Looking for a different way to label your gifts this holiday season?
These personalized plastic canvas gift tags are quick and easy to make and are reusable as charms after the wrapping paper’s been recycled.
You only need a few supplies to get started:
- plastic canvas – I used 7-ct but if you have a more complicated design that you want to fit into a small area, you can use 10-ct or 14-ct. (The “count” is how many holes per inch).
- plastic lobster hooks – metal will work just as well. You can even cannibalize hardware from broken keychains or charms you already own
- yarn – scraps from other projects will work great for this
- yarn needle
The first step is to choose your designs so you can create a chart. My example tags were made for a young boy whose name starts with a “B” and was really into Minecraft, and a young girl whose name starts with “K” and was really into Monster High. So I decided to put their initials on one side and something iconic from each theme (Creeper & Skullette) on the other.
I used Excel to create my charts but you can just as easily use graph paper. If using Excel resize your cells into squares and then use the color fill to draw your designs, 8-bit pixel-style.
For the Creeper tag I went with a square shape since most Minecraft mobs have square heads. I then “drew” a capital b in a grid of the same size as the Creeper face. I decided not to do the typical blend of colors for the Creeper since this was just a quick add-on to the birthday party gift we were giving, but you can get as creative as you’d like!
For the Monster High tag I found a free-use Skullette chart and used the size of that chart as a basis for my “K” chart, which I drafted in a font similar to that of the Monster High lettering.
You have freedom to design anything you’d like for your tags! Your only limit is the total size you’d like your tags to be, as the bigger your design, the bigger the results.
The next step is to cut out plastic canvas pieces the sizes required for your tags. Remember that it takes 2 holes on the diagonal to make 1 continental or cross stitch with plastic canvas, so if your grid is 10×10 pixels then you need to cut out a piece of plastic canvas 11 holes x 11 holes, etc.
Stitch your pieces as desired. I used continental stitch (half of a cross-stitch) and did the green background for each piece first, leaving one piece with a tail about 3-4 times as long as the full perimeter. This is optional but by leaving the seaming yarn as your tail it’s one less end to hide later.
After the green I filled in the spaces with black for the “B” and the Creeper’s face.
I followed the same process for the other tag, working from background first to the details last, so the details would remain sharp and not risk getting fuzzy at the edges. First I did the white background (flipping Skullette so the bow would be on the right since the original chart was for Perler beads which get flipped after ironing), then the purple (as I didn’t have pink scraps handy), and finally the black, which I also used to backstitch some shading under the “K”. I didn’t do the tail trick for this one as I wanted to seam it with a different color.
To seam, hold the pieces with wrong-sides together and go from back to front through the first corner 3 times. Next whipstitch around the first side and when you get to the next corner, go through it 3 times again, and continue this process around. When you get to the corner where you’d like to put the hook, do the first corner wrap, then wrap twice while also going through the hook’s jump ring, then go through the corner alone once more.
After all 4 sides are fully seamed you can skim your needle through one side’s wraps and pull the yarn through, for about an inch, then trim the excess as close as you can.
These little tags are under 3″ making them perfect to clip onto a schoolbag or tote.
They really add a personal, handmade touch to a gift without taking too much time or costing the bank.
Have fun creating your own!