Stamp your own gift tags

Stamp your own gift tagsI realised when I sat down to write this post that I’ve been playing rather fast and loose with the word “vintage” these past few years.

You see, I was going to call the article, “Create your own vintage gift tags” – which is clearly an utter nonsense.

That’s the whole point of vintage: you can’t “create” it now. It’s old. Vintage even.

When I was growing up, the word vintage meant a classic that’s stood the test of time. Usually something at least one hundred years old and widely recognised as being of a particular quality. Now, it can mean anything from not-brand-new to even something that’s not old but displays a certain kind of aesthetic (generally, I would say, anything that harks back to the era from the 1920s to the 1950s).

I remember when I first heard someone use the word vintage in its current guise. I guess it was a decade or so ago. I asked a friend where her dress was from and she replied, “Oh, it’s vintage.”

I have to admit, I slightly snickered to myself, thinking this was a rather poncey way of saying second-hand, or, from the charity shop. (Not that there’s anything wrong with buying clothes from the charity shop, of course. As a teenager in the ‘90s, I grew up with the idea that a good find from a charity shop gave one the necessary cachet. All my favourite bands went out of their way to look as if they were wearing a creation from the bargain bin at Oxfam, and to ape Pulp, Blur, Elastic et al, I spent most weekends trawling through those bins myself…)

Now, of course, I use it in that sense all the time myself. For my wedding later this year, I’m looking for a “vintage” wedding dress. I was delighted with a “vintage” hat box I received as a present at Christmas. And even on this very blog, I’ve spent far too much time extolling the virtues of “vintage images” I’ve found – when really I just mean old.

So I’m going to try my best to use the word correctly from now on. A vintage car must be an old Rolls Royce, not a beat-up 20-year-old Skoda. A vintage dress must be a Chanel number, not a two-year-old Primark dress found on a rail in the Salvation Army shop. And a vintage gift tag? Hmmm, perhaps some stunning design by Fortnums from the 1920s, but not something I’m making myself. Not yet, anyway. Maybe in 50 years my grandchildren will discover my gift tags in an old hat box and declare them to be true vintage… But most likely, they’ll be picked up with the recycling this week.

Anyway, vintage rant over, back to the subject of this post: stamping your own gift tags. (I suppose I could have gone with “utilitarian gift tags” if I really needed an adjective…)

I’ve seen buff brown tags printed with simple designs all over the place recently, from Etsy to Cox and Cox.

Trouble was, I didn’t really want to pay those prices for something that is by nature pretty disposable. Plus, it’s always more fun to have a crack yourself.

So, that’s exactly what I did…

After a bit of research, I bought these alphabet stamps from Amazon.

The reviews for them were pretty bad – everyone said that it was really hard to line them up properly and that you often saw smudges of ink from the corners of the stamp. But, luckily that slightly shonky approach was exactly what I was looking for…

I thought the box was attractive and the price pretty good too, at £14.99 for the whole set with upper and lower case as well as the punctuation.

Next, also bought through Amazon, I got 50 tags for £1.61 and a black ink stamp for £2.33.

Once all of my supplies arrived, it was just a question of stamping the messages.

You can use these for whatever occasion you want.

So they’d be as perfect for Valentine’s Day in a few weeks…

Stamp your own gift tags for Valentine's Day

…as they would for a birthday…

Happy Birthday gift tag

…or to welcome a new arrival…

Stamp your own gift tags

…spread Christmas cheer…

Stamp your own gift tags

…or celebrate a wedding…

Wedding hand stamped gift tag

I love that you can personalise for the recipient as well, adding in people’s names or perhaps significant dates:

Stamp the wedding date onto your homemade gift tag

So there you have it. Easy to make gift tags.

I’ll leave it for you to decide if they’re “vintage” or not. And, hey, at least we’ve all stopped saying “shabby chic”.

By the way, if you like the camel wrapping paper I’ve used in the top image, check back here in a few weeks, as I’m planning on sharing a pdf for some print-it-yourself wrapping paper (vintage-style, ha ha). And if you’d like more inspiration for beautifully wrapped presents, have a look at my Pinterest board Wrap it up.

Related articles:

This project is linked up at Made by You Monday at Skip to my Lou. Head over there to see what others have been up to this week…

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