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Christmas Gift Tags: 5 Unique Ideas for Labeling Gifts

Updated on September 7, 2011
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Christmas gift tags are an under-appreciated part of the Christmas celebration. Unobtrusive, they are often not so much part of the total look of the gift but more inclined to be just somewhere to write the receiver's name.

There are hundreds of ways to make the gift more personal and one of these is to create unique Christmas gift tags from a variety of items. They aren't necessarily expensive, but with a little time and effort you can make tags that will stand out and make the gifts you give stand out as well.

When deciding on a particular style or color be sure to consider the gift and the wrapping. If you have a very contemporary type wrap then a Victorian tag would not look right at all. Choose colors that coordinate with the gift wrap as well as the theme. There are several options:

  • You can use a printable gift tag
  • You can use antique and vintage postcards and other ephemera
  • You can make your own with stamps or stencils
  • You can write the recipient's name on a number of different types of materials
  • You can decorate a cookie or chocolate with the name of the recipient.

Here's how -


Making Christmas Gift Tags from Antique Cards

In almost any antique shop in the country you can find hundreds of old postcards. Some depict holidays while others are actual images of the people who sent them. Choose several you like. The best way to do this is to photocopy the images or scan them to your computer. This way you can make as many gift tags as you like without ruining the original antique.

If you scan it to your computer you can easily crop and change details in the postcard to make it your own. Once you have it the way that you want it print it out on card stock or a self stick label.

You can also use last year's Christmas cards. Just cut out an image or design you like, punch a hole in it for a ribbon or raffia to go through and you have a great tag that cost you nothing. Embellish the design with seed beads or glitter if you like.

Making Tags with Stamps and Stencils

You can buy stamping kits at your local craft store or online. Usually the stores that carry stamps will also carry special papers and other items you need to complete your project. You can add glitter, a variety of colored inks, and even 3D effects. There are numerous books on the market that explain how to do these designs..

Don't just use paper. Consider stamping designs on felt and then going over them with glue and glitter, or using a glittery ink.

Any fabric that you can stamp is potential for a unique gift tag.

Use Ribbon or other Materials

You can use a length of ribbon and write the person's name on it with fabric paint for a beautiful gift tag. There are other items that work well for this:

  • Leaves
  • A single small mitten (great way to use up singles when one has been lost)
  • A small ornament
  • A silver spoon from the thrift store
  • For a big gift like a tea related basket try using a vintage teacup and write the greeting on it with fabric paint.
  • Anything you can write on with fabric paint!
  • Cross stitch, needlepoint, or embroidered tags

Food Items

One type of gift tag that I love is the edible kind. You can make your rolled sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, or even a chocolate bar and use royal icing to pipe the greeting on the cookie or candy. Let it dry completely and then just wrap it up in cellophane and tie with a ribbon. Affix it to the gift and it is a gift in itself!

If you are giving a fruit basket you can write the greeting on an apple with the royal icing. Make sure the peel is very dry and unwaxed or the icing won't stick. You can also dip the apple in caramel and white chocolate and then write the greeting. YUM!

Royal Icing Recipe

Royal icing is made with egg whites and hardens completely when it is dry. This makes it perfect for using when making edible name tags.

  • 2 egg whites, room temperature

  • 2 tsps lemon juice

  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted to remove lumps

Beat the egg whites and lemon juice until frothy and foamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat on a low speed until it is combined, smooth, and the consistency you need. You may need to add a little confectioner's to thicken it or a little water to thin it. Keep covered with a damp tea towel as you are working or it will harden.

Printable Gift Tags

You can find many gift tags to print on the Internet. Always print them on heavy paper or cardstock if possible. Once they are printed out you can embellish them with paper scraps, beads, glitter, or anything else you can think of.

Try these sites to get you started:

Fun Craft Project

Making Christmas gift tags can be a fun way to spend some quality crafting time with the kids. Just get all of the materials out, add some Christmas music, Christmas cookies, and several loved ones and craft an afternoon away.

It builds memories and is just plain fun. Added bonus? Saves money!


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    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Thanks, Marye. Those tags are something I would never have thought about. Great ideas and recipe - which is how we all make icing, except most of use a little vanilla and not the two spoons of lemon juice. Thanks, Don White

    • SEO Expert Kerala profile image

      SEO Expert Kerala 8 years ago from KERALA

      Wonderful tag ideas ,I will try with the old cards...

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 8 years ago from United States

      These are all inspiring ideas. Thanks!

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      You have some cool ideas. I do not think I'll try the embroidery one though, cross stitch is fun but after a while it can get too much.