I am not sure about where you live but here in Ohio May is the time to plant flowers, veggies, herbs, and plants. Like a good neighbor, I planted all sorts last weekend, cleaning up our beds and mulching as well.  I also filled three planter boxes full of herbs. While the plastic little stakes that come with the herbs contain helpful information on them, cute they are not.  I love using natural elements like wood slices, leaves, flowers, etc.  So I looked no further than my backyard to create some cute herb stakes to mark my herbs.


I was a tomboy growing up.  It was very common to see me with a pocket knife climbing trees, whittling sticks, and carving limbs.  Twenty-some odd years later, I still love whittling and carving.  However, using the right tools makes it a whole lot easier and less time-consuming.





Carving Knives

Fine Tip Sharpie 

Outdoor Mod Podge

Flat Paint Brush



1.  Find sticks no more than 1†in diameter and use a miter saw to cut them all about the same length.  I used some pine sticks I found next to my house.

herb garden stakes

2.  I started with the largest slanted blade in the packet.  Keep in mind I am a leftie so you will have to adjust if you are right-handed.  Bracing the stick and the knife in my left hand I used my right hand to push down on the blade with my thumb.  This is almost like sharpening a pencil.  You just continue to take off more and more stick until it is shaped like a pencil point.  The sharp end makes it easier to drive into the ground.

garden herb stakes

wood stick garden markers

wood garden markers

DIY garden markers

3.  After your stake is pointy you want to take the largest flat blade and whittle away at the top of your stick to make a place for you to write the herb name on it.  I positioned it as flat as I could where I could still get leverage. Continue whittling away until you have a nice flat spot for writing.

herb garden markers

3.  Take your fine tip sharpie or pigment pen and handwrite the herb on the stick.  Let it dry for a few minutes.

DIY garden stakes

DIY herb stakes

4.  With a flat paintbrush give the area a coat of outdoor Mod Podge to seal it from the elements.

mod podge garden stakes

5.  Bundle them up and tie them with a ribbon and give them to a garden-loving friend.  Or use them yourself and just stick them in with your herb pots.

It is an easy project to do and each stick takes less than 10 minutes to make.

herb stake markers

garden markers

wooden garden stakes

It would be cute just to make one and stick it in a pot for an end-of-the-year teacher gift.

DSC_0018garden stakes


My favorite herb to grow is basil. I planted a whole garden box full of basil this year.

DSC_0009garden stakes

If you have this hardy and often unruly plant growing in your garden check out these basil recipes.  Click on the picture to be taken directly to the post.

basil parmesan orzo recipe


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