Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fabric Gift Tag Tutorial

One of my favorite holiday projects this year has been creating fun fabric gift tags. I have been wanting to make some of these tie-on tags for a couple years and I finally made time to play in my sewing studio. I managed to make a handful this past week...then today, I decided I would make one more, so I could write a quick tutorial for you. This project gives you a chance to be creative and play fabrics, threads, and embellishments...and use a sewing machine...plus do a little hand stitching. I am actually a little addicted to these package tie-ons, which would be perfect for any occasion...in fact, I think I will be making some for future birthday presents! I used quality quilting fabric for the front and back of the tags and wool felt scraps for the main embellishments...I also added some trims, sequins, and tokens I had in my sewing room...and of course ribbon and/or baker's twine is perfect for attaching the tags to packages. The back of the tag can be used for personalizing...and, of course, each one would make a fabulous tree ornament!

First, you will want to cut your tag shapes from fabric - you will need two (one for the front and one for the back). I used a die cutting machine, but another option would be to print a tag template (a Google search will give you loads of options) and trace it on your fabric to give you a cutting line. I also cut two from a fusible lightweight interfacing - if you are cutting by hand, you will want to fuse the interfacing to the fabric before cutting your tags.

If you did not fuse the interfacing to the fabric before cutting, fuse it to your fabric now. Fuse the shiny, pilled side to the wrong side of your fabric using the manufacturer's instructions.

Next, decide the motif/shape you would like to add to your tag - for the example, I used a snowman cut from white wool felt - you could use fabric or any assortment of embellishments. I used a glue stick on the back of my felt shape to help hold it in place.

After deciding on the wool shape, I took the tag to my sewing machine for a bit of embellishment. I used dark sewing thread to cover the hat...then stitched some stick arms...and used a specialty stitch on my machine for the buttons. I also stitched around the entire snowman with a straight stitch using white thread. For all of the machine stitching, I used an open toe foot for better vision.

Use sewing thread or embroidery floss and a sharp needle to add the smaller details - for the model, I hand stitched the snowman's face (French Knots for the eyes, and straight stitches for the carrot nose and mouth).

Next, add any additional embellishments, such as: buttons, trims, sequins, brads, or beads. For the model, I added three snowflake sequins, using a sharp needle with transparent thread. If you want, now would be the time to embellish or personalize the back of the tag.

You are now ready to sew the front and the back of the tag together. Place the two tags right sides together, and sew around the perimeter, leaving an opening for turning. I did this on my sewing machine and and used about an eighth of an inch for the seam allowance, so I could keep the curvature of the tag - if your tag is not as fancy, a quarter of an inch seam allowance will work quite well.
The next step is to turn your tag right sides out...making sure to get all the corners and curves pushed out nicely (try using a pencil eraser or chopstick to make this step easier). Press, then machine top stitch around the entire perimeter, which will close the opening used for turning.

I used a grommet to strengthen the hole in the tag.

Run a decorative ribbon or length of baker's twine through the grommet hole for attaching to a gift.

Tie on your package for a perfect, personal, handmade touch!

I hope you have enjoyed this holiday tutorial...maybe it will prompt you to make a few fabric gift tags of your own. Happy holidays!


  1. Those tags are adorable! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Christmas!!

  2. I love this idea, I have been using old Christmas cards but this would be great with my leftover Christmas fabric and a project for the grandkids.

  3. What a fabulous idea and so very clever! Enjoy your Christmas Eve Day, Belinda!


  4. ooooo very nice and I have that punch :) will have to have a go in the new year ... may even get organised for next Christmas heheheheh
    hope you have a wonderful Christmas day and a very merry Stitchy new year full of finishes and new starts :) love mouse xxxxxx

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