Ever since the Victorian Slide Bracelet of Tragedy, many of those buttons have been sitting in a small pouch, taunting and tempting me. I've definitely wanted to use them for something, but I wasn't quite sure what until I was noodling around yet again with the idea of making a stationery box. I'd always known that in addition to an assortment of cards, envelopes, and paper, I would want gift tags to also be available. I'd already found a tag template in my stash that I felt would be perfect, but I wasn't sure what I actually wanted them to look like. Until Melvin the Magpie whispered, "Shiny. You want them to be shiny."
He was right, of course. He's always right when it comes to stuff like this. But I wasn't sure I wanted to just completely douse a tag in glitter. I started pawing through my craft supplies, hoping inspiration would strike. That's when I came across what I'd come to think of as my Bag of Shame. "I wonder...." I stared at them for a moment. Would the shank fit through an average punched hole? Would it be too wiggly? Would it stick out too far in the back? How would I secure it? It turns out the answers to these questions are: yes, a little, not really, and glue.
The reality: these are so simple to make, I feel a bit silly making a tutorial for them. But sometimes it's just nice to have someone confirm you are doing something correctly. So gather your supplies and get to work!
- paper of your preferred color and texture
- a template, stencil, or die cutting technique for making a bunch of tag shapes
- a hole punch
- buttons (with shanks, although I do also feature a non-shanked button)
- twine or embroidery floss or maybe a super thin ribbon
- glue (I used glue dots)
- scissors, pencil, and a ruler
So really simple first steps. Die cut or trace and cut out your tags and punch a hole at the top center of the tip, far enough away so there is room for a button. Now put a tiny dot of glue or a glue dot on the back of the button and slip the shank through the hole. Cut a length of twine (I cut a 12" piece) and fold it in half. Slide the two tail ends through the button shank then back through the loop of the twine.
Now pull the twine so the loop is tight around it. And you're done! Ok, so you could put a sticker or a piece of felt over the back to cover the shank. And you can certainly embellish the front with "to" and "from" stamps, or edge them in ink, or use an edging punch or scissors, or any number of things. But really, plain and simple, they are done!
Of course you can use a button without shanks as long as you have a thread or twine you want to use that will fit through the holes. The concept is exactly the same across the board with an end result of this:
I also encourage you to think about how the buttons will actually look before you put them on. Scale can make or break the effect. For example, I think this lovely lady looks perfect on a tag:
I think this button is ok, but maybe a bit big.
But for the sake of experimentation, if I turn it sideways, I'm so much happier with the result!
But this button, despite being gloriously shiny, just seems a bit too overpowering for a paper tag:
This project is so cheap and easy to make. You probably have all the materials already, making it great if you're participating in Just Stash January! They are also easily adaptable to occasions and color schemes that you might need tags for. And kids can easily do this project with you!
I can't wait to see how you make this project your own! Let me know if the comments what you would do!