It's not secret that I love to garden, and year after year, I resort to marking my crops with cheap wood shims, written on with a sharpie. I've been wanting nice garden stakes for years, but because my garden is so large, and individual markers are expensive, I decided to take matters into my own hands this year. Inspired somewhat by a hand painted set I saw on Etsy, I decided to make my own. I purchased large redwood boards from Lowe's (12' long, and they are 2.5" wide). Redwood or Cedar work best because their wood won't rot in the wet ground. David cut each board into four sections and cut a sharp stake point at the ends. The next step was to white wash the boards. I did two light coats of white wash, and let the boards dry completely. I spent several evenings sitting at the counter painting, and while I love to draw, I must admit that I am not a painter. I simply used cheap acrylic paints from Walmart, and a few nice brushes. Again, I'm no painting expert. I just did a lot of layers, paint mixing, and it seems that the more layers I added to each vegetable, the better they looked. It's nice to look at online photos of each vegetable for reference. I plan on painting the stakes with two thick coats of polyurethane before I put them in the garden. I bought a special variety of polyurethane that has a UV protectant in the paint, so I'm hoping it will help protect my paintings.
This first set includes watermelon, tomatillos, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, corn, cucumbers, green beans and pumpkins.
The second set includes cabbage, green onions, onions, raspberries, strawberries, lettuce, peas, and carrots. I would still like to make some for potatoes and my herbs.
I sketched the general shape onto each stake and started building layers of colors and shades.