Labeling plants in your house, garden or classroom does not have to be an expensive task. You can make attractive and inexpensive plant labels using items that are found around your home or that are often thrown out in the garbage. Popsicles sticks are often discarded in the summer after the Popsicle has been eaten, but if saved, they make wonderful labels. Clean them off using a mild soap and allow them to dry, then use a permanent marker to write the name of the plant on the edge. To keep them from decaying when stuck in the dirt, coat them with a layer of clear acrylic sealer and let them dry thoroughly. When done, you have a reusable and permanent label for your plant.
Another common material that is excellent for labels is using the lids from jars and other containers. You can cut out the picture of your plant in the shape of the lid from the package. Glue it on, write the name on with a permanent marker and seal the whole thing with decoupage or clear sealer. When dry, you can attach the lid to the side of the pot or put a small nail through the edge, allowing it be stuck into the dirt by the plant. Old envelopes can also be turned into labels. Cut them up into smaller strips and write the name of your plant on the strip. Then, take clear packing tape and put it over the strip on both sides. This seals the strip and allows it last longer. Then, using a recycled Popsicle stick, attach the label and then put it into the dirt.
Old file folders are excellent for a stiff surface to make a label from. Cut the folder into long strips and fold it in half. On one edge, write the title of the plant in ink. Then, cover the folder strips with clear tape, trim around the edges and insert a paper clip on each end. You can easily insert this into the dirt and have a clear label. Old compact discs that are scratched or worn can make a creative label for your plant. Take one and paint over the surface with a solid color of paint, or you can glue a picture of the plant to the top and cut it to fit. Paint the entire thing in clear sealer and allow it to dry. This can be stuck directly into the dirt, and will make an attractive addition to your plant. You can leave it with the surface unpainted for a colorful effect when the sun strikes it.
Making attractive and inexpensive labels for your plants begins with ingenuity, attention to what is around you and the desire to recycle. This both helps the planet and you to save money.