Heat Transfer Garden Markers

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The consistently warm weather has finally settled into my neck of the woods, so I’ve been spending the last several weeks prepping and planting my vegetable garden and hoping for a good growing season.  I always plant a couple of varieties of just a handful of different vegetable plants (mostly tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers with a few oddballs thrown in for fun), so I like to keep track of what’s planted where.  Last year, I used my CAMEO to create Print&Cut labels for these dainty little wooden signs I made…and the spiteful squirrels in my yard had broken/chewed almost all of them in half by the end of the summer.  So, this year I was looking for a sturdier solution.

I spent a couple of weeks looking for the right material, and ended up finding this small cedar border fence at my local big-box home improvement store.  For less than $15, I could have a set of over thirty nicely cut and finished cedar stakes…and the only tool I needed was a good pair of wire cutters.  I had thought about stenciling each one, but decided to experiment with the Silhouette Heat Transfer Material instead because I had so many of these to make and needed a quick and easy method.

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  • Start by disassembling the border fence using wire cutters.  I didn’t save the wire, but I’m sure some of you crafty folks can figure out something nice to do with this too!
  • Sand any rough areas on each fence post.  Tip #1 – the heat transfer material will stick better to wood if it is smooth.  Tip #2 – I found that heat transfer material did not stick as well to the painted version of the same wood fence…so definitely experiment with different types of wood before you use too much material!

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  • Design the labeling for your garden markers in the Studio software.  I chose to mix two of my favorite fonts from the online store (Scrap Calligraphy and Lori Whitlock’s Classic Font) for a fun look.
  • The Scrap Calligraphy font is also a great one for creating welded script titles for cards or scrapbook pages because its letters already overlap perfectly when typing them out…so, you don’t need to adjust the character spacing and can just select the word and click Weld in the Modify Window.

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  • I added a box around my text to allow for easier weeding of the material.  I also made it the same width as my wooden stakes to allow me to line up lettering more easily when it was time to press them.
  • Don’t forget to “mirror” your designs before cutting them out of heat transfer material!

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After cutting my designs from both black and teal heat transfer material,  I weeded them carefully using my hook tool.

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  • Lay out your heat transfer design on the wooden stake and cover with a pressing cloth.
  • Press with an iron on the “cotton setting” and be sure to use lots of pressure.  Tip #3 – the heat transfer material will need to be pressed for a little longer when trying to adhere it to wood.  I pressed mine for about 2 minutes each.
  • Carefully peel away the clear transfer sheet and admire your uber-intricate lettering on wood.

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I sprayed all of my garden markers with a coat of matte spray lacquer before putting them into my garden, but this step may be optional.  I hope this inspires you to take your cutting outdoors…and if you aren’t a gardener, maybe you’ll experiment with using the heat transfer material on wood for any of your other projects!

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1 Comment

  1. REALLY cool. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my stakes pretty. Love this.

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