Saturday, 25 February 2017

Craft Along with GIY: a goth luggage tag with initials

February is almost over, so it is time for this years second Craft Along with GIY (Goth It Yourself). This month's theme is letters and numbers, so I decided to make a luggage tag with my initials on it.
Logo of Craft Along with GIY: Goth It Yourself
Alas, I have been a bit ill during this month (I had a cold and a fewer for almost two weeks) so I did not have energy nor time to acquire materials for a really fancy luggage tag. So once again I used paper board and my imagination. I do realize my craft projects are of a rather small caliber compared to many others. >_>

The good thing about paper board compared to leather or such more lasting materials is that paper board is lighter and hence one can make more decorations. Well, at least a person with limited crafting skills like I can make more elaborate decorations on it (compared to my skills with leather).

What you need:

  • paper board
  • sticky back plastic to make the tag more durable
  • a string of some sort
  • scissors or some other object suitable for cutting
  • pens
  • a ruler (if you want to make straight lines)
  • glue
  • little cut-out pictures or stickers
  • or what ever it is you want to decorate the tag with.
There is no correct or best way to do these steps. Some prefer to make the decorations and write their contact details on the tag before actually cutting it. Some don't. Here is the way I do these steps:

First, cut or draw the outlines for a suitable tag. It doesn't have to be the shape of a traditional tag, it can be a circle or a raven or what ever you want. As long as it doesn't become excessively large or so impractical a shape that it will be easily torn.

Draw and/or glue the decorations on one side. The theme of this Craft Along with GIY was letters and numbers, so I made my initials on the decorative side. I searched for fancy and elaborate fonts and tried to mimic one of them. It was much harder than I expected! I guess I am just not good at drawing. After several attempts, I am relatively pleased with the outcome. I started by drawing outlines with a pencil and then finished it with a silver pen.
Then glue or write your contact info on the other side. If you want, you can make tiny decorations on that side too. Just make sure that the side with the contact info is easy to read. After all, these tags are useful only in the situation in which you've lost your bag and some unknown person (probably an airport employee) possibly in a different country tries to read the tag. So no fancy goth-y fonts!

When the tag is looking nice, cut a place for the string. After all, you need to attach the tag on your luggage. I prefer to do this before adding the sticky back plastic, because this way I do not have to cut through multiple layers. This is mainly because I have no idea how strong my little punch machine is.

Almost finally: apply the sticky back plastic on the tag, both sides. You need to get as much air out as you can, so after applying it, "scratch" it like a lottery ticket. In the next photo you can see there is still some air right next to the edge of the paper board. Also, you'll notice I did this example tag without my actual contact info. It is quite on purpose, because it's a privacy thing. :)
When cutting the sticky back plastic into the shape of the tag, make sure you are not cutting too close. You need to leave a little border so that moisture cannot get in and ruin the contact info unreadable.

Finally: add the string or what ever it is you use to attach the tag to your luggage. Make sure the string is not too long, otherwise it can easily get caught on something and the tag might be torn away.
Now it is ready to use! Make a firm double knot and a decorative bow if you like.
The problem with my easy to make luggage tags is that once you've written your contact info (usually name, address & phone) and then shielded the tag with sticky back plastic, you cannot alter the contact info. On the other hand, these are relatively inexpensive, So just making a new one is not a big deal, if you move or your phone number changes.

Thanks for reading and do check out what Bane from GIY and other participants crafted!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Though I must say that the idea is not really mine, since so many people have made luggage tags and shared the instructions. :D

  2. Lovely! The store bought ones are nearwhere close to yours!

    1. Thanks! :D Of course one could also use Halloween stickers and stuff like that to make the tag even more goth-y.

  3. Ooh, I love this! And you provide such great instructions. Thanks for joining the craft-along. :D

    1. Thank you! *^_^* I think craft along is a wonderful idea, so happy that you created it!