Thursday, June 2, 2011

DIY: Gift Card Luggage Tag

Whenever I’m waiting for my luggage at an airport carousel, it’s like I’m in a sea of blackness. Black bags everywhere. I’m always squinting to see if my black bag is coming around the bend. Maybe if I used something personalized like a luggage tag, I would be able to pick out my bag more easily.

Luggage tags often come with the bag you buy but they are quite indistinct, so I thought I’d make a fun tag. I had more used gift cards and considering their sturdiness, I thought I could use that to my advantage in this project.

One of the things I wanted to take into consideration is that luggage tags tend to have a removable slip of paper for your information that’s under a plastic window. I wanted that same versatility in my tag, so I thought about everyday plastic items that I could use, and a resealable plastic bag came to mind. Using these commonplace items, I think I came up with a fairly cute luggage tag.

  • Used gift card
  • Resealable plastic bag (or some type of sturdy clear plastic)
  • Contact paper (or you could try duct tape or bumper stickers)
  • Silver permanent pen
  • Double-sided permanent tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife (and self-healing cutting mat)
  • Hole punch (3/16 inch size) and hammer
  • Ribbon
  • Paper

— 1 —
Cut out a rectangle slightly larger than the gift card size from the contact paper.

— 2 —
Adhere the contact paper to the back of the gift card. With an X-acto knife, remove any excess contact paper from all sides of the gift card. This will be the back side of the card.

— 3 —
Using an X-acto knife cut out a second piece of contact paper that is about an inch longer and wider than the gift card. (You want to have your edges straight so when the contact paper is folded over later the edges look nice).

— 4 —
Using the silver permanent pen, draw the design you want onto the contact paper. (I knew I wanted to draw a pattern that would look fine no matter where it was placed on the card. However, you can wait to draw on the contact paper until it’s adhered to the card if you prefer.) This will be for the front side of the card.

— 5 —
Adhere the second piece of contact paper to the front of the gift card (and make sure that the contact paper on the two longer sides and bottom short side are about the same distance from the card—about half an inch. The top short side doesn’t matter since the contact paper will be trimmed later).

— 6 —
With your scissors, cut the resealable bag open. Cut a rectangle that is approximately the size of the gift card, except at the top that should be about 0.625 inch shorter. (So my plastic piece was about 2.125 inch by 2.75 inch.)

— 7 —
On the back side of the card, cut a piece of double-sided permanent tape that’s the length of one of the plastic long sides (about 2.75 inch). If necessary, cut the width of the tape to fit within the width of the contact paper sides. (I cut my tape about 0.0625 inch off of the width of my half inch tape. You want the tape to be less than the width of the contact paper so that the tape won’t show through the plastic). Adhere the tape to the long edge of the card, making sure that the tape starts at the base of the card. Repeat on the other long edge.

— 8 —
Stick your plastic rectangle over the double-sided taped edges.

— 9 —
With your X-acto knife, trim the excess contact paper at the top of the card.

— 10 —
Cut the contact paper just below the bottom of the card, and just shy of hitting the card on both sides. Fold in the long sides of the contact paper. This should cover the taped edges of the plastic. 

— 11—
Cut at a diagonal angle (inward) on the bottom part of the contact paper and fold up.

— 12 —
Mark where you want the hole to be on the tag. (I made my hole about 0.375 inch from the top edge). With your hole punch and hammer create a hole on the tag (I did mine on a cement floor with an old self-healing cutting mat on top).

— 13 —
Slip in a piece of paper with your information under the plastic pocket. (My paper is about 1.1875 inch by 2.875 inch. I decided to make the paper slightly longer than the plastic so it could be pulled out more easily.)

— 14 —
Tie a ribbon (or you could use a closeable ring) at the hole. Luggage tag complete. Alternately, you could use this tag as a gift tag that could be reused by just changing the paper slipped inside.

Note 1: The contact paper I used could still be pulled up if I tried to move it, so if you feel wary about it, you could try to use extra adhesive on the sides that fold over (maybe double-sided tape or a strong glue).

Note 2: If you don’t like your information to be out for everyone to see, then you could add a second card to cover the first card. 


  1. Your project's been Candoodled! I love it so I've shared it:

    1. Thanks for mentioning me on your interesting blog:)

  2. your effort make it easy to follow...i will use it if plastic gift cards I remember.