Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Father's Day Garden Sign Posts

My dad is an avid gardener. Every year for as long as I can remember, he's had a garden. When I was little I remember going out back to pick my mom some tomatoes for dinner. Or watching my dog, aptly named Tomato, run through the vegetable garden, smashing whatever was in his way. When I got older, we moved away from a house with a back yard to an apartment with very little yard. My dad soon discovered the community gardens in town. Every night after work in the summer he would drive across town to the garden to water his veggies. Many times I would meet him there, and once in awhile I would have already beat him to it.

Gardening is something my dad grew up with also. His father tended a garden in his backyard until the summer before he died. After all, our surname *is* "Farmer" :)

I wanted to make my dad something that would go in his garden for Father's Day this year. Something that would last, that he could use year after year. I decided on some garden sign posts that mark where (and what) his veggies are. Some nice, big, visible signs unlike the dinky ones you buy in the store. Because once your garden is full grown, those small signs become lost in the foliage.

We had some scrap wood sitting around from a closet that my husband tore down when we first moved in to this house. He used most of it to build shelves in the basement, but had some left over. I was eying up the two 2x8's for my project. They were wide, and sturdy.

Here's a list of my materials:

~Two 2x8's cut in to 10x8 rectangles (I got 12 signs out of this and I only need 9 for my project)
~20 inch Wooden Garden Stakes (we again used scrap wood to make them, but you can buy them at any garden store)
~#150 Sandpaper
~Acrylic Paint & Paint Brushes
~Outdoor Polyurethane (spray on or brush on)
~Hammer & Nails

1) Husband did the cutting for me on his saw, but you can also use a hand saw. And yes, any girl can do this on her own :) It was just easier to have him whip through them for me quick.2) I sanded each piece of wood on all four of the edges, and the one face that I was going to paint.

3) I painted the sign with one coat of blue acrylic paint. This particular color is Apple Barrel's Pool Blue. I think the blue will stand out nicely against all the green when the garden is full grown. I only used one coat because I liked the look of the wood grain through the paint.
4) I painted on name of the vegetable and a picture of it. This one is tomato, obviously. I will also need to do green beans, sweet corn, strawberries, cucumbers, squash, peppers, blackberries, and raspberries. Make one sign for each item in your (or your recipient's) garden. You can even go a little crazy and label all your fruit trees!

5) Once paint is completely dry, spray or brush on several coats of outdoor polyurethane. Let dry in between each coat, and then let dry before moving to next step.

6) Nail the wooden stakes to the back of the sign. Place a piece of cardboard under the sign first so you don't scratch the face of it. If you do scratch it, just add another coat of polyurethane to protect it.
Now your sign is finished! Give it away, or stick it in your garden and admire all summer.


Anonymous said...

I so love your markers. When we finally buy a house someday (someday...)I'm so going to make nice big signs like that for my garden. I absolutely LOVE them! I had never thought of making my own. Love the blue too. =)

Chaos Mommy said...

When I get to my dad's in July, I'll take pictures of them again in his garden. I really think the blue will look nice.

Kelly of Woman Condemned said...

I've done this before. So much fun, super cheap and the gift receiver (is that a real word?) ALWAYS loves them.

Chef Dennis said...

great signs!! I hope your garden comes in well!! I was born in Fort Polk in Louisiana!

Chaos Mommy said...

Super cool, Chef Dennis! It was an ok place to be stationed, but I'm liking Fort Drum much better!