I got the idea from a chalkboard painted wooden shape. Rather than spend the $3 for one piece painted wood I bought the paint and some dowels for the same. Mix with some polymer clay, toss some cookie cutters at it, stir, cook, paint, and voila. A set of plant markers that can be changed as needed for the garden or if I like, sealed so the chalk doesn't come off.
I used a quarter a block of SculpyII to make these. 2 tall tomato markers, 5 herb/seedling markers, 3 mini pot markers.
For the herb garden
Materials: Material for the Markers - polymer clay, fired clay, air-dry clay, as long as it can stand up to the elements / Chalkboard paint / Dowels for stakes
Tools: paint brush / Cookie cutters / Brayer, roller, or pasta machine / parchment paper / Short length of dowel
1) Prepare and roll out a sheet of clay and lay it on parchment paper (a paper bag is ok as long as there are no wrinkles)
2) Cut out desired shapes. make at least 2 of each for every stake.
3) Lay out 1 piece and press it to the surface. Place the short length of dowel onto the piece in the desired position at least half way in. Place a second piece on top and moving from the end of the stick to the shaft, close the clay around it.
4) Seal the two pieces together by rolling a brush along the edges. Make any adjustments for warping after the edge is closed.
5) Place the piece on the surface it will be cured on and roll the surface smooth, keeping in mind not to warp the shape or thin the clay around the dowel.
6) Set the clay as directed (remove the dowel if kiln firing)
7) Remove after pieces are firm and cool and sand if desired to level the surface. Paint one side with chalkboard paint as directed. Paint/decorate other side as desired.
8 )Remove the short dowel and insert the desired length of rod. Glue if desired (I don't since the hold is firm without it and this allows breakdown for easier storage)
9) Draw, scribble, write, enjoy
The chalk I used was a cheap large chunk type that made for messy writing and poor application that washed off after a few weeks. Reapply as be needed, especially if you use a sprinkler system, and not a drip or hand water as, much like a child's sidewalk drawings, they will be washed away. A think piece of chalk with a nice crisp edge is ideal.
Update: Oh my gosh I got featured. Thank you.