My kids, ages 5 and 3, are really excited about planting our first garden this year. But we needed something to help them understand that all these tiny seeds shooting up from the crumbly earth will end up on our table come season's end in the form of familiar fruits and vegetables. So we made garden markers with tops from frozen juice concentrates and images from old seed catalogs. Here's a short tutorial.
Step one: Collect, wash and store the lids from containers of juice concentrate.
Step two: Drill or punch a small hole in the top of each lid, just below the rim. (I used the small hand-cranked tool shown below made for metal and leather working.)
Step three: Cut images from seed catalogs to match the varieties of your seedlings. Cut them to fit within each juice lid, rim-side up. (You could also have your kids help you draw pictures to use instead.)
Step four: Using a foam brush, glue each image to the juice lid using Mod Podge. Spread a layer of Mod Podge over the picture as well to give it a glossy sheen and protect it from the weather when it's moved outdoors.
Step five: Check to make sure you have a marker for each item you're growing in your garden. Then spread them out and count them.
Step six: Buy as many wood garden spikes as you have markers.
Step seven: Using tiny nails or push pins, (we used lady bug push pins) attach each juice lid to the top of each post. (Rubber mallets work best for push pins. Go ahead with the hammer if you're using nails.)
You could also forget the nails all together and just glue the juice lids to popsicle sticks and stick those in the ground. But these are more durable and likely to last several seasons.
Step eight: Pound each stake into the end of a row or in the appropriate area of your garden to mark your different plants. Enjoy!