If you have read many of my previous posts, you know one of my top garden rules is CHEAP. In my opinion, a big benefit of home gardening is saving money. Most of my accessories are therefore home made. Why should garden labels be any different? Cheaper means better, but only if effective. I thought I was onto something last year using aluminum strips cut from lasagna pans, but in the end, the strips were too flimsy and would blow away easily. Magic marker would fade within weeks.
Never one to quit trying, the plentiful plastic bottle was next on the agenda. Turns out, it works great. Let's go through the steps for free labels, well at least for the cost of the pens.
Start with an unending supply of one or two liter clear plastic bottles. Use the labels BEFORE you take them off to help with keeping your cutting lines straight.
Use a single edge razor blade to start a cut about one inch long against the label. This cut must go through the plastic, as it is a starter cut to insert the scissors in the next step.
Insert small scissors in the razor blade cut, and cut all along the label, removing the top in a nice straight line. Repeat this procedure at the bottom of the bottle, either along the label, or a seam to help you keep the cut straight.
Use your scissors to cut this sleeve to open it, using some line on the label or a seam to help you with a straight cut. The plastic will try to curl after the cut, but will be fine as you cut narrow strips. Remove the label now. If you cut a lot of strips, you can use the part with the old glue, recycle those strips, or try to soak off the small bit of label. Putting those strips into recycling works for me.
This is the fun one. You have to be extra specially nice to your spouse to borrow their amazing craft store cutter gizmo. Or do this when your extra special spouse is not home. Do a year's supply at that time. Anyway, the little roller blade allows one to cut off plastic strips at any desired width. Without this handy gismo, scissors would be the safest way to cut the plastic into strips.
Please be careful when using the razor blades and scissors. Try making these labels at your own risk. Even though my typing is horribly slow, it is not from the loss of fingers. I just choose to only use two of them. Garden on - George