Saturday, September 22, 2012

Making Custom Luggage Tags #tutorial

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One of the things that I like to do prior to a family vacation/gal pal trip is make custom luggage tags. I've got them from many Disney trips.  You can see a line up of some past ones above...still attached to my rolling backpack. I thought I'd share with you how I make them in case you want to make your own for your next trip.

As with any good project, you should start by gathering all of your tools and supplies.  Here is what you're going to need.

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Chances are you'll have everything you need already, except maybe laminating sheets...but I've suggested a few alternatives you might have...here are the supplies
  1. You'll need the actual tags, printed out...preferably on cardstock.  We'll walk through how to make them in just a minute.
  2. You'll need something to cut them with.  I'm using my paper cutter here from my scrapbook supplies, but scissors work just fine. 
  3. You'll need something to laminate with.  I have a fancy little electric laminator that I picked up at Big Lots about ten years ago for $10...love...that...thing.  If you don't have a machine you can use self adhesive labeling/laminating sheets (there is a set shown in the picture that I have on hand for bigger projects) or, you can use what my friend Becky uses...clear packing tape...just stick it on - works GREAT!
  4. Finally, you'll need something to punch a hole with.  I have a Crop-A-Dile Big Bite...you could use a hole punch or a hammer and nail for that matter.
Optionally, you can add some grommets to reinforce/decorate the area where you punch the hole for fastening these to your bag.

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I'm going to use the star shaped grommets you see above.  No matter what you use, you'll need to make sure it is 3/16" or wider if you're using my method of attachment.  After many, many, many experiments my go to fastener of choice is a plain old zip tie.  If you look at the very first pic, you can see how the tags are attached to the strap on my bag with zip ties.  In addition to adding these to my rolling backpack, I do normally put one on my regular suitcase.  I also put a plain index card inside my suitcase with my name, address, phone number, etc. on it in case the airline loses it and it loses its airline assigned tag.  My luggage has been on some pretty good trips without me so it's a good idea to add multiple IDs - and make sure to include one inside your bag.  

After you gather your supplies, it's time for the fun part...designing the tags. I started doing these about eight years ago, so at the time all I had at my disposal was PowerPoint...hence why I still use that.  I have a PowerPoint template that I use for these and then just customize the text, front decoration and color each time I use them. You can download the template here.

Showing you how I edit these in PowerPoint is a little easier than typing you through it so I have a quick video (about four minutes) to show you the basics of what I do.  If you know how to use PowerPoint, you can probably skip the video.  If you don't know how to use PowerPoint or don't understand something, drop me a note in the comments and I'll try to explain more clearly.


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In the video, I used these cute little photo tags that I saw on Pinterest. You might remember them from this weekly roundup post.

                                                                      Source: uprintables.blogspot.com.au via Kara on Pinterest

After you've designed your tags, proofed them, and printed them - preferably onto cardstock, it's time to assemble.

My fancy little laminating machine has one fault...it takes forever to heat up.  So, I switch it on before I start cutting out the cards...normally once I have everything assembled, the light is on and they are ready to go.  If you're using another laminating method, you don't have to worry about this part.

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Now, cut out the cards and put the two pieces together.  Make sure to check that you've got everything heading in the right direction.  You can use a bit of tape or glue to secure the two pieces together.  I didn't do that here and they seem to hold together fine.  However, if you're using laminating sheets or tape, adhering the two pieces to one another will probably make your life much easier.

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Next, it's time to laminate them.  I have these bigger laminating pouches so I can fit two in the same pouch.  I'll just feed them through the machine and then cut between them.  Just be sure to leave enough space between multiple cards to cut them out.  If you're using the laminating sheets, you just follow the instructions on the package...be sure to leave a little border of lamination around the actual card stock.  With tape you'll probably just want to wrap the card in the tape and then when you punch the hole, you'll punch directly in the card.


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I actually fed them through the laminating machine a little too quickly and they stuck together so I had to do a do over on those two sets...you get to see the photo of my error.  Don't go to fast or you'll have to do it again.

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After you've laminated the tag, it's time to punch the hole so you can attach it to your bag.  If you're using a commercial punch like me, follow the instructions on the package for punching the hole and setting the grommet (if you're doing that step).  

Here is a look at the finished product ready to go on my bag...just add zip ties.

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And, if you've not figured it out by now, these tags are currently in use on our (hopefully since I've pre-posted this) AWESOME trip to Disneyland and Disney Cruise along the California coast.  I'm back home soon though so sadly when you read this...the trip will be nearly over.  Can't wait to share what I hope are wonderful pics and memories with all of you when I return!

1 comment:

  1. Cute idea! Now that the kiddo has moved out, I have a room to do these things.

    ReplyDelete

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