Tutorial- Customised Plastic Tags

These are tags I made for Sarah at Fripperies and Bibelots, however I’ve decided not to make these for sale anymore so I may as well pass on how I make them in case you want them for jewellery, maybe cards or even little zip pulls…

YOU WILL NEED
Printable shrink plastic
Printer and computer
Scissors or a punch in the shape you want
Hole punch
Oven
Scrap paper
Double sided tape
Clear varnish spray

1) Make your layout on the computer. I use Photoshop and make a grid to put the text into. For little biddy sized ones for jewellery tags, I make a 1″ square grid, you can make rows of text instead or change your grid to fit different shapes. If you are using a punch, make the grid fit the shape. Bear in mind that the colours will darken so print colours a bit lighter and things will shrink A LOT. I can get 50-60 tags from one sheet. Most sheets of shrink plastic for printing are US Letter Size, so make sure your document is set up for that too.

2) Now print it! Leave to dry for a minute of two.

3) Punch out your shapes from your sheet or cut out with scissors. Please note if you’re not doing circles that sharp corners will stay sharp when finished and mean a lot of effort sanding them down. You may prefer to do that or you might prefer to round your corners off. To use the punch, take off the bit that collects the punched out bits and use upside down so you can get your positioning right.

4)  Take off the bit catcher from the hole punch and use upside down in the same way to the first punch to make holes in the tops of your tags. Try to leave at least 2mm from the top or the holes may tear when strinking.

5) Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C.

6) Layout the shapes on a clean baking tray so that they don’t overlap.

7) Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 2-3 minutes. They will shrivel up and then lay flat again. If you overcook they will go a bit yellow so it’s worth keeping your eye on them. Also please don’t be offended by my dirty oven! The ones at the back seem to bake a bit slower so keep your eyes on those. Just before you take the tray out of the oven , you can use a spoon to push them down and flatten them out if you need to.

8) They will cool pretty fast, so after a minute or two you can start sticking them to a piece of scrap paper ready for varnishing. Use the most low tack double sided tape you can, repositionable tape would be excellent if there is such a thing. The power of the propellant in the varnish spray will blow all your tags away if you don’t stick them down. However if you prefer a gloss finish and you want to nail varnish them instead, you won’t need to do this bit.

9) Spray with varnish outside, assuming it isn’t raining out there. I use car lacquer spray from Halfords for mine. Let dry and spray again. Once dry, peel off the sheet straight away to avoid stickiness from the tape staying on the back.

Ta da! Attached to whatever you want with string, jump rings, etc, etc….

10 Comments

  1. Posted July 2, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely awesome idea! I need to collect some supplies! Thanks for a neat tutorial!

  2. Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    What a fantastic idea, these would make lovely tags on things I want to sell, thanks for sharing

  3. Posted July 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi where would i get the Printable shrink plastic from? love the tute x

  4. Posted July 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I get mine off eBay or from craftycomputerpaper.com

  5. Posted August 1, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    This is just so awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. Just ordered a few pieces of shrink plastic :D

  6. brittany
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    What size font do you use for the 1″?

  7. Kerry
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    It all depends how long you want the text to be- the longer the word, the smaller the font.Just something to experiment with really.

  8. Posted February 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kerry, great tutorial! you have given me a fabulous way of making tags. Could you please tell me the name of the car lacquer you use? could i use it on polymerclay?

  9. Barbara
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    Very cleaver idea! thanks for the great tutorial. I’m pinning this!

  10. Posted February 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kerry, thanks for the tutorial.

    I bought some shrink plastic designed to be printed onto with an inkjet printer, however it smudges even after I’ve done everything that you are supposed to do ( lightening colours to reduce amount of ink, letting ink dry after printing, using acrylic sealant after shrinking etc). Does anyone have any idea why this is? I spoke to someone who also prints onto shrink plastic and they have never had a problem with the colours smudging after shrinking.

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