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Wooden herb markers in a bed of green plants

DIY Wooden Garden Markers with a Wagner Heat Gun

Add some fun labels to your herb garden by using a Wagner heat gun to burn plant names into the wood!



I love my little herb garden. I have garden markers in my vegetable garden, up until now, I didn't have them in my herb garden. The garden markers I use in my main garden are too big for my smaller raised beds so I came up with some cute DIY garden markers. These are a great way to finish off your outdoor space!

3x5 Craft Wood Rectangles

Heat Gun

Wood Burning Pen

Wood Dowel

Exterior Use Wood Glue

Stencils (Optional)

I have done several wood burning projects in the past but have always wanted to try my hand at using a wood burning pen (AKA a scorch pen). Wood burning pens contain a non-toxic liquid that reacts to heat. I already have a hand dandy heat gun that I use to remove old paint and to remove bubbles from resin, so I just needed to order a pen. I knew this would be the perfect project to try out the scorch pen.



Sanding the wood with a fine grit sandpaper helps the pen not bleed. Soft wood like balsa and pine have a tendency to bleed more as well. So please don't skip this step! Wipe off with a rag to remove the dust.

Wooden herb markers in a bed of green plants


I have terrible handwriting so I opted to use a stencil. I did play around with the pen on some extra wood and found that writing with it was super easy, so don't feel like you have to use a stencil. I cut out some vinyl. If you do use vinyl, make sure to press down along the edges really well.

Placing stencil on wood


This step is vital to avoiding bleeding. When you get a new pen, you need to press down a few times to get the liquid to come out and saturate the tip. Don't immediately start using it though! It will bleed and look horrible. Don't ask me how I know.... On a scrap piece of wood, start scribbling until the ink is slightly faded.

Using scorch pen on wood


Remove the stencil before you start heating.

Removing stencil from wood


This is the fun part! I have a large heat gun for bigger projects, but I love my smaller Wagner HT400. It is perfect for crafting projects like this. Hold it about 3 inches above the wood. I was wishing I had more than 6 to make since it was so facinating using the heat gun and watching the change right before your eyes!

The HT400 craft kit comes with a silicone mat to protect your work space. I have also used a scrap piece of sheet metal before to protect my wood table top.

Using heat gun to burn wood


I love these little garden herb markers! I used dowels as the stakes. They look so cute tucked into the herbs in my container garden. Do you use garden markers? Have you ever made diy plant markers before?

Head to the full blog post by Not Just a Housewife here.

Wooden herb marker that says
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