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How to Make Upcycled Canning Lid Plant Markers

While I can’t get my fingers in the dirt just yet, I can do a little prep work.  That prep work right now is making upcycled canning lid plant markers.

Upcycled canning lid garden markers ready to be used in the garden.

This is a great winter project. It helps us get ready for the garden season and makes use of those lids as we eat through our pantry stores.

Supplies Needed

I generally gather my canning lids into a container for several weeks and then make the markers in a big sitting.

Canning Lids – I use both wide and regular mouth lids. Obviously there’s more space for writing on a wide mouth lid but don’t be choosy, it won’t matter.

An awl or a drill – Something to punch holes into the lid, an awl works perfectly. However, if hand strength is an issue or you’d prefer a little help, an electric drill with a small bit will also work.

Twine or yarn – You’ll need a way to hang the markers. Garden twine works, of course, but so does bits of yarn leftover from knitting or crochet projects.

Marker – A permanent marker or even a paint marker is preferable, otherwise the weather will likely fade the ink.

Upcycled Canning Lid Plant Markers - Homespun Seasonal Living

How to Make the Garden Markers

Using the awl, simply punch two holes in each of the canning lids, just 1/2 inch apart. Do this on a workbench or cutting board so as to not mar any surfaces or tables.

Thread yarn through the holes, leaving a long tail. The tail is important because this is how the marker gets attached in the garden.

Write the name of your plant variety on the white part of the lid with the permanent marker.

How to Hang Upcycled Canning Lid Markers

Tie the loose ends of your twine around stakes, tomato cages, trellises, etc. to keep track of your plant varieties.

I use bamboo stakes at the beginning of each row for things that don’t need support.

Things like tomatoes or peas that have trellising, simply get markers tied to their supports.

Upcycled Canning Lid Plant Markers - Homespun Seasonal Living

If you’re interested in using canning lids as plant markers but don’t want to use an awl to punch holes or allow it to be a project safe for kids, check out this tutorial from Untrained Housewife.

As you’re eating your way through your pantry, I hope you’ll consider saving those lids and making some upcycled canning lid plant markers to keep track of all those amazing plants in your upcoming garden!

Have more canning lids than you need for the garden? Make upcycled gift tags from those canning lids!

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Sunday 28th of January 2024

I use old forks from yard sales or swap shop. The lid is bent gently around the for eating part and pushed down and the handle is pushed into the ground. Great for labeling your herbs. My husband can find the herb I am asking him to go pick for me as well.


Monday 20th of May 2019

Love your Ideal! I usually save some for craft jars etc. I may try this. Thanks for sharing!


Thursday 30th of June 2016

When I empty a jar and clean it up for the next year I have always turned the lids upside down and put the ring back on them so they don't get dirty inside that way less cleaning for the coming canning season. You could reuse the lids after you start canning the next season

Homespun Seasonal Living

Thursday 30th of June 2016

That is such a clever idea! I'm gonna remember to do that with my empty jars that sit in a garage until needed!

Jean |

Sunday 10th of April 2016

What a great idea! I always wonder what I could do with those.

Homespun Seasonal Living

Monday 11th of April 2016

It's such a simple thing but fun.


Sunday 6th of December 2015

Wow. I didn't know what to do with those canning lids. Do they rust outside?

Homespun Seasonal Living

Monday 7th of December 2015

They will rust eventually but it usually takes at least 2 years for that in my experience and that includes leaving them outside in the snow.