Jewelry for your Garden

This is a fun trash turned into treasure something useful project.  I call my creation “Jewelry for the Garden”. 

I came up with this idea for DIY garden markers after my hubby asked me if I could make something to mark the veggies and herbs that he recently planted in our garden.  I could have used a number of things as markers – the stamped spoon idea is so cute, but I don’t have any extra spoons or a stamping set.  Tongue depressors or Popsicle sticks – they break apart.  I could have went to a garden shop and bought some, but I don’t want to spend money on something I knew I could make.   So I looked around the house and found these 3 items to make my garden markers – a wire hanger, an OJ can lid, and a few beads.

Wire hangers from the dry cleaner, orange juice can tops and bottoms, and a few beads from my collection.

Garden Markers made from Orange juice cans

Cost:  Nothing     Time to Complete: 15 minutes =  A Happy Hubby   He would have been fine with just the OJ lids on the hanger, but I had to add a little style to them.

Garden markers made form OJ can lids

How To Make Garden Markers Using Juice Can Lids and Wire

These garden markers are very easy to make.  The hardest part is waiting until you have collected enough OJ cans to make enough markers for all the plants you want to mark in your garden.

1.  Pull the wire part of the hanger from the cardboard tube.  One on each side.  This will be the hook on the top of the stake.

Garden Markers made from Orange juice cans - full tutorial

2. Untwist the hook part of the hanger.

How to make garden markers from OJ can lids

3. Open up the hook, by spreading the two wires apart.

Step by step tutorial on how to make garden markers from oj cans

4.  Cut in the center with wire cutters.  You have just created 2 stakes to hang the OJ lids on.

OJ can lid garden marker tutorial

5.  Press the smaller hook end back a bit with your fingers so that it is closer to the wire behind it.

OJ can Lid Garden Marker tutorial

6.  Mold the bigger hook end with your hands so it resembles the ones shown in the photo below.  This end will go into the ground, so it does not have to be perfect.  It will give the stake support.

OJ can lid garden marker tutorial

7.  Optional:  Spray paint silver to match the OJ lid.

OJ can lid garden marker tutorial

8.  If you have a Dremel drill – drill 2 holes in an OJ lid – one at the top and another at the bottom.  Make sure the bottom hole is close to the edge of the lid so you will be able to thread a jump ring through it.  I placed mine right in the lid’s groove.  If you don’t have a drill, an awl and a hammer will also make a hole.


OJ can lid garden marker tutorial

9.  Add some pretty beads to a jump ring and attach to the lid. I was going for an all green look so the markers would look nice, but would blend in with the garden at the same time.

OJ Can Garden Markers

10.  I tried using a stamping set to mark each lid, but the metal is too soft, so I used permanent markers.  If you want to stamp the names on each marker – use tin can lids that are opened with a can opener that doesn’t leave the edges sharp.  Most tin can lids are bigger and have ridges in them.  I like the OJ lids – they are smooth.

Sharpie Markers

11.  Push the larger hook end into the dirt and never again forget what you planted.  The beads and the lids move in the breeze and jangle a bit- it might scare the birds and other animals who may decide to make a feast out of your garden.

DIY Garden Marker from recycled OJcan lids

 Have you made anything out of trash lately that you would like to share?  I always love to see clever ways to re-purpose items that we would normally toss in the trash. I have made a few different garden label variations from household items in this post about garden markers.


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  1. Ruby Blackwell says:

    Prior to seeing your post, I used used canning jar lids and a permanent marker for labeling my plants. However, the “permanent” marking washed off with rain or faded in the sun. After sometime I couldn’t read the labels.

    Are you using a special type of “permanent” marker?


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ruby – I always use the Sharpie brand of permanent markers. You could also use model airplane paint that comes in little jars and a pointy tipped paint brush.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I saved lids all winter to use in my vegetable garden. Look great and functional, and can withstand the elements.

  3. Love this idea. I made some just for jewelry. Drew flower, birds, etc on the kids. Added bells and beads to the bottoms they made cute fairy wind chimes. Lol going to make some more involved and longer for the patio. Thanks for the inspiration. After no garden should be without gems and music. ?

  4. Hi, I love the tin cans on the fence but how do I stop the top of them being sharp? Thank you x

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jackie –

      The frozen orange juice containers or any frozen juice have metal lids that are held on with a plastic strip. Once the strip is removed, the lids pop right off their cardboard tube container. They do not have sharp edges. That is what makes them so nice to use.

  5. Diane,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I recycle everything I can and I love it when I can reach back in and reuse something instead of buying something new when a need presents itself.
    I was absolutely tickled when I saw your article, because I have a collection of can lids and I didn’t know what to do with them!
    I have one of the can openers that removes the entire lid instead of cutting through the top. I’ve been saving the lids in my laundry room for quite a while now and I have all different sizes from small tomato paste can size all the way up to big tomato juice can size. Thanks to you I have a great craft project for a gift for my sister when I go visit her this summer. And they’ll take up no space at all in my suitcase either.
    It’s a win-win all the way for me. Thanks again.

  6. jelly jar says:

    Be aware that permanent markers may not survive the season in the sun. Paint markers work better if you use the tags for plants that return each year.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks for the tip about using paint markers instead. They are just as easy to find and use, too.

  7. Awesome! so cute…found these on Pinterest…but no I googled plant markers from juice lids and found you!

  8. I used catfood, dogfood, soup, tuna lids with the pull tabs on them. Fold the pull tabs up, flatten and presto, you don’t have to punch holes, you already have a hanger.

    1. Sharon lawley says:

      Love that idea. I have tons of can food lids. Now for the stake.

  9. Very darling idea…I have been saving my old canning jar lids after opening jam etc. and wondered what I could do with them….now I know! I had done the wooden spoons for garden markers but they don’t hold up well and the marker washes off eventually…thanks…

  10. Irene @ SmilingGardener says:

    Very eye catching! This would be great decorations in my home! Thanks for the ideas!

  11. I love this idea but I am going to use old CD’s. I don’t know if they will work but I have a bunch of old ones to get rid of. Wish me Luck!

  12. Very, very clever! And so simple. I love this idea and i see that a whole bunch of other people do too! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Laura Ingalls Gunn says:

    Oh I adore this project. It is going in my style file for sure!

    Happy 4th of July!

  14. This is extremly clever and green in more ways than one. I have to start saving those lid.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  15. What a great idea. I am so doing this. I planted a mini garden this year and have been wanting to add plant markers. I have some small, (new, never used) quart paint can lids that I am going to use. I store items in the cans themselves and have saved the lids knowing that I would find something to do with them. I have vinyl that I am going to cut to put on the lid. TFS…..BTW, love the bling!


  16. Very cute! I think I’m going to have to go replace my little sticks that make my garden look like a graveyard! LOL! I was in a hurry that day. These would look so much better.

  17. Cool Beans! I’ve already noticed my garden markers have lost their mark; they are just plain white sticks now.

  18. Hi Rory –
    I was so happy to link a project to your site that I actually used a tool to create, – a Dremel drill. My hubby bought it for me a couple of years ago for my birthday.
    I love salsa – with chips and margaritas. I hope you get a bumper crop this year.

  19. I did the same thing! Used the Big Bite (cropodile) to punch it – punched through like butter!

    1. Hi Deanna-

      You are the second person who mentioned the Cropodile. I didn’t know what it was and Googled it. Pretty cool tool. Thanks for sharing the tip.

  20. I searched the web for an idea like this a few weeks ago — but couldn’t find one as cute as this! I even have the juice tin lids already on hand! BTW — a Cropodile will punch the holes just fine, too:)

    1. I just looked up what a Cropodile was – I think I need one. Since I have never made a scrapbook, I also need to get get informed on all these scrapbooking tools that can be used for other applications.

    1. Hi Deb-
      Ed has a whole list of markers he would like up in the veggie garden – I didn’t make all of them with dangles. The herbs are planted closer to the house, so I wanted them to look pretty.

  21. The Polka Dot Closet says:

    that is a genius idea!


  22. I love these! What a wonderful project….

  23. Oh wow!!! I seriously LOVE that idea. I’m going to bookmark this and try to make it myself sometime.
    I’m new here and just became a follower! Lovin your blog!

  24. Great idea! …how about using the flat metal lids that you use for canning jars? I say this because I never can throw them away after unsealing the jar….now I’ve found another use for them!

    1. Oh yay! I have tons of those lids around because I never can bring myself to toss them either. The enameled ones have a nice white surface. I hung mine by wire from my vertical supports, because 1) I didn’t have the wire hangers and 2) a marker stuck in the ground would get totally lost in my garden. Thanks for the idea!

  25. Cap Creations says:

    how cute! What a great idea!