DIY luggage tags

Dear reader(s?),

Since today is my last day in Blighty (and probably my last post for a couple of weeks at least), I thought I’d leave you with a quick travel-themed post.  I was thinking about my scraps of fabric the other day, and I thought it would be fun to use up some of my remaining stash to make cute and durable luggage tags to take with me!

I took my usual approach to making things and just got stuck in without bothering to think too much about how I would actually do it, or reading any instructions.  As a result, what was intended to be a quick half-hour project turned into an epic marathon of failure requiring much more fabric than I had anticipated, and a whole lot more patience.  To save others the pain, here is a quick run-down of how to successfully make luggage tags first time.

You will need:

  • half a metre or so of fabric
  • some thin plastic (I used a CD wallet)
  • some fairly thick card
  • a button
  • some pretty ribbon

First, decide how big you want your tags to be and cut bits of plastic and card to size.  Mine are about 9×5 cm.

Then, lay your card on the wrong side of your fabric, and make a shape like this around it…

Recognise this print? I had some left over after the pants debacle.

You want twice the width of your card, plus 2 inches length at the bottom, half an inch at the top, plus the double triangle shape on top.  Mark the corners of the card, and cut a window about an inch smaller than the card,  Cut nice little slits at the corners so you can fold it under.

Then, fold over the edges of the window and sew your plastic rectangle on.

WARNING!  From now on, BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE IRON!  You don’t want to go get almost finished, then ruin it by melting a hole in your little window.

This is what sadness looks like.

Next, hem the top edge at the other side and fold over the top triangle to make this nice flappy shape.  This is where your button will go.

It’s taking shape now…

Don’t iron!

Believe me, it’s tough to fight the instinct to iron it at every step.

Just hold and pin it carefully.

Next, fold the whole thing in half with edges under to make a nice little pocket.  Sew the sides and bottom.

*You could do this step with the tag inside out, and then turn it right side out when you’re done (as you normally would), but I found that this crinkled the plastic horribly.  It’s easier to fold the edges under, then sew it carefully from the right side.

Ooh, it looks almost finished now, doesn’t it?  All you need are two buttonholes!

You should have some excess space at the bottom end for a nice wide buttonhole.  Make it wide enough for your ribbon – this is how you’ll attach the tag to your luggage.  Make another buttonhole on the flap, big enough for your button, and attach the button to the back of the tag.

And you’re done!  Insert the card, and your name and address (obviously), and tie it to your bag.

Now, admire how pretty it is and make a cup of tea while you try to remember where you left your passport.

See you on the other side, folks!


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