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How to make herb markers with wine corks

Updated on May 15, 2013

Turn used wine corks into herb and garden markers

Did you know you can create herb and garden markers with used wine corks? I didn't, until I saw a photo in Pinterest which inspired me to create my own for my potted herb garden. It is easy, fun and did not cost me a cent-- except for my time which was spent wisely. All the materials I needed were found in my kitchen.

The wine corks were from my collection from visits to wineries and celebrations through the years. Some of these were set aside for future crafts in hopes that someday I would have time to create a corkboard or trivets for my home. But these projects never panned out because these take time, energy and money. The wine cork herb and garden marker project is the first one that I had the time and inclination to make. You wll too.

All photos were taken by Bakerwoman (that's me).

Follow these step-by-step instructions

Select wine corks with enough blank space to write on - Keep in mind some plants have long names

Some wine corks have writing all over the corks which are not good candidates to write on. Pick wine corks which has a space between the winery name and the winery logo to incribe the names of your herbs, vegetables, or flowers. These were the ones I selected out of my cork collection for this project.

Insert barbeque sticks into wine corks to use as stakes - Use the 5mm bamboo skewers for kebabs

Barbeque sticks come in packages of 25 or more and are available in varying diameters. I used the thicker skewers for kebabs to insert into the corks as these are stronger and more durable. After piercing the cork with the pointed end of the skewer, apply pressure and give it several turns. It should feel snug and tight. Be careful not to hurt yourself with the pointed tips while doing this.

Bamboo skewers come in different widths and lengths - These are not just for BBQ anymore

I use the skinnier bamboo sticks to test my cakes and muffins for doneness. The thicker ones are great for kebabs and for craft projects.

Label herb names with permanent marker pen - To keep them from washing off or fading

I used a black permanent pen marker to write the herb names on the empty space of the corks since this was the only color I had on hand. There will be no room to add the Latin names in case you want to get fancy.

I prefer to read the herb names without having to turn my head sideways. Hence the corks are skewered in the center and not on either ends.

Affordable colored permanent markers for herb and garden markers - Make the names standout in the crowd of veggies or herbs

Sharpie Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 12 Count
Sharpie Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 12 Count

Add a splash of color to your herb markers with these fine-point permanent markers. These write on anything and just about everything. I use these for labeling CDs, DVDs, posters. The purple colored marker would have been my favorite.


Don't have any used wine corks? Not a problem - Get 100 of them for garden markers, cork boards, trivets - possibilities are endless

Premium Recycled Corks, Natural Wine Corks From Around the US - 100 Count
Premium Recycled Corks, Natural Wine Corks From Around the US - 100 Count

Make garden markers for your herbs, vegetables, flowers, exotic plants and seedlings. This bundle of 100 unused corks are affordable and worth the money. It took me years to collect half of this amount for my projects.


Give marked corks two or more coats of clear nail polish - To keep moisture out and protect the handwritten labels

After I gave the marked corks two to three coats of clear nail polish, some of the black handwritten labels bled a bit and turned blackish purple. This made the herb names stand out more. I call this a happy accident.

Dry marked wine corks in sunny location - Quick and easy procedure

It took less than 5 minutes for these coated wine labels to dry in the sun. I wanted to make sure that the nail polish was no longer sticky to the touch before sticking these herb makers into the pots. As you can see in the picture, some of the letterings turned purple and others did not.

It's time to label the herbs in the garden

Use shorter sticks for shorter herbs - It is all about visuals and proportions

There is no more confusion as what kind of thymes I have in one pot. One is the Golden Lemon Thyme with the yellow-edged leaves and the other one is English thyme, although in this case, the lemon thyme is obvious.

Herbs are not just for cooking and garnish anymore. These make great ornamental potted plants in the backyard patio or deck. I picked these three herbs, Golden Lemon thyme, English thyme and marjoram to be companion plants in one pot because their varying leaf shapes and colors make an interesting garden subject.

Easy Lemon Thyme Bars

Grilled Fish with Marjoram and tangerine recipe

Use longer sticks for taller herbs - Dill, rosemary and flat parsley

The needle-like leaves of rosemary, the wispy feathery leaves of dill, and the serrated shape of the flat parsley make a wonderful herb trio in the pot. These herbs are also taller so I staggered the height of the stakes so the markers are easier to see and read.

I like the combination of the different leaves and the mingling of the aromatic herbs which bring to mind the next roast lamb, pork or fish dinner.

Fragrant lavender attract bees and they do not need to know how to read

Fragrant lavender attract bees and they do not need to know how to read
Fragrant lavender attract bees and they do not need to know how to read

Finished herb pot markers put to work - Everyone has a name

Take this quick poll

Do you use plant markers for your garden?

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What would you do with used wine corks? - Share your comments here. Thanks for stopping by.

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    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 4 years ago from USA

      Love this idea!