A New Life for Old Cards & Gift Wrap Scraps: DIY Gift Tags!

I LOVE CARDS. Based on my obsession with paper goods, it kinda goes without saying. But sometimes the handwritten hellos begin to pile up. The recycle bin is no place for gorgeous patterns or designs – I just can’t bear to throw a good card away. Eventually, it gets to the point where my bulletin board couldn’t possibly hold anything more. I have the same problem with gift wrap - if I have sheet wrap in a pattern I love, good luck getting me to discard the scraps, no matter the size. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to repurpose old paper materials, in even the tiniest of pieces, by making them into simple gift tags! There’s two routes I usually go with this: recycling old cards and recycling sheet wrap. Tracing Guide But first things first – the tag style! It’s totally doable to cut your tags free hand, but if you’d like a little help, download, print and cut out our handy tracing guide. I’d recommend printing on cardstock, so you have a more stable material to trace. RPS_gift_tags The guide has 4 tag options – one large scalloped design with a matching lil’ guy, and one large basic tag with a smaller matching companion. A heads up: the basic tag is WAY easier to cut. That being said, I think the scalloped ones are (as they say out here in northern California) “hella” cute, so you do you when choosing your tag style, you do you. Recycling Cards This only works for folded cards that have writing on only one of the interior panes. If your friends are long winded like me, taking up every inch inside of their cards, then you’re S.O.L. on this one. But if you’ve got a spare half-a-card written on pretty patterned stationery, all you gotta do is:
  1. Download, print, and cut out your tracing guide
  2. Chop your card in half and recycle the portion that was written on (or keep in in a box of memories, whatever you choose)
  3. Trace your tag design (most cards can make at least a few tags each)
  4.  Cut, hole-punch, and thread some twine or string through the hole to affix the tag to a gift
Materials: scissors, card to be recycled, tracing guide, hole punch, twine or string for affixing tags to gifts RPS-DIY  Recycling Gift Wrap Turning gift wrap into gift tags has the same steps as recycling cards: trace, cut, hole-punch. But to keep your tags from being too flimsy, I use rubber cement to adhere the gift wrap to cardstock prior to tracing and cutting the tag – that way you’ve got a sturdy enough material from the beginning, and your final product will be that much better.
  1. Download, print, and cut out your tracing guide
  2. Select your wrapping paper sample. Place pattern side down, evenly distribute rubber cement, and place the cardstock on top.  Apply pressure, smooth out any bubbles, and let it dry (I’m impatient, so it’s a miracle if I give it even 10 minutes and things usually turn out just fine)
  3. Trace your tag design (most cards can make at least a few tags each)
  4.  Cut, hole-punch, and thread some twine or string through the hole to affix the tag to a gift
Materials: scissors, gift wrap scraps, tracing guide, rubber cement, cardstock, hole punch, twine. Things to keep in mind: -        When you’re adhering your spare wrap to cardstock, try to avoid any places where the sheet was folded in its previous life as gift wrap, so that you have a smooth surface for your tag. -        Given the size of the gift tags, the hole made by a regular office style one-hole punch might be a bit large, but most craft stores carry single punches with a smaller diameter hole. -        I suggest tracing the tag design on the printed side of the card, just so you can see what parts of the pattern you’re getting, and to make sure it’s lining up how you like (particularly important on any designs that have straight lines – stripes, maps with latitude and longitude, etc.) Love gift tags but not into the whole DIY thing? Check out some of our favorites from Sugar Paper: an adorable anchor and a super cute birthday gift tag. Or cut to the chase and grab the gift tag stamp kit from Yellow Owl Workshop (I’m slightly obsessed). Looking for more DIY ideas? Or perhaps examples of packaging awesomeness? Check out our Pinterest boards “DIY & Crafts” and “Packaging & Gift Wrap.”

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