Wooden Shoe Trees Upcycled into Plant Labels / Plant Markers

Wooden Shoe Trees Upcycled into Plant Labels / Plant Markers

After successfully sowing herb seeds in thrifted muffin tins…and then transplanting the seedlings into larger pots displayed on a vertical shower caddy, I’m wrapping up my three-part Upcycled Herb Garden series today! And what, pray tell, could my third part be about? Plant labels or Plant Markers, which seems like a perfect way to wrap up my three-part series.

My good friend, Pink Dogwood Jewelry, gifted me some old wooden shoe trees a while ago. She asked if I could do anything with them…and upon first sight, I knew what I would make. And believe it or not, THIS is the project that inspired the three-part series; I just had to work backwards first before putting it all together.

Wooden shoe trees or women's shoe stretcher for upcycling ideas by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

But back to the gift- when she handed me a fistful of these wooden shoe trees, I couldn’t help but notice that the fat end of each shoe shaper (the part that goes into the toe of a shoe) looked just like a toadstool (to me)!

Upcycling a shoe shaper or women's shoe stretcher into plant markers by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

And that’s when I decided to create plant labels or plant markers from the wooden shoe trees!

Now…I certainly don’t *need* to label my herbs- I know which one is which. But there’s just something fun about making little signs for your herb (or vegetable) garden…and the shoe stretchers seemed awfully perfect for it. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Transforming Wooden Shoe Trees into Toadstools

So, to transform each women’s shoe stretcher, I needed to cut off the blunt wooden end so that they could be plunged into potting soil. After considering my options, I ended up using bolt cutters to do the deed.

Removing small end from wooden shoe trees for upcycling them into plant labels by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Once that was completed, it was spray painting time! I don’t actually know if spray paint can leech into soils…so I taped off a good portion of each shoe shaper before painting. Better safe than sorry, right?

When all was said and done, I painted two red shoe trees, two bright green shoe trees, and left two of the aqua/turquoise shoe stretchers as-is. These seemed like fun toadstool colors to me.

Finishing Up the Plant Labels / Plant Markers

Now, to make the plant labels reusable each season, I used chalkboard paint for the actual label. This way, I can reuse them year after year, swapping out herbs as I go.

So, I applied a few coats of chalkboard paint to each one…ending where my painter’s tape had ended before.

Plant markers from wooden shoe trees with chalkboard paint by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

And since little white spots are quintessential to toadstools, I added dainty spots of white paint to each one. You could probably use a pencil eraser as a dauber for this step, as well. They’re about the right size!

Adding spots to toadstools made from wooden shoe trees by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Can you handle the cuteness?? All I needed to do was label them and they were ready to be added to my potted herbs!

Writing names of herbs with chalk pen on plant labels made from wooden shoe trees by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

I swear, my penmanship worsens when I try to be extra neat…but at least you know I’m not faking it with photo editing software, right?

But anyway, if you plan on planting the same herbs or vegetables each year, you could certainly use an oil-based paint pen for this step, as well. The choice is most definitely yours, depending on your gardening habits!

How to make plant labels from women's shoe stretcher or shoe shaper by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Plant Labels from Wooden Shoe Trees

Ta-da! Seriously the cutest plant markers or plant labels ever. I mean, really, those wooden shoe trees were completely, 100% perfect for this!

Oh my gosh, I can’t get enough of these plant labels that look like toadstools

But see what I mean? No one *needs* to label their herbs…but when the plant markers are this adorable, well…why not?

I hope you enjoyed my three part upcycling series on herb gardening!

And if you enjoyed this post and want more upcycling ideas for garden markers or plant labels, then you’ll really love this collection of ideas!

Upcycling ideas and craft projects for plant markers and plant labels as compiled by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Craft on!


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  1. Adorable!

  2. GirlfromWVa says

    Awesomely done!

  3. Margaret says

    Super creative, as usual! These are so cute!

  4. WOW! I love the way you think outside the box. I always look forward to opening your blog and seeing what you have created. Your ideas make me smile. Keep doing what you’re doing!!

  5. missmargaretdesigns says

    These are so adorable!

  6. Kathy A. says

    Oh, no, another thing to be on the lookout for when I yard sale this summer! Love them! I make theme baskets for raffles for a group and church bazaar; what a great addition!

  7. What a fun idea!! I see these at the thrift store sometimes, and now I know what else I could use them for! 🙂

  8. I love a vintage updo. That was so cute .

  9. What a cute idea! Keep ’em coming!

  10. You’re right! They look exactly like toadstools or mushrooms! What a cute & clever idea! I love how you repurposed these!

  11. You always have the best ideas, so cute! And how nice of your friend! xo

  12. Kimberley A Mason says

    I am always amazed at the the things you come up with. Love, Love, Love it!
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. OMG, those are adorable, what a great idea!!


  14. mary scott says

    I have a collection of these in a clear glass vase in my guest room. I love them. thanks

  15. Ohmigosh Sarah! These are so cute— I love the idea 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  16. acraftymix says

    Oh yes please, those are just beyond adorable Sarah. I wish I could get inside your headand just drift on clouds of creativeness. This is a stunning idea

    • acraftymix says

      And when I’m super excited about a new creative idea I clearly have no concept of checking what I write. Sorry about the type 😉

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, sweet friend! But…I mean…compared to your luggage dresser…this is NOTHING! 😛 😛

  17. Genius!! Absolutely adorable.

  18. I absolutely love this idea!! Pinned! thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY Party!

  19. Another cute idea.

  20. These are adorable Sarah! So cute and what a great way to reuse the shoe stretchers! And I agree with you, they totally looked like toadstools 😉

  21. You think of everything and that’s a good thing. I would have plunged the painted end into the soil without a thought. These are so cute and this has been a great series. Thank you for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story, and I hope you’re having a great weekend.

  22. JaneEllen says

    Will never look at shoe stretchers the same (if I can ever find any that is). So doggoned clever, cute and inventive. Leave it to you Sarah. Love these, so handy also. I’d probably need a marker to remember what plant was what, duh. Senior moments are the pits, lol. Love colors you chose.. Could use shorter ones for fairy garden
    Have wonderful rest of week

  23. These are adorable! I need a way to mark some of my perennials that I can’t remember the names, and I love these. I will be watching out for some of there.

  24. Jeannie Wallace says

    Toadstool markers? The thought would never have crossed my mind. These are adorable. They make you want to have an herb garden of your own. That’s just what I’m going to do. Thanks for the inspiration. Amazing job as usual.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Jeannie! And yes, they are cute enough to give you reason to start a garden, that’s for sure!

  25. Sarah these are the cutest things ever! I wish I had seen this a few years ago, I had some of these and had no idea what to do with them so I gave them away :/ Excellent repurpose!


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