Abby Slutsky likes wrapping gifts and enjoys creating pretty gift tags to embellish them.
Homemade Gift Tags From Recycled Business Cards
With birthdays year-round and the winter holiday season spanning several months, it seems like there's always someone to shop for. Gift tags are an ideal way to identify yourself as the gift giver and write a warm note to accompany your present. During the Christmas season, they can also be a terrific way to identify the recipient of a gift, especially if you are stacking many gifts for multiple people under a tree or around a fireplace mantel. (I know I start wrapping and displaying gifts well before the holidays, so it is easy to forget who gets what if I do not identify the recipient.)
To make these DIY gift cards for birthday and Christmas gifts, you can recycle old business cards. If you left a job and have not gotten around to throwing out your old business cards (or if you have a stack of other people's business cards you know you are never going to use), this is the perfect way to recycle them into something crafty. Although you will need glue and some spray paint, most of the other supplies you need can probably be found around the house.
What Type of Business Cards Should I Use?
You can make gift tag cards out of any business cards. However, if you happen to have multiple cards from more than one past job, examine the cards carefully so you can choose the best ones for your DIY gift tags. Generally, less expensive business cards will create the best gift tags with the least effort.
Why? Cheap business cards usually do not have raised print that can cause paint to get caught in crevices. Additionally, it is more apparent that the card is being recycled when it has raised print because the card’s paint may be slightly uneven. Of course, you can cover the imperfection and still create a lovely DIY gift tag, but go with no-frills leftover business cards if you have them.
You will not need all of these material for every business card, but this selection of items should allow you to make a variety of gift tags.
- Silver, gold, green or red spray paint
- Lace doilies
- Hot glue gun
- Hot gun glue sticks
- Regular glue sticks
- Wrapping paper
- Small branches
- Scotch tape
- Hole puncher
The steps are the same whether you are using a business card with flat or raised print to make your gift tags. However, when you print your wording, you will need to attach it to the card in a way that creates a three-dimensional effect if the print is raised. Therefore, if the print is raised, you may want to glue your decoration to the card and then glue your message to the decoration so the wording does not sit on the actual card.
1. Spray Paint the Business Cards
I recommend spraying the cards outside or in an open garage. Lay the cards on a plastic bag before spraying them. Hold the paint spray spout 10 inches away from the card and spray it evenly. If desired, you can spray the back of the card when the front is dry, but it is not necessary if you position the card face up.
I usually paint the cards a day in advance so they have plenty of time to dry. Plan to allow them to dry for at least seven hours per side.
2. Create and Affix Gift-Tag Decorations
Your decorations are really only limited by your imagination. Here are a few fun ideas.
Wrapping Paper-Embellished Gift Tag: For the wrapping paper-embellished card, cut a strip of wrapping paper about 7 inches by 4 inches. Fold the paper lengthwise in thirds. Then, create a fan shape by making accordion folds width-wise. Wrap the stem of the fan with a small piece of scotch tape then use the glue stick to affix the fan to the gift card and gently move the pleats to shape the fan. Push down on the fan gently to secure it to the card. Cut a narrow strip of wrapping paper that is just long enough to extend beyond the fan's stem on either side. Use the glue stick to glue it over the scotch-taped fan stem.
Ribbon-Decorated Gift Card: For the ribbon embellished card, cut a piece of ribbon about 8 inches long (if you are worried about tying the bow, you can make it a little longer and trim it). I prefer transparent, medium-width, organza ribbon without wire, but slightly narrower ribbon or raffia also works nicely. Tie the ribbon width-wise towards one end of the gift card. The bow should face the front of the card, and the back of the card should have a smooth band of ribbon against it.
Birthday Candle or Mini Branch Gift Tag: If you are using a mini branch, cut a small branch from a tree and spray paint it when you paint the business cards. (Let it dry at least 7 hours.) Then cut a 1/2-inch wide piece of lace doily and use a glue stick to place it on the side of the business card. Affix the mini branch on the card with a hot glue gun. You can also use a hot glue gun to attach a birthday candle to a gift tag.
These decorations work well with raised-print cards because you can use the hot glue gun to secure the words to the decoration. This creates a three-dimensional appearance that makes it difficult to see the unevenness of the raised print through the paint. If you want a three-dimensional effect for the birthday card, you need to use two candles to support the paper with your message.
3. Write or Print Your Message
Although you can write out your message, I prefer to print out a message on paper and then cut it to fit the space on the gift card.
4. Attach the Gift Tags to the Gifts
You can either tape the gift card to the birthday or Christmas gift or punch a hole in one corner of the gift card. If you choose to punch a hole, string the card through the ribbon, and make sure the gift tag is face up when you tie the bow. No one will even realize that your old business cards are being put to good use.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from LAFAYETTE HL on September 25, 2020:
Thanks for reading. Have a good weekend.
Danny from India on September 25, 2020:
Thanks for the lovely tips Abby. I hope can use this time for Xmas if everything normalizes