Handmade Gift Tags using Paper Aged with Tea

handmade gift tag using vin

Hi! I have another little holiday DIY today. These are gift tags that I made with plain white marking labels, that I made to look aged by dying them with tea.

In a nutshell for those on the go ... Here you will find:
(1) a diy on aging paper with tea
(2) a tutorial on making gift tags
(3) a tutorial on making better tags. Better because they are re-usable.

You can use any stickers for this project, but I loosened up my steely grip on some of my treasured vintage Christmas seals to make mine.

I admittedly have a problem in that I collect old paper goods, (previously unused greeting cards, gift wrap, valentines, Christmas and other seals (stickers), writing paper, and gift tags), but then I can barely get myself to part with them! In many cases the original copies I have could be the last ones existing in the world, because of course, these things were meant to be used and not squirreled away. Greeting cards were signed, wrapping paper torn from the contents it hid, seals licked and stuck to something.

I have given some of the cards away, but instead of signing them, I enclosed a note which included an explanation as to why I would strangely send an unsigned card! The recipient could then give it to someone else if they wanted to, or put it someplace to keep.

vintage christmas seals

But, as you can see by the picture, I have a whole package of these vintage Christmas seals, so I decided to use some to make these gift tags. 'Lighten up Savesy Girl', I said to myself. I could certainly stand to use some and still have plenty left to keep in my collection.

Anyway, back to these Christmas Gift Tags ...

plain white marking tags

using tea to age paper

dying paper with tea

aging paper with tea

white tags aged with tea

white paper aged with tea

For a base I used some run-of-the-mill plain white labels, but I wanted to make them look aged, so I dyed them in tea. -- Two tea bags, to one cup of boiling water. Allow to steep a few minutes. Soak paper for five minutes. I left the strings attached and dyed it too. Lay flat and dry overnight.

They came out a bit warped after they had dried, so I ironed them between cotton. I removed the strings by just cutting the knots, before I ironed them.

(And while I had the iron hot, I also flattened some used wrapping paper for reuse. I haven't bought new gift wrap in years. But then again, I don't have children to gleefully rip the paper off their presents, as they should do!)

diy gift tags with vintage

Then, because the glue on the old seals could not be trusted to stick well, I covered the back of each seal with glue using a glue-stick and getting it right to the edges, and applied them to the tags. I attached a piece of ribbon or wool, wrote my message on the back, and tied them to my packages.

diy gift tags using vintage

handmade gift tag with vint

gifts wrapped with diy tags

That was for the things I was giving away to people who live outside my home. For us, I wanted to make tags that I could reuse every year, so I laminated them with packing tape (instructions here).

diy reusable gift tags

diy laminated gift tag

xo loulou

See my post about ..
The Origami Stars on the gifts
Vintage Christmas Cards
Vintage Christmas Seals and Tags
Vintage Valentines
Vintage Halloween Seals

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13 Responses to Handmade Gift Tags using Paper Aged with Tea

  1. SO crafty , loulou! i LOVE this post!!!! xO!

  2. mariette says:

    I am wondering if that could be my Xmas present? LOL

  3. I’ll admit that I too collect paper goods…mostly greeting cards and vintage postcards but I have yet to liberate myself of them.
    I always say “I’m going to mail this postcard” or “I’m going to use these cards” but then I find that I am emotionally attached to them and I can’t bare to let them go.
    I know…it’s a problem ;)
    I have started contemplating framing some of my vintage postcards to create a wall mural…but that’s a project that only someone as fabulously creative as you could do ;)

  4. shakti says:

    I’d have a hard time using those seals too! So cute! Great idea laminating them

  5. Vix says:

    I remember you commenting about collecting old stationary ! Those labels are brilliant. We used to make treasure maps as kids and age them with tea but your version is far more elegant! x

  6. This is such a great idea! Really lovely! I have yet to get (well, make) all my Xmas presents. So behind! So I’m not quite at the wrapping stage yet ;)

  7. louise says:

    I am having a little chuckle at your protectiveness over your hoard, that said I can totally understand it too, they are lovely things. It’s nice to share them though, they look so pretty as gift tags and ageing them is a much better idea than just using plain labels. X

  8. Shoko says:

    beautiful! i’ve tea-dyed fabric before but never paper – love it!

  9. Annika says:

    What a cute idea. They look lovely. Tea staining has been on my to-try list forever!

  10. These are so sweet and adorable. I love them. And I love your idea of laminating yours to use again.

  11. Loulou says:

    Thank you friends :) I am very happy you like these gift tags.

  12. Liv+Dave= says:

    Lucky people are ones, receiving gifts from you ;)
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

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