DIY Garden Signs from Tree Rounds

Updated: Sep. 28, 2020

Use slices cut from a fallen limb or tree trunk to create DIY garden signs or tree cookies to identify your favorite plants.

Looking for a rustic way to mark plants in your garden, or want to create a personalized DIY garden sign? These tree cookie plant marker signs are easy to do, cost very little, and look great in any garden!

Tree Cookie Plant Marker Signs

What You Need:

  • Tree cookies (see below)
  • Medium-Grit Sandpaper
  • Paint pen(s) in desired color(s)
  • Polycrylic protective finish (or any sealer for use on wood)
  • Paintbrush

Tree Cookies Plant Marker Signs Supplies

What are Tree Cookies?

Tree cookies are simply flat rounds of wood cut from tree branches or trunks. There’s no need to cut down a living tree – use one that has fallen naturally, or save some branches from pruning. Avoid very resinous trees like pine; birch or oak is best. You can also buy tree cookies at craft stores and online; just do a search for “tree cookies”.

What to Do:

  • Begin by sanding the surface of your tree cookie. There’s no need sand both sides unless you plan to decorate both. If you have a power sander available, this process will go much more quickly, especially if you’re doing multiple cookies. Wipe the surface free of debris after sanding.
  • If you’re great at lettering or drawing, you can just pick up the paint pen(s) and go to work now, but most of us probably feel better sketching out the text or design first with a pencil and tracing over it with the paint pen. You can also use paint and paintbrushes if you like, but the nice thing about paint pens is that they’re easy enough for anyone to use.
  • Once the painted design dries, use a paintbrush to apply two thin coats of polycrylic sealer, allowing it to dry between coats. Allow to dry according to the directions on the can, and you’re done!

Tree Cookie Plant Marker Signs HowTo

We’re using these tree cookies in the gardens where I work to mark plantings, but you can do just about anything with them. Ours are around 8 inches in diameter and 2 inches thick, but you can cut yours to any size that works for you, including smaller ones to mark seed beds or decorate potted plants. TIP: Smaller ones make great DIY garden gifts and even Christmas tree ornaments!