Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Plant Markers--the Homemade Way

When I peruse the gorgeous, hand-crafted plant markers at my favorite botanic garden gift shop every summer, I'm so tempted to shell out my hard-earned pennies so I can take home a beautiful decoration for the garden.  If I resist temptation I eventually remember that I can create my own markers with the multitude of materials I've purchased for my work projects over the school year. I have enough money to buy a nice coffee at the Garden Café.

For our final project this school year our class of middle school students with significant intellectual disabilities painted sun and strawberry shapes to adorn huge tongue depressors, inscribed with motivating words and designs.  The blank designs were made from solid white Sculpey and baked prior to painting.  Customized messages were written on the wood and the painted shapes were attached to the tongue depressors with regular wood glue.

Students used their communication boards to describe the materials needed and then indicated which paint colors they wished to use.  They all turned out pretty nice, eh?
Completed markers on top of the blanks.

Use the end of a paint brush or tip of a pencil to dimple the strawberry prior to baking.

Stretch yourself--use more than one color to paint your sun.

One-inch wide foam brushes work well for a smooth application. 
The 1/4" diameter handles are fairly easy to grasp, or can easily slide into a universal cuff.

Use a personalized phrase for inspiration.

Can you tell that this student loves music by Michael Jackson?

Add a little tag and ribbon, then figure out a way to send them home safely in the backpacks!


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