Handmade gift tags are great. They’re even better when their total cost boils down to about $0.01 apiece. That’s precisely why I’m in love with these particular handmade gift tags, created using a folded-over note card and pen!
To make a gift tag like this one, fold over a note card (/index card — potato, poh-tah-toe). If you don’t have any note cards, Simply cut out a 3″ x 5″ piece of paper and fold it in half.
After you’ve done that, use a stencil to trace around the letter of your recipient’s name in pencil. You could always just freehand, too. My recipient is a “B”:
Here it is all traced out:
Now comes the fun part: adding text. There’s a trick adding text, and that trick is this: use different fonts (cursive, print, goofy print, eclectic cursive), different font styles (bold, italic, regular), and different font sizes. And always, always hug the traced letter with your writing. What you are doing is creating negative space so the recipient’s initial stands out.
So here’s the beginning…
And halfway into it…
And the end result:
So there’s the completed gift tag, pre-erasing. Here is a scan of it, post-erasing, so you can garner some inspiration as far as positioning and font style goes:
Sometimes when I’m making these particular handmade gift tags, I hit ruts. What to write, what to write? Here are a few things you should consider writing:
- Favorite restaurants/foods of the recipient
- Favorite songs/books/movies of the recipient
- Birth date of the recipient
- Recipient’s favorite places
- Funny phrases the recipient likes to say
- Messages you’d like the recipient to know (e.g. “I love you!” “I don’t like you that much but yours is the name I drew for the gift exchange.” “You make the best cherry cobbler of anyone I know.”)
Etcetera, etcetera. If you’re absolutely at a loss, resort to combining doodles (stars, circles, spirals) with the text.
After you are finished creating the front of the gift tag, simply punch a hole in it, write a little something on the inside, string it through some twine, and you’re good to go! The stark black and white contrasts beautifully with simple brown paper and jute twine.
I absolutely love the look of these handmade gift tags and have even made a large work of art in the same style, which I gave to my boyfriend as a gift. So if you know enough about the person (i.e. if you can generate enough text), this technique works wonders as an actual piece of art to frame. Don’t take it too seriously; this is a fun project that shows thoughtfulness and affection for those you care about!