• Maddylane

Designs your own enchanting garden labels


@Home with Maddy

Project article and photographs

by  Madeleine M Langlois,  MaddyLane Designs


A few minutes in the oven shrinks the tags by 20 per cent, creating strong labels that you can use as name tags for your flowers, vegetables and herbs. Simply print, cut out, add your own hand dawned designs if you like, bake and shrink. It's that simple.


Hands-on time: Less than two hours Total time: Plus three minutes for baking Skill: Easy Cost: $10


Materials & tools:


* Grafix shrink film for ink jet printers in white or clear

* Ink jet printer

* Hole punch

* Regular or novelty edged scissors

* Cardboard, Teflon sheet, parchment or vellum paper

* Fine craft wire and wire cutters

* Small glass beads (use what you have)

* Wooden craft sticks in assorted colours ( popsicle sticks work well too)


(available at art and craft supply stores and or around your home)

I can never remember what perennials are growing where in my garden, and I can only identify about half of the plants. So I made these charming flower stakes to help me plan my garden and easily identify each plant. This is a fun project to do with kids or grandchildren as well. There are so many other fun crafts you can make with shrink film.


No paintbrushes are needed for this project, unless you want to paint plain sticks. Use your computer to create your designs and name tags and print them on shrink film or draw directly on the shrink film with markers. A few minutes in the oven shrinks the tags by 20 per cent, creating strong labels that you can use as name tags for your flowers, vegetables and herbs. Simply print, cut out, add your own hand dawned designs if you like, bake and shrink. It's that simple.


Each tag has the name and an image of the plant. I found the process taught me about the plants and helped me decide what to plant.


Take an inventory of your garden, recording existing plants and any new purchases. Use the Internet apps or gardening books to help you identify them.


Design labels on your computer using the software of your choice. Make templates of simple shapes such as ovals, squares or rectangles, add plant names and pictures that you download from the Internet. Make as many tags as you need. Size your image 50 per cent larger than the desired finished size. I made tags 15 by 7.5 centimetres (6 by 3 inches), three to a sheet.


Set your printer to normal output and lower the colour intensity to minimum because the colours will intensify when the tags bake and shrink. Print on the sticky, dull side of the film. Test a corner by slightly wetting it with your fingers. It's not a problem if you print on the wrong side, simply wipe off the ink with a paper towel and reuse the clear sheet. After printing, let the sheet dry for a few seconds before handling.


Cut out the tags using plain or novelty scissors. Punch holes at the top with a paper punch. Place tags on medium-weight cardboard, Teflon sheet, parchment paper or vellum paper, leaving plenty of space between each item. Do not place the shrink film on metal or stoneware. Cover with a sheet of parchment or vellum to keep the film from sticking to it self when it curls in the heat. Bake at 120 C to 200 C (250 F to 400 F) for three minutes. Lower heat is recommended for larger pieces to reduce distortion. Do not panic - paper will curl before it flattens. Remove from oven with a spatula when pieces are flat. If the pieces are still a bit curled, flatten on a heat-safe surface with a spatula. Wear oven mitts as paper will be hot. Let tags cool.


Punch a hole in the wooden sticks and attach tags with wire, adding a glass bead if desired. The colour of the sticks can co-ordinate with bloom colour, plant height or whatever system is right for you. You can also write the date you purchased or planted using a permanent marker. My son drew pictures of the vegetables he planted and enjoyed watching the paper shrink in the oven.


Happy gardening!



Variations;

  • Shrink film can be used for scrap-booking, paper crafts, rubber stamping, kids' crafts, jewelry, school projects and tag art.

  • There are so many fun crafts you can make with the children using shrink film such as, earrings, bracelets, key chain tags, charms and much more.


www.maddylane.ca

View more MIy projects at www.maddylane.com

Copyright maddylane designs 2020

photos, text by maddylane designs



NEW FUN & FASHIONABLE Face Masks, collection by Maddylane Designs,

Made in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Let's face it, if we have to wear face masks, they might as well be fun and fashionable and match your outfits! I invite you to visit my collections on my website, you will discover that you can get matching purses, underwear, tank tops and yoga pants to go with your mask. How fun is that... all to be comfortable and in style everyday!





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inspired by joy / inspiré par la joie

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Madeleine Langlois