Sunday, December 6, 2009

Project of the Month: Personalized Holiday Gift Tags

I know, I know… I actually owe you 2 projects at this point! My attempts to deliver the November project had failed miserably. The month of November actually flew by incredibly fast, or so it seemed. I got caught up trying to do too much at home as well as dealing with several other issues. As a result, several things fell by the way-side (including my ability to blog). It’s all good now, and we can return to our regularly scheduled programming!

So here it is, the December projects (yes projects), of the month. I will provide the second project as a separate post, just to keep things neat. The first project is rather simple and is timely, as the holiday season is upon us.

Personalized Holiday Gift Tags
You will need:

  • Decorative rubber stamps (with ornate or abstract motifs, borders or patterns)
  • Alphabet rubber stamps (this is optional, as the letters can be hand drawn if you are so inclined)
  • Ink Pads (in at least 2 colours, one vibrant such as red or green and one basic, such as black. I recommend pigment ink pads, as opposed to water based ink. The result is vibrant colour and less streaky imprints).
  • Card stock or large pre-made tags
  • Scissors or Exacto knife
  • Ruler
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Glitter (optional- but fun & pretty!)
  • Craft glue
  • Fine paint brush
  • Hole punch

Step 1:
Determine the size of your gift tags. For the sake of this exercise, I opted for a 2.5” x 3.5” tag. Measure and cut out your desired size tag in cardstock or use your pre-made tag. If creating your own from cardstock, take a moment to punch a hole at the top of the tag, as this will be used for inserting the ribbon or twine.

Step 2:
Using your lightest coloured ink pad, load your decorative stamp with colour. (It is best to try our a few test imprints on scrap paper to ensure that you are loading a proper amount of ink.) Place your stamp in the centre of the tag, pressing firmly to ensure a solid imprint. Set aside and allow the ink to dry for a few moments.

Step 3:
Load your alphabet stamp with your dark ink colour and imprint directly in the centre of the previous decorative motif. Allow to dry. If you do not have alphabet stamps, you can hand draw your letters, or trace fonts printed from your computer.

Step 4:
Now is the time to add embellishments. Using a fine paint brush, apply tiny dollops of craft glue to any desired areas of your print. This can be applied along swirly lines, on the edges of the letters, whatever you wish. Carefully sprinkle coordinating glitter over these glued areas. Shake off the excess set aside to dry.

Step 5:
Once all ink, glue and glitter has had time to dry thoroughly, shake off excess glitter.  Insert ribbon or twine into to punched hole. Affix to your gift and enjoy!

I love making these gift tags, as they allow for a more personal touch. If you have multiple recipients with the same initial, you can colour code them, or as I do, use upper case for the adults and lower case for the children. These can also be hung on the holiday tree as keepsake ornaments (especially if made out of balsa wood)

-Add a layer of decorative paper that is slightly wider in dimensions to the back of the tag. This will create a pretty border around the edges.
-Affix eyelets to the ribbon holes for a more clean, professional presentation.
-Use various shapes for your tags (circles, squares, oval, etc…)


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