Recycled Gift Tag Tutorial

Hello again! I’ve never posted a tutorial with photos before. This is my first attempt. I like playing with my photo apps and this actually gave me another opportunity to do that. I hope you will enjoy the tutorial and find it interesting. You might get a laugh or two out of it, as well!

Homemade Gift Tags
I’ve been collecting warm beverage sleeves from our trips to the local cafe because I love the texture of the corrugated cardboard. I thought I’d cut them apart and use them in a scrapbook but then I read this post on Colorful Threads of Life blog. My husband drew my attention to the post and I really liked the ideas posted there which included nifty gift wrap ideas using recyclable items. So here’s my spin on homemade gift tags.

Supplies Needed
one warm beverage sleeve (will make 3 gift tags)
Scrapbook paper of your choice (scraps will work if they are at least 2.5″ square)
Hole Punch
Eyelets in desired size
Eyelet tool (which comes with most packets of eyelets)
Sharpie Marker in desired color
Optional Embellishments (i.e., glitter and glue or glitter glue, sparkly mesh fabric, ribbon/string/hemp cord)

Once you have all your supplies together (and you know how all the tools work… :O ), the project goes together pretty quickly.

Step 1:
Cut the warm beverage sleeve into pieces starting at the place where it’s been glued together. Mine were perforated so I cut along the glue line and along the perforation there.This opens up the sleeve and allows you to cut all the sections apart.

 I end up with 3 large cards and 2 small cards when the cutting is all done. Set aside the small cards for possible use later. (I’m thinking I’ll use mine as two-piece tags, one reading “To:” and the other reading “From:” but I’m sure I’ll need smaller eyelets for that.)

Step 2:
Taking one of the large tags from the previous step, use a pencil to trace this shape on the back side of your scrapbook paper. I chose to use Christmas paper because that holiday is fast approaching and I’m nowhere near ready for it!

Step 3:Cut out the shape you just drew on the scrapbook paper. You could also use scrapbooking stencils if you wish to create specific and perfect shapes for your tags. Just be sure the stencil is not too much larger than your tag. Unless you are using cardstock, the paper won’t be stiff enough to hold its shape. (For instance, if you want to cut out a star, if the points of the star extend beyond the edge of the cardboard tag, they will bend, ruining the appeal of your tag.)

 If you want some of the textured cardboard to show, cut inside the line you drew. I had to trim away a good bit before I was happy with the result.

Step 4:
Place your scrapbook paper, printed side up, on top of your cardboard tag. Place it where you want it and hold it in one hand. Using the hole punch, punch a hole for the eyelet you wish to use. The eyelets I chose were 3/16″ (4 mm) so I was able to use a standard single-hole punch. 

Step 5:The eyelet tool that comes with eyelets used in sewing has two parts: a thick, round disk with a bit of a groove in the top which the eyelet front will sit in; and a round cylindrical piece which is flat on one end and has a rounded and recessed point on the other. (I chose to use 2-piece eyelets which means they will have a back piece. They seem to have a smoother finish and are less likely to end up with rough edges.)

 Using the eyelet tool that came with my eyelets, I placed the top part of the eyelet face-down onto the round disk. This is important! Be sure the part of the eyelet you want to show is facing down on top of the round disk! If you don’t place your eyelet into the tool correctly, it will not hammer into place correctly and you’ll end up with sharp ragged bits of metal that look terrible and present a bit of a hazard. (Ask me how I know…)  Place the top part of the eyelet face-down onto the disc part of the tool. Place the scrapbook paper (face down) and cardboard tag (corrugated side down) on top of the eyelet, lining up the holes over the eyelet. You should see a metal tube rising above your paper pieces. Next, place the back piece of your eyelet over the paper and tube end of the top eyelet piece, lining up the holes. Be sure the rounded edge is facing up. Using the long cylinder, place the rounded point into the hole and gently pound the flat end with a hammer until the eyelet is locked in place. Be sure not to hammer too long, or your paper pieces will wrinkle.

Step 6:
Remove your tag from the tool…or your tools from the tag. Essentially, your tag could be used this way without any further embellishment, especially if you like a more rustic design. The Sharpie markers are used to address your gift tags. You can add any other embellishment you like to your tags to dress them up. I used a bit of glue and some superfine glitter on mine. I also used a length of cord (between 6 and 8 inches long) to string through the eyelets in my tags.

Here’s is the photo of my finished tags. I have four now because I had four pieces of scrapbook paper I wanted to use. I also like a bit of imperfection in my pieces so I’m not unhappy with the uneven edges or not-quite-perfect shapes I ended up with. I like that all my tags will be unique when I’m done creating them.

 Feel free to share this blog post. Any of the pictures can be clicked on to enlarge them. They are my photos, though, so please keep that in mind. I don’t mind if you copy and paste this blog post to a word document for your own personal use. Happy creating! 🙂