Have Tag Will Travel (Tutorial)

A nice sturdy luggage tag is a big help when you’re trying to recognize your suitcase among all the others. It’s essential if your luggage is lost or misplaced, but it’s not a good idea to have your address readily visible. These tags proclaim the owner loud and clear, but keep contact information tucked inside yet accessible when needed.

Luggage tags were my go-to holiday gift this past season, and people really seemed to like them and want to know how to make them, so here they are.

Materials & Tools

  • black (or any deep color) paper, not too heavy, cut 3” X 10½”
  • x-acto knife and cutting mat
  • ruler
  • pen and white ink or gouache (I used Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleedproof White)
  • ¼” hole punch
  • blank white stickers, approximately 2 ¼ “ X 3 ¼ “ (I used Staples name badge labels)
  • ¼ “ (6 mm) eyelet kit (I used Dritz from Jo-Ann Fabrics)
  • hammer
  • sticky-backed Velcro dots (found these at Jo-Ann’s and at FedEx Office). Alternatively, you can purchase larger pieces and cut them to size, as long as they’re self-adhesive.
  • plastic loops for luggage tags known as “worms” [at office stores they usually come in packs of 25 along with laminating pouches (pouches are too small for this project), but they also are available separately in packs of 100 online at http://stores.ebay.com/Pouch-and-Coil__W0QQ_sidZ3406767?_nkw=worm&submit=Search]
  1. Lightly pencil in vertical dotted lines to define writing area. These lines will also be scored after laminating. Do not fold yet!
  2. Calligraph name in glorious Spencerian, slightly to the right in the space to leave room for the eyelet.
  3. Take to office store, (i.e. Staples or FedEx Office) and have laminated with 5 mil film. Three mil would also work but 10 is too thick to fold.
  4. Trim lamination close to paper all around, leaving about 1/16” to 1/8” of film. Optionally, trim corners (I use a corner punch for this).
  5. Score firmly along penciled lines on front (side where name is written).
  6. Fold shorter (2 ½”) side toward back and punch hole as shown through two layers.
  7. Place sticker on back of tag directly opposite name inscription. It will be on the inside of the luggage tag.
  8. Insert eyelet through both holes so that it holds the fold in place. (You may need to widen the hole a little by pushing a pen or pencil through it.) Use tools (“anvils”) that come with eyelets and secure with hammer.
  9. Fold longer (3 ½”) side and tuck under shorter side. It will probably stay in place as is, but will be more securewith Velcro dots attached.
  10. Loop “worm” through eyelet as shown.