Handmade Gift Tags using Paper Aged with Tea
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.
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 …
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!)
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.
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).