Do you love dressing up your presents? Making them special and unique? I’ve got to admit, that’s kind of my mission. For as much thought and effort as I put into the perfect gift, I want it to show from the moment the recipient sees the box. So adding personal and handmade touches – like these custom gift tags – is something I love to do!
- Shrink Plastic
- Core’dinations Sand It Gadget
- Hole Punch
- Your Own Graphics and Inkjet Printer (or permanent markers if you’re a better artist than I am!)
- Craft Cord
I had a lot of fun experimenting with ways to use my inkjet printer to print my own designs and names! I also learned a lot along the way, so while you’ll see some great results, I’m not afraid to show you what didn’t work so well. You can learn from what worked (and didn’t work) for me. If you don’t have a printer or just prefer to hand-draw your designs, you can also use Sharpie markers to draw and hand write your tags!
To run your paper through the printer, you will need to sand one side of it. This gives the ink something to “grab” – otherwise it will smear. I love my core’dinations sand it gadget for small projects like this. To get a nice, even sanding job, I sand in 4 directions: vertically, then horizontally, then diagonal in both directions. This ensures you don’t miss a spot, and that no grooves are deeper than others. Now, wipe it with a damp cloth and allow it to dry fully. You don’t want anything clogging up your print heads!
Design your graphics and print them. They need to be big – they will shrink down to about 1/3 the size. You want to test your printer paper orientation to be sure you’re printing on the sanded side of the shrink plastic.
One thing I learned: the more ink your design takes, the more likely it is to bleed. The thick fonts I used didn’t turn out well, but the thinner lines turned out nice and crisp. The fonts I had good luck with were Reklame Script (for Raya) and Pupcat (Adrianne). The snowman also turned out beautifully! It was just a design I printed from the clip art in Word.
More Project Ideas
Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at happyhourprojects.com where the theme is tutorials and recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Her favorite projects are jewelry-making, paper crafts, and recycled crafts. She participates annually in ArtPrize, an international art competition, and she’s the author of the book DIY T-Shirt Crafts: 50 Ways to Recycle a T-Shirt (August 2015).