June 29, 2010

Felt Luggage Tags


We are going to Turkey in a few days and I needed a way to differentiate my black suitcase from everyone else’s black suitcase.   I’m hoping these colorful tags will be easy to identify and more durable than the flimsy paper ones from the airport.

If you want to make some luggage tags of your own, you will need:

cheap felt squares (you can use the good wool kind if you like, they’re definitely easier to sew with, but keep in mind that it’s going to spend time in the filthy cargo compartment under the plane) 


clip art or a sketch of your design

clear, plastic luggage tags (I got mine at Target, 4 for $3)

sewing machine (optional)


Measure the plastic luggage tags.  Add 1/4” to the height and length for an 1/8” seam allowance.  My luggage tags were 3” x 4 3/4” so I cut my felt 3 1/4” x 5”.  Cut two rectangles of felt according to your measurements. These will be the front and back of the tag.


Cut a window in the back of the tag for your name and address.  Keep in mind that it will need to be off center to accommodate the strap.  


Trace your design onto the appropriate colors of felt.  I found it helpful to cut my sketch apart so that I had a pattern for each piece of the design.  Make sure the design is going to fit on the luggage tag before you start cutting.  If everything looks okay, cut the design out. 

luggagetag1I think this picture looks a little disturbing. Maybe I shouldn’t have started with a bird :)

Assemble the design on the front of the tag.  Remember to make room for the strap.  Hand sew the design on, starting with the main part and then adding detail pieces.  I used clear thread because it’s quick and forgiving.  If you have an abundance of time or skill at sewing by hand (I have neither), feel free to sew with contrasting thread, which I think would be much cuter.


Sew the back of the tag to the front, wrong sides together. Leave one end open.  I used my machine for this part, but it could be done by hand fairly easily. 

Print out or hand write your name and address on cardstock and cut it to fit the window in the back of the tag.  Make sure you leave a little overhang. Insert the card in to the plastic luggage tag and then slide it into the felt tag.  Sew the end closed. 

Cut a small slit with an X-Acto knife or pointed scissors where the strap goes through the tag.  Attach the strap and you’re done.


Yay! You now have a custom luggage tag and can avoid dragging every suitcase off of the conveyor belt to see if it’s yours.

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