Thursday, August 12, 2010

Make Your Own Tags Tutorial

Phoebe, the creative artist behind HIPpadBaby is not only generous enough to sponsor this week giveaway (Enter to win one of her original size changing pads here), but she is providing a great tutorial on how to make your own tags.

Want to know more about Phoebe and her shop? Click here to read my interview with her.

Easy 8-up self-made tags:
1. Here’s a technique to make product tags 8 at a time on an 8.5” x 11” standard piece of paper.
First design a basic tag, with your logo, website url, product information, etc. You can make the tags really any size you like, mine are 2.5” x 3” which I feel is a good size for my product and fit 8-up nicely on a letter size paper.

Once you have your tag designed, lay out 8 tags (or however many of your size fit) butted up side-by-side in the middle of a sheet.

In this photo, I’ve put an outline around the edge of the tags, just so you can see how to lay them out. However, you will NOT put an outline on your tags on the real layout.

2. Now here is the key part: At the corners and all the intersecting lines, make small crop marks (just thin little lines) which are not touching the edges of the tags.

You can see here, again with the outline showing just for position, there is about 4 mm of space in between the edge of the tags and the crop marks. These crop marks will show you where to cut.

3. The crop marks should be at every intersecting edge, the middle dividing line (if you have them stacked in two rows like mine), and the corners. Here’s a photo of how the page will look without the edge outlines.

You can see on my layout that the crop marks on the right side of the page are tiny; this is where my printer cuts off, and wouldn’t print the complete lines. That’s ok, as long as you have a guide of some sort. But you do have to figure out what your printer will do and lay out your page to accommodate that.

4. Glue up: Use a piece of cardstock to make the tags thicker. Set up your cardstock on a flat surface, put it on two overlapping pieces of clean scrap paper. Take your tag layout page outside and thoroughly spray-glue the back side. I lay it face down on a couple pieces of clean scrap paper to keep it clean and catch some of the overspray. Make sure to do this in really well-ventilated area, and even wear a chemical mask if you have one, this stuff stinks! Let the glue settle, then bring the layout to the cardstock and position and stick down. If it’s not perfectly square on the cardstock, no problem, since you’re going to cut off the edges anyway. The scrap sheets under the cardstock will keep any sticky from getting on your work surface. Lay more clean scrap over the whole thing and use a brayer (roller) to firmly adhere the two layers together.

5. If you want a back on your tags, repeat the glue-up process to put a backside on the back of the now two-layer tag layout/cardstock. Use a piece of fabric for mine to correspond to my product. Paper is way easier to cut, though, so you might want to use a fancy paper with a nice pattern. If you use fabric or anything thin and flexible, it’s way easier to lay the material down on your work surface, as you did with the cardstock, and spray-glue and stick down the layout to that, than the other way around. Again, don’t worry about any overhang.

6. Cutting: Now, with your three-layer sheet, use a straightedge and xacto knife to cut the tags loose. Here is the trick: carefully line up the ruler exactly next to the line of crop marks and cut from the end of the starting crop mark to the end of the ending crop mark WITHOUT cutting through the edges of the sheet.

Use some firm pressure to get through the layers. Repeat with all the lines, being sure not to cut through the edges/outer ring of the page. When you’re done it will look like this:

As soon as you move what’s left of the page, all the tags should come loose if you’ve cut thoroughly through.

7. Now take each individual tag and use a hole-punch to make a hole. I use a special slotted punch, but a normal round one works just fine.

If you use fabric, you’ll likely need to use your xacto to clean up some fringes at the edges and hole.

Hope this works for you! Happy tag making.


  1. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Thanks so much for this! Great info..... I feel inspired to go give it a try! You're never short on creativity! I love visiting your blog! Kirsten :)