13 November 2011

Weekend DIY: Hand Printed Christmas Gift Tags

A guest post by Nikki Shipard of BIRCHseed and BIRCHseed blog. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Here is a simple and organic way to make some unique gift tags for the upcoming festive season...

Not only will these tags add a personal handmade touch to all your gifts but they can also be added to your Christmas tree as sweet decorations or strung together into some bunting to hang across a doorway or blow in the breeze of a window.

This DIY is also great to do with kids (being careful of course when using the knife). I stretched out a roll of brown paper for my 2 year old son, who had so much fun stamping it in all sorts of colours… and now we have some very special Christmas wrapping paper to use this year too!


  • a potato – medium size
  • lead pencil or  kitchen knife or lino cutting tool
  • some card stock or cardboard from a cereal box will do
  • cup or glass jar
  • scissors
  • some nice twine
  • hole punch
  • reinforcing stickers
  • ink pad or any non-toxic paint you might have
  • some scrap paper

  • cut potato in half with a nice straight cut
  • use a sharpened lead pencil or lino cutting tool (with a fine blade) to scratch out or carve a design into the potato
  • ink up the potato and do a test print on your scrap paper
  • go back and carve to make adjustments (if needed) and test print
  • you can just use this one design or make as many as you like (I made 4 different designs for a bit of variety)

  • once you are happy with your carved designs print them out onto some nice card stock
  • I used a recycled 300gms weight cardboard + a pure white card stock too
  • make sure you leave enough space around each separate print (you will see why in the next steps)

  • grab a clear wine glass or jar that has a circumference that sits just outside the print
  • use your lead pencil and draw circle around each print as a guide
  • cut each print out
  • now hole punch them all about 1cm in from the edge (if you are using a thinner type of card stock you can use the reinforcing stickers to strengthen the holes)

  • grab your twine (I used some sweet black & white hemp twine) and thread through the holes
  • leave the ends open, so you can tie them into stuff if you are using as gift tags
  • tie a knot at the ends if you want to add them as decorations to your Christmas tree

  • for a bit of spice and variety… you can use other nice ribbons, twines and strings…
  • here I have used some green and white striped grosgrain ribbon on the white printed tags
  • and I have thread some lime green paper twine through a series of the tags to form a string of bunting

  • and remember that this simple form of printing is so much fun and easy very for kids to do
  • grab a plate and spread some non-toxic acrylic paint on it
  • on the floor roll out some brown paper or even newspaper could work well
  • and let them stamp away ‘free form’ to their hearts content
  • & when the paint is nice and dry… its wrapping time!

Enjoy a lovely organic, handmade Christmas this year!

We live in a sweet 1950s fibro cottage in a quaint little town town situated in an extinct volcano caldera in subtropical New South Wales. 'We' is my partner, 2 year old son and me + 3 chooks and a cat called Kenny.
I love gardening, it's in my genes.
My favourite plant atm is pineapple sage.
I have a degree in health promotion, but choose to be at home being a mum right now.
I like eating cold watermelon.
Blockprinting is my creative outlet. I do up in the back shed... it keeps my brain ticking over amongst nappy changes and tripping over toys.
I am currently learning to crochet for some fun.
My family and I are going on a 4000km camping/road trip for 5 weeks for Christmas break. Yay!!

Photos courtesy of BIRCHseed.