Friday, November 26, 2010

gift tags

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With the holiday season upon us I'm definitely on a gift tag making kick. As soon as I saw this leather case I thought it would be a great point to take off for another tag idea. This involves some digital work at the beginning and then a bit of cutting and construction at the end. These would be great for Secret Santa gifts where you want the "From" part of your tag hidden.

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The ingredients for this piece are really simple. I selected a photo (top left) that inspired me to create a pattern that is not holiday related and can be used at any time during the year. I used Adobe Illustrator to create a similar pattern by using solid rectangles and a the more subtle option of outlined shapes.

I originally selected red and gray as my colors but I ended up only working with the red.

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I printed an entire letter sized sheet with the pattern I created.

I then proceeded to cut out a shape shown at the top. Measurements aren't necessarily important here, but proportions are. Just make sure that the two large rectangles are exactly the same size and make sure that you have two tabs as indicated in the diagram. Add a bit of glue to the tabs and close the envelope. Cut out a curve centered at the top (that goes through front and back) and you're done with the envelope.

Cut out a gift card and punch a hole at the top for ribbon. Make sure that the card is snug inside the envelope, so that the latter doesn't fall off.

While making the top envelope and tag I thought of a simpler option—a matchbox type card. This only involves cutting out a shape that is like the bottom diagram. Make sure that the added lengths of side A and side C are at least 1/8" longer than side B. That will allow for the matchbox side A to tuck under side C, when folded and closed. A bit of glue or a staple should be used to hold side C attached to side B. Make sure that a small edge is left unattached so that the cover can tuck under it.

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So here are the two tags. Now you can give your gifts and tuck your name safely away until it is time for the big reveal.

Remember that the pattern you just created can be used for printing out matching gift wrap, suitable for small items.


  1. Thanks for the template. These are great, and I'm excited to try some. So I have a question. My cousin is getting married and wants me to design her invitations. Do you have any suggestions as to where I can have them printed? Obviously she's asking me because she doesn't want to spend a lot of money :), but I'd still like them to look nice, on some high quality paper, with a bleed. Any suggestions? Oh, and I live in Salt Lake. Thanks!!

  2. Kiersten - I guess anyone here can answer, and maybe others will too--I work with several printers in Salt Lake and have designed and printed many invitations over the years. If you are looking for a bleed, and low price, you also need to consider quantity and how many colors. If you are doing a low quantity (under 250), digital printing is a good option. Alexanders is a great place. They have nice coated and uncoated standard stock, but they also have some specialty papers with texture that are available (not all digital printers carry options). Tom Thompson is my rep there and is super to work with. I've got pics of my niece's invites that I printed there

    Good luck!

  3. That's a great pattern! I love how you were inspired by a photo.


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