Monday, December 10, 2012

Personalized Gift Tags

Well, I made it to Monday!  It was looking a little grim on Saturday as Tots and I were taking turns strategically invading the Wal-Mart toy section and then coming back out to the curtain aisle to regroup.  It was madness!  So many tantrum-throwing toddlers (not excluding my own), fumbling parents (again, not excluding myself), eye-rolling teens and tweens, and bickering couples.  Yikes.  Merry Christmas?  On a slightly unrelated topic, if you’re looking to buy curtains, now is the time!  That was the least crowded aisle we found.

After exerting all of that energy, sacrificing my Saturday (and my sanity), and spending my hard-earned money on all of those great gifts, what’s next?  Well, if you’re an over-achiever or a glutton for pain and punishment (and trust me, I’m really not either of those things… so it’s ok if you’re not either), hand-made gift tags, of course!

Are you rolling your eyes at me yet?  Because that’s probably what I would be doing right now if I were reading this.  And then I would probably quickly click out of that blog and find something a little more my speed, like “How to make your store-bought pies look homemade,” or “The domestically-challenged woman’s guide to not sucking at Christmas” (I don’t know if either of those blogs exist, but I’m probably going to look for them after I’m done typing this).  Stick with me.  I promise this won’t be too painful. 

Every year, Tots and I end up overestimating the time we have until Christmas, meaning we shop at the last minute and then rush home and wrap everything the night before our big gift exchange(s).  We buy sticky labels and quickly scribble names on them or (gasp) skip the labels altogether and sharpie the name of the recipient onto the wrapping paper.  At our Christmas gatherings, we would show up with our shamefully wrapped gifts, and every year I would swear to do better next time. 

Even though the packaging isn’t the important part of the gift (and arguably, the gift isn’t even the most important part of the gift; isn’t it supposed to be the thought behind it?), nice packaging makes the gift seem more thoughtful and personal, in my opinion.  After receiving several nicely wrapped gifts with handmade bows and name tags, I decided that I wasn’t last minute sharpie-ing it this year.  It was time to upgrade. 

Don’t worry, these name tags are super easy, as long as you have a Cricut machine or something similar.  If you don’t have anything like that, you could take the time to hand cut the letters (which I don’t recommend), or wait for my next post, where I’ll show you some other name tags I’m making.

Here’s your material list:
Wax paper
Hairspray (Spray glue would probably be better, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used my cheap super-hold freezing hairspray.  I swear this stuff is just glue that washes out with shampoo.  Also, I’m not sure about flammability/meltiness of spray glue.  Since I didn’t use it, I can’t vouch for its effectiveness)
Card stock or decorative paper
Tea towel

First, cut your letters.  I went ahead and cut all of my letters at once, so I could clean up my Cricut and put it away before O got too interested in what I was doing.

Next, arrange your letters on a small piece of wax paper, and dust it with a light coat of your spray glue.  I found it was best to hold the hairspray can as far up as my arm would reach, and let the spray fall onto the wax paper, so the blast of air didn’t move my letters once I had placed them.  You know you’re doing it right if you feel ridiculous.  

Now, cut another small piece of wax paper, and put it on top of your sprayed letters, like a hairspray sandwich. 

Cover it with a thin towel (I found that a tea towel worked well), crank your iron up (I had mine on the highest setting), and iron your wax paper hairspray sandwich for about 15-30 seconds.  You’ll know it’s done when you see the paper has fused between all of the letters.

Then I added some red card stock around the edges of the wax paper, and stuck it to the gifts.  

There you have it… really easy, right?  Let me know what you think, and post your pictures if you do this too!  I would love to see what you guys come up with!

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