Tuesday, April 25

Luggage tag using scrap fabric DIY

Every household has hidden scraps of fabric that go unused for umpteen reasons. Sometimes the reasons are obligatory, at other times sentimental. But it's not uncommon to find that piece of fabric or T-Shirt you thought would be useful and never really used.

I found such a piece I had picked up from the temple at a throwaway price because it was an offering to the deities there. I had once thought it would make for good altar decor. Now I have second thoughts, and want the fabric to be useful somehow. The memory of seeing those huge suitcases at the airport luggage belt - with handkerchiefs, satin ribbons, and sometimes torn rags hanging from the handles, prompted me to try a luggage tag. It's a failed piece to be honest, but I managed to salvage it, and I bet it will be useful to me or to a friend soon someday.

What you need for this project (hold it, it's not a quickie. You need loads of patience):

-- less than half a square foot of scrap fabric

-- embellishments to either stitch on to the fabric, or stick such as cloth flowers, buttons, beads...

-- a pair of cloth cutting scissors

-- marker pen, fine tip

-- an object to use as stencil - a rectangle, or circle or oval...I used a needle-case cardboard that came with it from the store

-- a piece of satin ribbon

-- cotton for fill or batting

-- Needle and threads of different colours to match the fabric or embellishments

-- optional is a velcro-tape self adhesive piece

-- quilting pins or ball headpins to hold cloth for sewing

I started by marking out using a needle case cardboard packaging as stencil, on the fabric.

I then pinned the ball pins about an inch and half from the marked lines, so it would make it easier to cut the fabric. The next step was to mark another dotted line along the marked line, about one third of an inch wide.

Cut along the dot-marked lines, and leave some space on what you want as the top of the fabric piece for luggage tag, so you may fix a hook, velcro tape or press-button.

I stitched up a button hole using the button hole stitch, but it did not really work out. It was because there was not enough fabric above the button hole, for accomodating both, stitches and a button after it got inserted.  You may use a velcro tape, or a press button set.

On what I wanted as the front side of the tag, I stitched up cloth flowers. I chose flower colours to match one of the different colours on the fabric print.

The next step. Use a running stitch and stitch along the original marked line. Leave a one inch or two inch gap, ideally on the top or bottom of the to-be tag.

It was time to fill the cotton batting in.

I stitched the end of a six inch piece of satin ribbon (about half an inch or less wide) on to the rear inside of the would-be tag. It was a bit of a push and pull here. because of the faulty button hole. The stitched button was not so great to look at and its stitches showed on the rear of the ribbon, so I fixed a cloth flower to cover it up.

Now, this is not exactly a button-able piece or stickable one because of the velcro tape complication. But it will come in handy in the most unexpected of ways, as my life as a homemaker in our own home has been teaching me.

Use this tag for your own personal travels, or gift it to a teen.

For permissions write to: radiscribe@gmail.com

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