It’s time for Christmas gift buying, gift wrapping and gift tagging. Don’t you just love Christmas time? To me, wrapping presents is fun and pretty relaxing, but I’ll admit that one of my least favorite parts of wrapping is tagging my wrapped gifts. Am I the only one? I always make sure to buy gift tags at the after-Christmas sales so I have plenty on hand, but the things make me crazy. The plain ones are often, well…boring and the beautiful foiled ones always seem to repel ink. Seriously, someone should test those things out before they sell them as gift tags. It seems that if I can find a pen that actually writes on them, the ink always smears when I try to stick it on the package. Urrgggh.
This year, I decided to make some more permanent tags. I went as far as my recycling bin to find my main supplies- these empty thin cardboard boxes:
First thing that I did was to cut simple tag shapes, pairing two for each tag. I made sure that the plain side faced out as I cut them, because really, who really wants a picture of a tri tip sandwich on their gift tag.
The first couple of tags that I made had a layer of flannel sandwiched between them:
As you can see, I used a tiny loop of tape to hold each side of the fabric/cardboard in place, making sure to line the cardboard up well. Easy. Next, I took it to my sewing machine and used a long, straight stitch around the whole thing. I made sure to start at the center-top of the tag and overlapped a few stitches to secure the thread, knowing that the ribbon would hide the cut threads. Once the sewing was complete, I trimmed the fabric to the actual shape of the tag. For added effect, I frayed the flannel edges of one of my tags, and the other tag I snipped lots of tiny cuts along the whole fabric edge to create my own fringe.
After doing a couple this way, I got lazy and just ended up gluing the two pieces of cardboard together, skipping the flannel. I think that I prefer this simpler look, actually, and it makes tag making so much easier and faster. Once the tag layers were secured, I used my hole punch at the top.
Of course I could have hand-written the names on these, but instead I went to my computer and found some fun, bold fonts which I printed in large sizes and glued on my tags. I used white paper, but colored or lightly patterned paper would be fun, too. Glitter, stickers, and other embellishments would spiff these up even more. Really, the sky’s the limit on what you could do with these. You can have all of your tags exactly the same, with only the names different, or you can color code for each child/recipient, or you can make each tag totally different.
You might think that, with the rush and fun and craziness of Christmas morning unwrapping that these tags will just get tossed in with the other trash. Maybe…maybe not. These gift tags are actually very study and feel substantial in your hands. I don’t think that they will easily get mixed up with tossed gift wrap and bows. I’m going to tell my children to save them so I can use them next year…and the year after that…and the year after that, etc., etc. .
What started out as trash will be avoiding the trashcan for years to come. That’s the plan. Now, I just need to invade my recycling bin again to make a couple dozen more tags.
So, do you have any empty cereal, crackers, or other thin cardboard boxes in your trash right now? I think it’s time to rescue them!
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