DIY Cork Garden Markers

Have a small collection of unused wine corks? Always wanted to do a project with them and just wonder, “But what?” Well, here’s a fun frugal gardening project you can do today that you can plan ahead and give to mom for Mother’s Day OR keep for yourself!Do you like the “weeds” one? I thought that was cute…

Here are the materials you will need to do this project:

  • a small collection of wine corks, matching or non-matching.
  • wooden dowels, 3/16″, cut into 12″ lengths ($.25/3 feet at my local hardware store)
  • Sharpie marker
  • hand drill and 3/16″ drill bit
  • polyeurothane finish

Step 1: Select your corks.


Step 2: Drill a hole in the bottom of your corks.I took my 3/16″ drill bit and wrapped a small piece of duct tape on the drill bit, 1″ from the end. This helped me make sure that when I drilled,  my hole was exactly 1″ deep for all of my corks.

Step 3: Cut the wooden dowels.My dowels came in 3 foot sections, so I used a chop saw (a hand saw could also be used) and cut them down to 12″ each. However, if you wanted to, you could make markers for taller veggies, like tomatoes, considerably taller, even 3-4 feet. Generally speaking, I only really need markers for the beginning of the growing season when all of the plants are small, so 12″ for all of them works well for me.

Step 4: Insert the dowels into the corks.I used a hammer to gently pound my dowels into the cork holes. This was easier than trying to push them in by hand and it ensured that I got the dowel in the full 1 inch. If you wanted to, you could even use a little wood glue to make sure it stays in place.

Step 5: Write the name of the plants on the corks.My corks have the name of the plant written twice on each cork, but once is suffice.

Step 6: Paint with a clear polyeurothane coat for weatherproofing.
Adding a clear coat of poly will help your corks withstand waterings and the weather.

Step 7: Insert cork markers into the garden.Add the corks to your raised beds, container gardens, and wherever you have plants growing. These can also be used in your flower beds, and could include the scientific name on one side of the cork, and the nickname on the other side.

While it may still be a bit soggy outside to start planting you can do this fun and easy project to set aside for when it’s time to get out there and plant and mark your garden! However, when I am ready to head out to the garden and plant I always like to take a few of my most appreciated gardening tools: a kneeling mat, and a good pair of gardening gloves. After sitting on my knees for a while, I’m glad to have a bit of cushion underneath me, and gloves are my own personal necessity!

Here are a few mats & gloves that I like:

All Purpose Garden Foam Kneeler – $5.99

Yard Butler Garden Kneeler and Seat – $30.99

Tommyco Thick Premium Vinyl Garden Kneeling Pads – $12.79

Fiskars Ultra Light Knee Pads – $9.88

Canvas Glove Open cuff with Mini Dot – $6.23 (47% off!!)

See More Gardening Tips Here!


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  • Heather

    That’s what we have been doing in our garden but instead of drilling a hole and using a dowel, we use kabob skewers with one sharp end. They just poke right into the cork without drilling and they are pretty sturdy.

    • Dana

      That’s a great idea too! It’s all about using what you have on hand to be frugal, and making it look great in the process. Nice work!

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