Easy DIY Garden Signs for the Non-Artistic [tutorial]

DIY Garden Signs

DIY Garden Signs

Here’s a quick and dirty tutorial for easy DIY garden signs even when you have zero artistic skills. I know because I did it.

What you need

  • Reclaimed wood (pallet, bed frame, etc.) upcycled into a sign-like form
  • Sandpaper
  • Sponge/paint brushes (various sizes)
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Containers for water/paint (Solo cups will do)
  • Stencils or craft letters
  • Mod Podge or glue that dries clear
  • Sealer/finish spray/wax

Please Grow

What you do

  • Using staples, nails, etc. create sign-like shapes from old pallets or bed frames
  • Once you’re happy with your sign shapes, sand, sand, sand. Serious here—if there’s any kind of finish on the wood the paint won’t absorb. If you’re going for the distressed/weathered look (pre-actual weathering) sand extra! In fact, sand extra anyway. You’re welcome
  • Paint your pallet sign however you want. If you’re going for the washed-out look mix paint with a bit of water in a separate container and wash over wood with a sponge brush. This is an easy process and dries fast. Allow paint to dry before adding layers
  • Once your undercoat is dry, stencil letters/images with a pencil and paint in as desired. If you have zero artistic skill like me then glue craft letters to your sign using a clear-drying glue. Allow to dry again
  • Add any further embellishments and allow to dry
  • Seal using finish spray or clear wax and allow to dry

It’s a straightforward craft but adds so much character to your garden. In my case, future garden. I don’t have a lot of experience with vegetables so I thought I should go the route of encouraging my seeds along plus reminders (#pleasegrow #intaflowers #lettuceeat #wtf (water the flowers)). That said I’m also planning a sign saying “I didn’t plant this” because I’m quite certain I will grow many mystery plants. It’s just how things go for me.

DIY Garden Signs tutorial

I still have some finishing touches to put on my signs but this is the general idea if you’re looking for a fun project on a cold winter’s night. Watch my Instagram for the finished products in all their glory. Or however they turn out.

Snails and My Crazy Tomato

snail on red brick

A few nights ago I went out for an evening walk and came upon this snail. I thought it was picturesque.

Ever since I have seen snails. EVERYWHERE.

I feel bad for people who both live in the wetter areas of Canada and attempt gardens because after a good rain…or the hint of maybe rain, those guys make a beeline for the good stuff.

I don’t worry about myself though because this year I decided to play slo pitch instead of have a plot at the community garden. My alternative was to try my hand at a deck garden.

And things are going pretty well!

Mint in the moonlight

I have The Mint that Won’t Die going strong as ever.

Freezer lettuce

Freezer Top Lettuce (in TWO varieties!) for my salad cravings—salad on demand really as there’s never enough to stock up.

upside down tomato

And last but not least the Crazy Upside Down Tomato.

No really, crazy.

Up until two, three nights ago (actually, the same day I started seeing snails actually…) all of the vines were growing UP. Then one morning I opened the blinds and discovered ALL THE VINES WERE NOW GROWING DOWNISH.

Crazy tomato.

Anyway, since I’m seeing snails everywhere concern for my fledgling garden (actually it’s my skills, which are fledgling, the plants seem to be OK) is growing.

Because…snails can climb, right?

Well, at least I’m prepared for the inevitable. I hear rough surfaces bother snails bodies and I haven’t swept the deck in months.

Dandelion… Barometres?

I know a little (but not a lot) about dandelions. However, I was confused the other day when it was raining and I came upon this dandelion taking the weather like a champ.

What I thought I knew about dandelions was they would be all fluffy and feathery when the weather was good, and then close up when storms came.

So what was happening to the dandelion I saw? Was my original belief incorrect? Are west coast dandelions more used to the elements since it rains so much here? Was it just not raining hard enough? Was this dandelion a slow learner?

So many questions.

Picture turned out good though.

Project: Drying Parsley

Here’s the time I tried drying parsley. It worked, but this isn’t a how-to, just my story.

Drying Parsley

I was so focused on my sad, blighty tomatoes I forgot to mention the success of my parsley.

An over-abundance actually.

I had so much I didn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t re-plant it on the balcony because it’s full of chive, mint, and tomato plants. Like, full. So I decided to dry it.

I looked up a few recipes/how-to’s online and realized there is no one way to do it. So I took the one I trusted the most (read: not microwaved) and tried it out. Oh, it was also the quickest.

The instructions I chose (sorry I don’t have the link but it’s probably E-How or something) said to use a “cooling oven” to dry the parsley after blanching for 20 seconds in boiling water.

The instructions also said it wouldn’t take long (didn’t say a time just that it would all happen quickly).

Project Drying Parsley

In hindsight I realize I needed to know how hot the oven should have been before cooling for this “quick” process to happen. I had been cooking tater tots at a low temperature so “cooling” wasn’t a long process and made virtually zero impact on the drenched, blanched parsley.

Anyway, so I ended up turning the oven on to the lowest setting and spread the parsley out quite thin on cookie sheets. It worked but it took two hours at least. Ages.

I am happy with the dried parsley, but for the past couple weeks while I’ve crushed it up (when I have time, I’m not slave to the kitchen) I’ve been picking the stems out of the mess.

So there we go.

Sad Garden


The weather has been somewhat precarious lately and truth be told it has made me somewhat reluctant to tend to my garden.

But the rain and wind let up for a couple hours and I took a look. Unfortunate, really.

Rotten Tomatoes

Unfortunately the only tomato I harvested was rotten.

Sad garden.

It’s a far cry from what I hoped the garden would be. Also it’s a bit disappointing after the, you know, slow but encouraging start the garden seemed to have.

Weeds look healthy though.