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Recycling Mini Blinds to Make Weatherproof Labels for Your Plants

written by: J.C. Wilkinson•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 7/6/2011

Free, weatherproof, flexible, customizable - what more could you want from plant labels? Find out how to make them by recycling vinyl mini blinds.

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    Just about everyone has thrown away a mini blind at some point in time. Mini blinds look nice, until they start to fall apart, then it's out to the curb! If you're a gardener, you should be recycling those tossed out mini blinds, because they make great weatherproof labels for your plants.

    Plant labels are a necessary evil in the garden, especially if you love to propagate your plants. Gardeners use everything from popsicle sticks to fancy, custom made metal garden stakes to try to keep track of names, planting dates, and other information.

    There are problems with all do it yourself plant labels. Popsicle sticks rot, and the writing fades from them; metal labels rust; and plastic labels grow hard and break. Vinyl labels are not perfect, but if you are recycling mini blinds to make them, they are cheap, reusable, and flexible. To top it off, they are great weatherproof labels for almost any climate.

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    How to Make and Use Mini Blind Plant Labels

    We've all had labels fall out or get torn off when pots are moved. With recycled mini blind labels, you can cut them to any length, even to reach all the way to the bottom of the pot. Cutting a 25" mini blind slat into 4 labels makes a perfect label for 3" and 4" pots. Cutting them in half makes a perfect label for a 3 or 5 gallon pot.

    Remember those holes where the strings go through the blinds? Save the strings, because if you cut a plant label with one of those holes at the end, you have a tie-on weatherproof label for your trees and shrubs.

    Different colored mini blind labels can be used for different groups of plants, or to mark dormant potted plants, so you don't reuse the soil thinking the plant is dead.

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    Mini Blind Plant Labels are Cheap

    Even if you can't find discarded mini blinds, you can purchase them for very little money at yard sales and thrift stores. It's likely someone has some stashed in their garage waiting to discard them, and you can pick them up for free by posting to your local Freecycle or Craigslist.

    The best thing about recycling mini blinds as weatherproof labels for your garden is that, depending on the width and length of the mini blinds, you can get literally hundreds of labels from one set of blinds.

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    Writing on Mini Blind Plant Labels

    The best thing to use for long lasting lettering on these vinyl labels is a grease pencil, also known as a china marker. These can be purchased relatively inexpensively at office supply and craft stores.

    You can also write on them with permanent markers or pencils, but the writing will weather away after awhile. Carpenter's pencil writing lasts a good while, and they are very cheap at home centers or hardware stores.

    If you want a permanent plant marker, you can type the name on a sticky label, put it onto the mini blind label, and paint with clear varnish or polyurethane. For longer lasting permanent marker writing on a label, simply paint with two coats of clear nail hardener.

    Mini blind labels can even have the writing scrubbed off for reuse. For permanent marker, alcohol will remove any leftover writing.

    You can see how recycling mini blinds into weatherproof plant labels is a cheap way to make sure you always know which plant is which. Watch your neighborhood roadsides on garbage day, so you can save money by making your own free plant labels.

    References: This article was written from the author's own knowledge and experience.

Recycling and Reusing Household Trash for Your Garden

There are so many things you can use in your garden instead of adding to the landfills. Plastic bottles, yogurt containers, popsicle sticks, vinyl mini blinds, newspapers and cardboard are just a few. Come read and find ways to recycle and reuse instead of discarding useful items.
  1. Recycling Plastic Bottles into Mini Greenhouses and Planting Pots
  2. Recycling Toilet Paper Rolls into Homemade Peat Pots for Your Garden
  3. Recycling Plastic Yogurt Cups and Plastic Bathroom Cups as Self-Watering Pots
  4. Recycling Mini Blinds to Make Weatherproof Labels for Your Plants
  5. Recycling Paper and Cardboard for Weed Control in Your Garden