Sunday, January 31

DIY luggage tags from cardboard trash

Have you been at that conveyor belt queue at an airport and wondered often which of those giant polymer boxes happened to be yours? Or looked underneath the train berth and gotten confused between two identical looking suitcases?

Most of us have been there. Not a surprise that many of our elders come up with their own creative ways to mark their suitcases. Little pieces of satin ribbons, large labels with address screaming in large fonts on large pieces of paper glued on with duct tape.

Luggage accessories industry that includes luggage tags, has seen a phenomenal growth as a result. They come in all shapes, forms and the standard size of a credit card or more. If you have no mood to spend your precious bucks on a credit card, dig into your trash around home.

You will find it in plenty. Cardboard cartons of products you picked up at the super-market, packing corrugated cardboard, magazines...

Here is a tutorial for luggage tags with a personal touch. And with no adherence to the industry induced sizes for a proper luggage tag.

What you need to make these tags:

-- a pair of scissors
-- used cardboard that comes with products
-- corrugated cardboard that comes in boxes an packaging
-- glue - either tacky glue or glue stick
-- patterned paper
-- marker pens of a colour or two
-- thick thread and jute or burlap twine
-- sticker labels to embellish - optional
-- also optional is eyelets, if you know how to work with them

For the first step, I decided to do away with using a sandpaper on the cardboard. I used my nails to separate the last layer stuck on to the cardboard. It took some effort. And patience.

This is how it turned out after some pulling. I cut it to the desired size.

Time to use patterned paper on it. I tried the glue stick, and was not happy with it. So out came some tacky glue.

You will notice that with application of such glue, it tends to bend the cardboard.

So after you are done with the trimming of this tag, put the piece under a heavy book or two for about an hour. It helps even the piece out while drying it at the same time.

Round off the edges, punch a hole on its edge, and knot a thick thread in. You may knot this directly on to your suitcase, or keep it aside for future use. When you knot it before hand, make sure they are loose enough to pull out when you need them.

The corrugated cardboard luggage tag did not require much effort. Just cut the cardboard to a desired size, and round off the edges.

And punch a hole. After this, you may embellish using a sticker label. And write your names or initials, with a thick marker pen.

I used a mustard shade marker pen to outline the cardboard edges and along the sticker label. Knot a thread in.

Here is how its other side looked before the embellishing and threading.

Check out how it looks on a suitcase.

Now you can crane your neck out at the conveyor belt and simply notice the colour of your handmade luggage tag to identify it.

The tag definitely saves you the trouble of pulling the box out of the belt and having to put it back in if it is not yours.

Pictures courtesy: RADHIKA M B

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