diy project: vintage fabric garden markers

Though my thumb is far from green, I look forward to planting my garden each spring. In the early stages of a garden, most of us need a reminder of what is planted where. I’ve never seen markers in my grandpa’s garden, but I am far from that point in my own gardening skills. This year, I wanted to add a few punches of color among the dirt and early sprouts, so I created little marker flags. I found a bag of quilting pieces at a flea market for $1, and since I am not a quilter, I used the beautifully aged fabric (and latex to make it waterproof) to mark my garden. — Ashley

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • small pieces of fabric
  • rubber latex (found at craft stores, usually in the model section)
  • paintbrush
  • small dowel rods
  • craft glue
  • scissors
  • Sharpie or waterproof marker


1. Coat the top side of the fabric with the latex rubber. You want to saturate the fabric, but be mindful of not gluing it to your surface.

2. Let the top coat fully dry. You can gently move the fabric around to prevent it from sticking to your surface.

3. Coat the bottom side of the fabric with the latex rubber. The latex will make the fabric waterproof, but be mindful that latex sticks to latex. You want to place the top side of the fabric (that has already been coated with latex) on a fresh surface when painting the underside. Let the fabric dry completely.

4. Once the fabric has completely dried, trim the edges and cut into your desired shape.

5. Glue the fabric to the dowel rods. I recommend starting with just the edge of the fabric and letting it dry. Once the edge is attached, begin wrapping the fabric completely around the dowel, gluing as you go. Use clothespins to hold in place while drying.

6. Use a Sharpie to write your vegetable and fruit names.

YOU’RE DONE! As your garden grows, the flags will disappear a bit among the leaves but will still add a little colorful whimsy to your garden.

  1. Such a fun and pretty project! This is a DIY that I might actually get around to doing. :)

  2. Monica says:

    Omgosh!! I love this!! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. IAMSNWFLAKE says:

    So easy to do!!! I’ll get the kids to it next time they visit.

  4. Lucía says:

    These are so cute! They could also be made as little cake or cupcake decorations… or make them larger scale and linked to one another to use as bunting for an outdoor party or even a sailboat (if you’re lucky to have one!)

  5. the cutest idea ever..thanks for sharing..have a lovely day, grace..its polka dots on my blog today! xx meenal

  6. Toni Marie says:

    So cute! These would be great in potted plants too :)

  7. Kathryn says:

    ooh, this is great. I want to make some bunting for my garden but I’m unsure about using just regular cotton material considering it rains a lot where I live. I might try this and see if it holds out. Thanks for the tutorial !

  8. Sharon R. says:

    These are so cute & simple! I have some potted herbs in my apartment that I need to label before I forget which are which…perfect timing to stumble on this great idea!

  9. This is perfect! I’m going to try this right away :)

  10. LindseyBee says:

    too dang cute!! when I start growing things, I’m going to use this idea–perfect timing for Spring!

  11. Marika says:

    This is fantastic! I was just agonizing over how to make rain-proof labels for my raised beds. I’m definitely making these. Thanks for the project!

  12. Really cute idea – I hope they actually last out in the weather!

  13. Jim Browning says:

    I had a customer in the other day picking through remnants to make markers for her garden..She mentioned she read this online somewhere, this has to be it! Great template!!

  14. shaunna says:

    love the fabrics! we pretty much like to label everything. a flag will do!

  15. Whoa! So beautiful!! I’m an avid quilter and fabric lover, this is definitely next on my list! Thanks for the idea and tutorial! :)

  16. Maya says:

    Such a great idea and a fun way to add color to the garden before it grows its own. We’re planting a garden for the first time this year – we’ll have to try this!

  17. Polly Danger says:

    Adorable! My garden is also seriously lacking in color right now and this is just the thing!

    Now to find the latex- Does the “modeling section” of the craft store mean clay-modeling, or like car-building modeling? If anyone knows, please share! I can’t wait to try this!

  18. Sue says:

    So cute! I’m always looking for things to do with fabric……..I hate throwing anything away! And, I garden. You just combined them for me. Thanks so much!

  19. Amelia says:

    I love this! The best part is, I only have to buy the latex because everything else is hanging out at my house. My husband just made some huge planter boxes so we can garden in our concrete slab backyard and I have been looking for ways to add color out there. I’m also making the Moroccan lanterns you posted a few weeks ago.

  20. Leila says:

    Such a cute idea!

  21. Em says:

    I love these little flags! What a grand idea! I think I will attempt at making these for my neighbor’s garden!

  22. Juliana says:

    I went to JoAnn’s, Michaels, Ace Hardware, and Target searching for this mystical Latex product and no one had heard of it! Where can I buy it? Any substitutes?

  23. Absolutely adorable. Love it. Gorgeous fabrics too.

  24. Karen says:

    I just did this project, love it! I couldn’t find latex just like Juliana, so I used rubber cement instead. We’ll see if it holds… This only took me 1 1/2 hours once I had all of the materials.
    I plan on placing a few of these in my pots to spruce up the color, the rest I’ll be giving to friends as a token spring gift :) Thanks for the great idea!

  25. erin says:

    great idea! thanks for sharing. i will be making some for my herb garden, after hubby picked thyme yesterday instead of rosemary.

  26. Victoria says:

    OK- After searching EVERYWHERE I found Latex Rubber on, a local hobby store and Tap Plastics, which is also a local store but you can order it online. It ain’t cheap- $15-22 depending on where you get it. This better work!

  27. Jezibels says:

    I was wondering how these held up over the season? I have upholstery samples and may try the latex product.

  28. Crystal says:

    I just made 100 of these, they are SO CUTE!! I have the same question as Jezibels…How long did yours last? Did they hold up really well with weather and seasons? Its a lot of work making these, I hope they last a really long time!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.