Thursday, December 26, 2013

Make Gift Tags from Wrapping Paper

Crafty project for Christmas using wrapping paper scrapbook paper and construction paper

Want to know a secret? I still have scraps of wrapping paper from 5 years ago. In fact, every Christmas my sisters and I would collect leftover wrapping paper. At one point, It became the thing to do at our house after all the gifts were wrapped and later opened. I needed to do something with them but didn't have the heart to recycle some of the cuter paper.

The solution? Make gift tags!  It definitely became a beautiful way to add a personal touch to holiday presents. Let the kids help out!

For this crafty project, I will tell you 2 easy and creative ways to make gift tags using leftover wrapping paper and scrapbook paper.  

Reuse old Christmas wrapping paper and make gift tags
Give the kids a holiday project to do!
Do you suffer from the same wrapping paper dilemma (keeping leftovers and saved scraps)? Why not use them to make this year or next year's gift tags?

This can be a holiday project is great for kids to do side-by-side with you while you wrap presents. Let the kiddos be "art directors" by telling you where shapes should go and help them glue them on.

My 3-year-old can nephew loves helping out. He loves using a glue stick to add paper cutouts to card stock. He revels in his own masterpieces! So yes, toddlers (with adult help) can have fun with this.  

Go gather up your wrapping paper and before you recycle...reuse!

Holiday Tutorial: 2 Types of DIY Holiday Gift Tags

Time Commitment:  This depends on how many you are making. For my craft session, I took about 1 hour to make 20 tags.  But you can probably do it the same evening you are wrapping gifts with a holiday movie in the background.

A Special Note on Kids: This craft project is a fun activity for kids who don't know how to wrap, but who want to help out with gifts and presents. Give them a specific "job" to do by making the gift tags. Prepare any cutouts and paper punches ahead of time.  Then have the kids do the assembly and gluing. I think kids as young as 3 can definitely be Santa's little helpers.

What You Will Need:

tools needed for DIY project paper punch glue stick scissors scrapbook paper and wrapping paper
Materials needed for DIY Gift Tags 

  • Leftover wrapping paper 
  • Scrapbook paper, card stock, or construction paper (any "stiff" paper to glue on)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Paper punch or hole punch (optional)
  • Any embellishments (optional, but adds dimension!)
    • stickers 
    • paper shapes from paper punches
    • glitter
    • cotton balls
    • ribbon
Note: You don't need to buy much for this project.  I'm a big advocate of using whatever you have at home to enhance and embellish: scrapbook paper, construction paper, stickers, glitter or even cotton balls.  Dig through that craft box and let's get started!

Gift Tag Example # 1: Using holiday shapes from wrapping paper 

Step 1: Gather your wrapping paper.  Cut out any holiday shapes and symbols you find.   Let kids pick their favorite symbols or let them create holiday shapes from scraps. 

Cut out holiday shapes from gift wrapping paper and make a gift tag
Santa Claus gift wrapping paper
Most of the holiday symbols I cut out varied from 1-2 inches in height because I didn't want my gift tag too big. But really, this is up to you. A big fun gift tag can become a great focal point on any present.

Some examples of holiday shapes that you might find on gift wrapping paper include:

  • candy canes
  • mittens and hats
  • wrapped presents
  • nativity scene
  • stars
  • candles
  • snowflakes
  • gingerbread houses and cookies
  • reindeer
  • bows
  • Santa Claus
  • a snowman
  • ornaments
  • sleds
  • phrases such as "happy holidays"
  • poinsettias and berries
  • wreaths
  • angels
Need a shape? If you don't have paper with these symbols, simply download this Christmas printable, trace it on some wrapping paper and cut out the shape.  Once you've finished cutting out your holiday shapes, you'll be ready for gluing in Step 2.

Step 2: Glue shapes on scrapbook paper, cardstock or construction paper.  Cut out your gift tag.

Once you're done cutting your holiday symbols, glue them onto a decorative piece of holiday scrapbook paper, cardstock or construction paper. Any of these thicker papers can serve as a good background for your gift tag.  Then cut the background paper into a desired shape: a circle, a rectangle, a foldable card, etc.

Reuse old wrapping paper and make a DIY craft project for the holidays
Example 1: I cut out a Santa Claus figure  from wrapping paper (about 1 inch in height) and glued it on scrapbook paper using a glue stick. After letting the glue dry, I cut the background paper into small a gift tag card.

Step 3: Add embellishments!

My favorite craft rule is layer, layer, layer.

This is the fun part. Add glitter, paper cutouts, or other types of textures to the card.  Glue them on the corners or layer them to create depth.  Embellishments really add that certain "je ne sais quoi" to a gift tag. And it becomes an extra special touch for the person receiving your present.

Make your DIY gift tag unique by layering other materials on it
Example 1: I used a paper punch to make flowers and glued it onto the gift tag. Here, the blue and white flowers look like snowflakes against the blue background.

Gift Tag Example # 2: Using cutouts from a paper punch to design your gift tag 

Step 1: Make your own holiday shapes from a paper punch by punching out leaves, flowers, snowflakes, etc.  
Here's another cute way to make a gift tag. Instead of using holiday shapes from wrapping paper, try using cutouts from paper punches to design your gift tag. You can use your favorite paper punch to create holiday symbols such snowflakes, poinsettias, wreaths or Christmas trees.

You don't need to have a holiday-themed paper punch to make a beautiful design.  You can still use a leaf or flower paper punch to create holiday symbols.  You can even use a regular hole puncher. The key is to creatively assemble your cutouts on your gift tag. 

For one of my gift tags, I used a flower paper punch to make a bunch of green flowers. I layered the paper flowers on my chosen background paper and in doing so, I created a pine tree.

Make christmas trees, wreaths, and snowflakes using a generic paper punch
Get creative with your paper punch tools!

Step 2: Glue shapes on scrapbook paper, cardstock or construction paper.  Cut out your gift tag.

Once you've finished using the paper punch to make your desired cutouts, glue them onto a decorative piece of holiday scrapbook paper, cardstock or construction paper. Any of these thicker papers can serve as a good background for your gift tag.  Then cut the background paper into a desired shape: a circle, a rectangle, a foldable card, etc.

Scrapbook paper DIY gift tag for the holidays
Example 2 -  I used a paper punch and a hole puncher to make flower and circle cutouts from scrapbook and wrapping paper. I layered the flowers to make a Christmas tree. To make ornaments for my tree, I used the circle cutouts but also cut out some larger sized circles with my scissor. I  glued the circle shapes onto the Christmas tree. 

Step 3: Add embellishments! 

As in the first example, follow my rule: layer, layer, layer.  It adds some depth to your design and to your finished product.

Creative uses for wrapping paper this Christmas
Completed holiday gift tags.

All done!

Bright Holiday Gift Tags That are easy to make
Here are more gift tag cards I made using wrapping paper, paper cutouts, and scrapbook paper.

As I was finishing up this project I had two new ideas pop into my head.  I wanted to jot them down before I forgot:

  • Maybe I will try making gift tags from some unused holiday cards. Some cards already have embossed designs on them.  This is a clever way to add texture to your gift tag, especially if you don't have an embossing machine.
  • I think I'll make a "holiday gift tag" box to store paper and potential craft ideas. After opening your Christmas gifts, cut out shapes ahead of time and recycle the rest of the wrapping paper so you don't end up storing a trash bag of paper all year long.  Make gift tags whenever you want! Also, when an idea pops up in your head, add that idea to the holiday gift tag box! There are so many other creative ways to use old gift wrapping paper. Or gift your "holiday gift tag" box to someone who loves to craft. For example, you can give it to an older child and watch their creative mind spring into action!
  • A future playdate idea? Sometimes I enjoy play dates at a park. Other times, I enjoy a good "craft day" playdate.  It can bring out the fun for everyone: both parents and kids can express themselves through their art and maybe learn some design skills in the process! Maybe I'll bookmark this craft project so I can do it with others next year.

Cute holiday wrapping paper for DIY gift tag
Next year's gift tags: don't let a bag full of cute wrapping paper go to waste!

Do you need a holiday project for this year or next? Try making these holiday gift tags!

If you did this tutorial let me know! If it's alright with you, I'd love to post the inspiring and creative work of some of my readers.  :)

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