Vintage Valentine love gift tags

It seems like in the last weeks I have been obsessed by the gift tags. On one hand this is part of my business. On the other hand, the small space offered by a gift tag gives me a great opportunity to try different techniques and, of course, the chance to say a lot.

vintage style gift tags in brown with red hearts in a cage watercolour drawing

The Capsule Craft concept

The interesting thing about these gift tags is they are made by following 100% the Capsule Craft concept. After I created it for myself, my creativity and desire to experiment really grew a lot. With very restricted colours and paper designs and elements I am inspired to make my own. And, for now, it works very well. Also, my craft space is not a mess anymore and I am saving a lot more money. Of course, I still have this desire to “go around” the online craft shops and see what is new. But for the time being, it is only “window shopping”. I am tough – oh, very tough! – because of the image of my almost empty craft table and also the nice healthy balance on my debit card.

If you are curious about the Capsule Craft concept, you can check my article Capsule Craft Collection which summarizes the principles, or read my book  with the full story including how the idea was born.

So, following the main principle, I used only white watercolour paper to create these Vintage style Valentine love gift tags. Oh, such a looooong name!

Making the background

First, for a template, I used some old clothes tags. My idea was this: someone designed them with a shape and size which people like or, at least, accept. There was a lot of work put into them already, so why not use them? For me tags must be attractive, but, because they are hanging, must also be comfortable and not easy to break.

clothes paper tags in brown, beige and dark grey

So, using these gift tags, I draw the main shape of the background.

white watercolour paper with shapes of gift tags drawn and a single gift tag already cut

After that I printed some of Shakespeare’s sonnets with beautiful fonts on simple, white, office  printer paper.

printed Shakespeare's sonnets

And tore them into shapes, having in mind the shape and the size of the background tags.

printed Shakespeare's sonnets, torn apart

After that, I put the pieces and the tags in warm instant coffee. I had already experimented with English black tea, with real coffee from an Italian moka pot and now – with “Nescafe Gold Green blend”. The colours are a bit different. The coffee ones are a bit more yellowish and the tea ones are more orangish.

pieces of paper with printed Shakespeare's sonnets sinking in coffee

If you want, after soaking in the coffee, you can crinkle the pieces of paper. I did it between two layers of paper serviettes, because I wanted to be sure will not destroy them too much. But if your idea is to make them look more “beaten”, be brave and twist and tear.

crinkled wet paper with Shakespeare's sonnets

See, now the main elements are ready.

dried coffee died rectangles, tags and printed paper

I also die cut some white rectangles but decided not to coffee die them and to keep them as a colour accent.

little white watercolour rectangles, not coffee died

Decorating the background

First, using a transparent water-based glue (Elmer’s Washable Clear glue), I pieced together Shakespeare’s words and the background tags.

gift tag background and printed paper with Shakespeare's sonnets, glued on it

After that, using an Acrylic mousse I made some 3D floral elements in the corners. Unfortunately, I had only baby pink (Brrrr! Not useful in this case!), bright blue (Love it, but… not now!) and light purple. So, I decided to work with the last one.

Acrylic mousse, stencils and metal spatula

And, after the mousse dried, I blended it with a brown ink to age the colours a little bit. You can see my favourite handmade DIY blending tools here.

blending the 3D decoration with brown ink

The last step was to stamp some floral elements…

Vintage Valentine love gift tags with floral stamped decoration

And the tag backgrounds were ready!

Vintage Valentine love gift tags

Last steps

The next step was to use the white rectangle pieces and to draw hearts with red watercolours. When the watercolours dried, I stamped black cages on top of them. I don’t know why, but this image of a caged heart is one of my favourites in the last few days.

watercolour drawing of a red heart and black cage stamp

The next step was to glue the heart rectangles onto the little coffee dyed top elements

watercolour heart rectangle glued on a bigger coffee died tag element

And to tie them up with some brown-white cotton thread.

In this type of gift tag you can not only write your wishes on the main back part, but also can put a secret message in the back side of the little ones. Which I really love! Surprise your loved ones with something, which is not visible at first sight. Make them find your message later!

Vintage Valentine love gift tags - ready

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