DIY: Luggage Tags

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Because I am not very well traveled, I am usually game for any trip that involves a new destination. Case in point: last Saturday when my fella said to me “I’d like to go check out Detroit,” my response was “Sure, I’ll see Detroit.” However, despite my enthusiasm for unexplored locales, I am very much not a fan of airports or flying. Between the lines of people, the TSA treating me like I’m a total miscreant, and the cost, I’ve already lost patience by the time I’ve crammed my duffel bag into the overhead and taken my miniscule seat.

So, I like to plan ahead to minimize the distress I feel when flying – and since one of my biggest fears is losing my bag, I tend to make mine easily identifiable. Yes, mister grabby hands, that duffel bag with the skull and crossbones pattern and the Virgin of Guadalupe luggage tag IS mine, thank you very much. If you would like to make your stuff more visible on the luggage carousel, you can start by making yourself a custom DIY luggage tag. Here are your options:

Paper: Seems like an obvious place to start, but hey, it’s a broad category – you can print out super cute luggage tags and slip them into plastic name tag holders (ahem, repurposed from work maybe? Yay office supply crafts!), or you can “laminate” them by wrapping them in packing tape. There are a bunch of genuinely neat templates online, or you can go with a simple monogram, an old photo of yourself, a repurposed map, a collage on a paint chip, sticky name tags and wrapping paper, etc. Alternatively, if you have cardboard, you can construct a luggage tag with a window and wrap it in fabric, or if you’re feeling experimental, faux resin cubes (which hey, only involves following the instructions on a bottle of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic).

Duct Tape: Is there anything it can’t do?

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Yogurt Tubs: I’m guessing the logic here is they’re flexible, easily cleaned, and hard to tear. The only hard part is sewing the cardboard name tag to the plastic tub template piece, the rest of it is pretty straightforward.

Fabric: Another broad category – if you’re comfortable with some sewing you’ve got options for vinyl, canvas, fabric (with fabric name label), fabric (with plastic window), felt, leather, and leather (with studs). Those all follow a pretty simple process of measure materials, mark, cut materials, align, sew material. Those 7th grade home ec classes were totally worth it.

Upcycle: If you already have a luggage tag, but no longer feel like announcing your NYKTOB fan status, then give your tag a face lift with fabric and Mod Podge, or acrylic paint (and sealer!). Use a paint chip (yay paint chip crafts!), or a square piece of canvas. And bon voyage!


Images courtesy,,,,, and a

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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.

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