Do you like gift tags? I love them. But if you read my blog, you already know this. They are great, especially for Christmas and especially if you have a big family and a lot of friends and want to send everyone a nice personal message.
For example, I don’t make big presents, but bake and decorate my own gingerbread cookies and wrap them up with little gift tags. In this way I am doing two things – first, I am gifting my time, knowledge and skills and second, – hey, people, do we really need so many things?
If you are often reading my blog, you have probably seen the article about the Capsule Craft Collection. The book is also ready, so if you are interested about the time-and-money-saving philosophy, you can read it. The good thing with tags is that you are using less paper (saving trees), you are making less clutter in other people’s homes (because a lot of people keep their greeting cards for years), and the message is the same as the one in big greeting cards, “I am thinking about you!”.
So, let’s start making these easy Christmas pocketed gift tags
Do you know why I love pocketed gift tags so much? Yes, because in the pocket you can put another small message. If you remember my first article about the pocketed gift tags, you also remember the shape of the pocket:
So, take your pocket template and cut some pockets and also – some tags. In this picture you see I am using as a template my old favourite gift tag, which came with a magazine and the shape and the size is great for my needs. The paper is also important – in my case – good quality white watercolour paper.
Creating a vintage look
Let’s say we made 3 pockets and gift tags.
Sinking them in hot coffee is the best and fastest way to create the look of old, sunburned paper. Soak them for not more than 2-3 minutes and dry them in the microwave oven. I am doing this to save time.
One of the things I like in the vintage look are the handmade cotton laces. I think they are just wonderful! So, I crocheted some cotton snowflakes. Well, I hope they look like snowflakes… If you can’t crochet, you can ask a friend to make them for you or buy them from a craft shop. Or learn crochet – it is easy and a very relaxing activity.
So, now we have the paper pieces and the cotton snowflakes.
A save-the-day idea
When I started to make these Christmas pocketed gift tags, I didn’t realize all my modelling paste is coloured. Pink, turquoise and violet. Instead of asking friends for a small amount or going to the shop, I decided to experiment.
So, mixed in a porcelain plate 1:3 Elmers Washable Clear glue and a simple white dough. The paste was not perfect and next time I am planning to try with white clay cosmetic powder, but it works.
I put the paste on a snowflake stencil to try it…
…and see what happened:
After that I dried the experimental piece in the microwave – 600 W for ½ minute. The paste dried and the result was great.
Here is the place to say that the best way to spread your modelling paste is not with a spatula, but with a simple old plastic debit card. And do you know why I am saying debit card instead of credit card? Because I don’t have credit cards and plan never to have one.
Ok, I made the same stencilled snowflakes on the pockets and also added some extra white with a white ink pad and my favourite blending tool …
…and an acrylic marker
If I am honest, the acrylic marker did the better job. And when it is possible, I always prefer acrylics – they are fast drying and water resistant.
How to treat the cotton snowflakes
My idea was to show the cotton snowflakes in all their beauty. So, I needed them to be transparent and stiffer. To achieve this, I treated them very thoroughly with Apli varnish glue. It dries fast on textile and becomes transparent when it dries and also makes the textile really stiff.
It was very important to treat the snowflakes on both sides. I also used a thick brush to be sure that the glue entered deeply into every little space between the cotton threads.
Then I dried the snowflakes with my hairdryer.
And they were ready!
When the snowflakes were ready, I first tied the cotton threads on the gift tags.
Then, glued on the snowflakes. The central hole of the snowflake had to be aligned with the hole in the gift tag. See how it looks from the back:
Then I only had to glue on the pockets and I did it by spreading glue only on the small folded parts.
Then I had to choose the proper cotton lace for some extra decoration. My choice was between white and beige. Because the snowflakes are beige, it is easy to decide to use beige lace too, but with more beige the gift tags somehow lost their “brightness”. I decided to use the white one and looking at the result, think it wasn’t a mistake.
And the Christmas pocketed gift tags were ready! It took me less than an hour to make these three. If I was not digging into storage boxes to find out that I have only coloured modelling paste and was not experimenting to compensate it would have been even faster. This is why, I am saying these gift tags are easy. Preparing the materials for the project saves a lot of time and make the thing easy, which is especially important during the very busy pre-Christmas period.
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