Metal Stamped Plant Tags

Metal Stamped Plant Tags from Hardware Store Finds

It’s important to label your plants so you know what’s what in the garden, but sometimes plant labels can be distracting, flimsy, or just plain ugly. These charming metal tags are super practical and have a clean, sleek look that compliments plants but doesn’t overshadow their natural beauty. Here is everything needed to make this modern take on metal stamped plant tags, which can also be used to label trees.Metal Stamped Plant Tags

An espaliered apple tree is the perfect way to grow a number of varietals of fruit in a small space.Metal Stamped Plant Tags

On my tree, there are 6 different kinds of apples on 6 different grafted branches: Fuji, Braeburn, Red McIntosh, Gala, Jonagold, and Gravenstein. In order to produce fruit, most varieties of apple require pollination by another variety that flowers at the same time. For example, McIntosh cannot set fruit by itself but it will pollinate other early-blooming varieties such as Gravenstein. So, while I may not be jazzed about Red McIntosh as an apple, I like having a branch grafted on my espalier because it serves its purpose well by helping the Gravensteins get the pollination they need.Metal Stamped Plant Tags

What didn’t serve its purpose well were the brightly colored plastic tags that identified each branch. You can see them in the background of the pea trellis project. Ick! A trip to the hardware store provided the supplies and inspiration to make more modern and subtle tags with some washers, galvanized wire, and a metal stamp set.

How to Make Metal Stamped Plant Tags


Metal Stamped Plant Tags

Make it!

Using the permanent marker, mark small dots on the washer where you want your letters to be. If you position the letters along the bottom they will read upright when hanging.Metal Stamped Plant Tags

Don your earplugs (hearing safety first!) and put the washer on the steel block. Choose a letter stamp and position on the first dot. Hammer hard without moving the letters out of position for about 10 strikes. That was the magic number for me to get them deep enough.Metal Stamped Plant Tags

When the name is complete, color in the newly stamped letter with the marker and then scuff off the excess with the steel wool. This will darken the letter and help it to stand out.Metal Stamped Plant Tags

You can either hang the washer now with some twine or make a stake from the metal wire for ground plants: cut a length of wire 6″ longer than you want it to stand above the soil. Bend the bottom of the wire with the needle-nose pliers into a v-shape. This will create stability in the soil.metal stamped plant tags

Curl the top of the wire around the washer into a decorative shape, again using the needle-nose pliers.Metal Stamped Plant Tags

Use your plant tags to identify fruits, herbs, or just about any plant you want to remember the name of. To use these labels on a fruit tree, simply loop some twine through the center and hang from a branch.Metal Stamped Plant Tags

If you like the idea of growing your own espalier fruit tree, visit your local nursery in the winter (or when they are dormant). Since dormancy is the best time to plant a new tree, the stock levels will be more available. It will take a few years before you start getting fruit, but don’t be discouraged. When they do start to produce it’s a joy to have beautiful edibles as fences or on a trellis, to dress up a space and feed your family. Plus they are easy to pick and prune when kept low to the ground.

The Art of Espalier: Growing Fruit Trees in Small Spaces

About the Author : Stephanie Rose

A city girl who learned to garden and it changed everything. Author, artist, Master Gardener. Better living through plants.

View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Lauren
    LaurenJuly 7,12

    Superb idea! I am wanting to get a garden started soon and it’s great to run into this idea before I start!

  2. Kerry
    KerryJuly 7,12

    Love this idea! Beautiful and very practical.

  3. Kat
    KatJuly 7,12

    So simple and so cool. I love long lasting tags for shrubs and trees. This might be just the excuse I need to spring for some letter stamps.

  4. Stevie
    StevieJuly 7,12

    Thanks, Kat, Kerry & Lauren!

  5. Renee
    ReneeJuly 7,12

    Very cool! Your blog has such good ideas.

  6. jenn
    jennJuly 7,12

    Ah! This is such a great idea. I’ll head to Lee Valley next week to get the stamps. Also, I’m so jealous of your espalier…one day when I have a house instead of a condo. I love your projects!

  7. josie
    josieJuly 7,12

    i really like these! we already have washers hanging off some of our baby fruit trees to weight them down- this looks really clean cut. ill have to try this out.

  8. Suzanne
    SuzanneJuly 8,12

    These are so cool! I would love some of these for the garden. Thanks for sharing the tute!

  9. Susan Tomlinson
    Susan TomlinsonJuly 19,12

    Fabulous idea.

  10. Kylee from Our Little Acre
    Kylee from Our Little AcreJuly 20,12

    I am SO doing this! I always wondered where to get what you needed to do these things. Thanks so much!

  11. Helen at Toronto Gardens
    Helen at Toronto GardensJuly 20,12

    What a cool idea, Stevie! Now I want to run right out and get that stamping kit!

  12. Jen
    JenApril 2,17

    These would make cool gift tags or even name labels for kids backpacks/ lunchkits too!

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