We have a huge problem in our house with loose keys. I have no idea where they all come from, but keys abound! I’ve tried making simple DIY key tag labels for them in the past, but the paper couldn’t stand the test of time. Today, I’d like to show you the creative solution that I came up with for that!
For this tutorial, I wanted to make unique DIY key tag labels with strong visual cues. Ideally, you’ll just be able to memorize the shape and/or colors of the labels — you won’t even have to read to know which key is which! Here’s how to make them:
1. Print Out the Key Tag Labels PDF
First, download the (free) Key Tag Labels document, which you can find by clicking here. Print it off on the hardiest, heaviest paper you have, preferably white cardstock. Once you have printed the document, use scissors or an X-Acto knife to cut out the images.
2. Add Lettering and Designs
This part of the tutorial is where you’ll get really creative! Choose a shape, then use the lettering style of your choice to write out your key tag’s label. You can fill in the rest of the key tag shape with doodles or designs of your choice!
Next, use whichever medium you’re most comfortable with to add color to what you just drew.
Continue writing text and making designs on the shapes that you like.
You don’t have to use colored pencils to fill in all of your DIY key tag labels. I experimented with using some watercolor (for the “Basement” label), and I was pleased with the results!
3. “Laminate” the DIY Key Tag Labels
This step is the really cool part of this tutorial — and the thing that’s going to keep your key tag labels around for years to come! We’re going to laminate the labels in a unique way: with packaging tape. So, start by getting out a roll of packaging tape.
Next, cut off a strip of the packaging tape and lay the non-sticky side on a flat surface. The sticky side should be facing upward. Place one of your labels on the sticky side of the tape, and push down to secure the label to the adhesive.
Now, fold the tape in half over the label such that you can press the sticky sides of the tape together. The label should now be “trapped” in the tape.
Repeat this step with all of your DIY key tag labels.
4. Cut the Tape and Punch Holes
Now, use scissors to cut around the tape. You should try to leave 1/16″ (~2 mm) of tape around the shape. This way, the tape is more likely to hold its adhesive bond to the label over time.
Once you’ve cut out all the labels, use a small hole punch to make a little hole in each label. Make sure that the hole you punch is close to the edge of the graphic!
5. Pair the Tags with Keys
You can either use key chain rings or ribbon to join your DIY key tag labels to their keys. I used key chain rings because that’s what I had on hand, but ribbon would certainly give you more of an artistic look. (You could even take it a step further and make a necklace out of a long piece of ribbon, a key, and one of these graphics!)
If you’ve got some time this weekend, I encourage you to give this tutorial a try! Remember that you can customize these key tag labels to suit your personality and taste. I think that this is a really neat project because it presents a creative challenge and allows you to make something that’s very functional! Sometimes, art and functionality don’t dovetail quite as nicely, so that’s refreshing.
Again, you can find the free Key Tag Labels PDF by clicking here. If you give this tutorial a go and like the results, I’d love to see them on Instagram! You can tag me (@thepostmansknock) or hashtag #thepostmansknock. I very much look forward to seeing what you come up with! In the meantime, I’ve also got a calligraphy goodies giveaway going on; you can check that out here!
Thanks very, very much for reading TPK, and have an amazing weekend!