Gift Tag Tutorial

It’s about time I finally whipped up a tutorial.  I’ve had several in mind but this is none of those.  Nope.  These tags were invented from scraps of paper and from the need to find a snazzy way to address our special packages.

Finished Product

The kids and I had a blast yesterday. We sorted the goodies we’d collected in Europe – teas, chocolates, candies, chocolates, gum, chocolates – and packaged them up for our friends. The kids then biked while I ran. (Yes, this was a way to get myself out of running on the treadmill. Must be outside until the snow flies.)

We would use the alleys and hide the boxes for the moms and the kids in their backyards, go to their front doors, tell them they had surprises to seek, and then run away. Great fun! The kids thought it was brilliant. Giving is far better than getting.

Your supplies: You’ll need paper, a hole punch, a circular punch, a ruler and scissors or a paper cutter. That’s all. (I’ve used double-sided scrapbook paper from Amy Butler here.) If you don’t have a circle punch, just trace the outline of a cup over the paper and cut by hand.

paper strips
Step One: paper strips
The size doesn’t need to be exact. My strips were leftover pieces from cutting out the shapes for the gift boxes.  As you can see, they were about 1.5″/4cm wide.

It’s important that they’re longer than your circle punch is wide. But again, exact sizes aren’t important since you’ll be cutting out just the middle section.

flip your punch
Step Two: Flip your punch
Turn your circle punch on its back. I did my first one with the usual side up, and my curves ended up off-center because it was so much harder to eyeball.

Center your strip as best you can – top-bottom. Centering it side to side isn’t important.

Step Three: Punch

Yep, just punch it upside-down.

Step Four: Admire
Enjoy the tension between the curves and the straight lines.

Punch a hole
Step Five: Punch a hole
I eyeballed it, and you should, too.

“It is so much more interesting to be imperfect than it is to be perfect.” Dr. Christian Sorensen

Admire Again
Step Six: Admire Again
Then decide if you’re going to do anything further to them. Running a marker along the cut edges or rubbing it on an ink pad will hide the exposed white edges and give a bit of a border to the tag. Blanket stitch in contrasting thread would look charming, but a metallic thread would be swanky.

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” Arthur Ashe

*Thanks to my daughter Sandra for being the model crafter in the photos.


7 thoughts on “Gift Tag Tutorial

  1. Angela says:

    thanks for the tutorial. i’ve been on the lookout for a “tag-shaped” punch with no luck – now i’ll just use my big circle! great idea! love the paper with dark blue in the top photo.

  2. Hip_Chey says:

    Oh yay, I found you. It took a bit but at least there is a paper trail!!

    From the denim jumper to poppins to here. sigh.

    I can’t wait to read and get to know you :o)


  3. Amy says:

    I saw these photos at Flickr … it’s such a beautiful photographed tutorial, Poppins, in addition to being brilliant in and of itself. Just a great idea. And, I love the spirit of giving you model with your family. Sounds like you all had fun!

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