great project for kids too.

Note: The rocks you choose need to accommodate the names of plants you have growing in your garden — keep in mind that you'll need a longer or larger rock for "marjoram" than you would for "kale." Use a piece of paper to map out what rocks will get what names.

Materials needed:

•Smooth rocks

•Outdoor craft paint in white and color(s) of your choice

•Black paint marker or Sharpie

•Paintbrushes, one large and one small

•Pencil or toothpick

•Clear outdoor sealer

Directions

1. Wash the rocks; dry thoroughly. It may be necessary to let them sit for an hour or so because rocks are porous and can absorb water.

2. Paint the rocks in desired colors. We used bright hues, but consider what's best for your yard; earth tones may be a better choice — or a single color. For the longest life of your plant markers, it's important to allow adequate drying time; allow at least one hour between coats. Some colors may need more coats than others in order to cover.

3. Once your rocks are painted and dry, use a black paint pen or Sharpie marker to write the names of the plants.

4. To decorate, use the handle end of a large craft paintbrush and place dots on various spots in different colors. Use a smaller paintbrush handle to add smaller spots. Finally, use the tip of a pencil or a toothpick to add tiny white dots to the center of the larger dots. Allow the rocks to dry for two to three hours.

5. Apply a clear coat; allow to dry overnight.

sunday@tribune.com

Amanda Formaro is a professional crafter; find more projects at her website, craftsbyamanda.com.