{DIY} Gnome garden markers

Our little garden was missing some garden markers, so after browsing around the Internet a bit, I eventually stumbled upon this blog with a post about creating hand-carved garden gnomes from twigs. I loved the gnome idea and especially the natural look, so I adapted this project just a bit. Here's a little tutorial in case you are in need of some gnomies in your garden, too!

Suppliesvarying sizes of twigs, knife (we used a Swiss Army pocket knife), craft paint (I used red, yellow, blue, green), paintbrush, permanent marker

1. Use your pocket knife to carve a pointed "hat" at the top of one end of a twig. Just keep whittling away until you end up with a pointed triangle. It doesn't have to be super smooth. Our "hats" were approximately 1 inch tall.
2. Carve a rounded, flat "face" on one side of the twig. We varied the size of the faces on the different twigs, but the faces averaged about 1.25 inches tall x 1 inch wide.
3. This is what you end up with after steps 1 & 2... a pointed hat and a flat face.

4. Carve a rounded, flat area on the bottom part of the stick (just like the face, but in the opposite direction). This is where you will write the names of your plants, so if you have veggies with long names (like "cucumbers" or "strawberries" etc), make sure to use a few longer sticks and carve appropriately.
5. Here's what you end up with after all the carving is complete! Repeat steps 1-4 for all of your twigs.
6. A trio of gnomes ready to be painted (we later added a fourth; and will need a few more later).

7. Paint your gnomes' hats and beards in any color you desire! If you use all red hats/white beards, you will end up with Santa Claus look-a-likes. ;) We went for bright colors since they would be planted in the dark dirt.
8. Let dry completely. If your twigs don't stand up on their own, poke holes in the bottom of a cardboard box so they can dry without smearing paint.

9. After your twigs are completely dry, write the veggie names onto the bottom part of the twigs with a permanent marker. I don't like my handwriting enough to commit to this, so my husband wrote ours. Haha. No worries - if you mess up, you can always whittle away the top layer and start fresh.
10. Here's what you end up with!

Keep your gnome friends safe... because dogs don't know the difference between them and regular sticks. Mine required a little rescue action before planting.

11. Dig a small hole near the corresponding plant and enjoy your new garden friends.


  1. These are just too cute... I'll have to try them.
    Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  2. Great idea of making wooden markers for identification. I am fond of having different types of plant labels and engraved nameplates. I bought metal plant labels for my garden from idealgardenmarkers.com. Labels are looking very nice and also giving incredible look to the garden.

  3. Amazing idea to create this wooden marker! Extraordinary and so inexpensive! This is so easy to create such type of markers. I'm going to collect necessary materials to create like these one markers for my garden plants.

  4. I loved your idea, though I have tried metal marker but these wood marker also great idea to dress your plant. I will use it in my next garden design. :)

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  6. Very good information, it helped for my research.