Introduction: Laser Cut & Etched Leather Luggage Tag

About: I'm a fanatic of self-fabbing!

Hi folks,

As in France one has to put tags on every luggage that is taken with during transportation in trains, I wasn't satisfied with a ready-made one, generally quick-and-dirty written on a paper tag.

I decided to fab-it-myself with the following criteria:
 - personalized
 - customizable (when published as the present Instructable)
 - cooler than the generally available ones 
 - more durable than paper
 - if possible made of renewable materials

Note that I have a laser cutter at my disposal, which is uncommon, I admit.

I first took as an example the shape of the paper version (see second photo).

If you intend to take action, here is the  material check-list:
 - this Instructable
 - a laser cutter
 - a sheet of material that can be cut with the latter
 - the downloadable files that are available in step 2.
 - Inkscape or any cool vector drawing application

Step 1: The Making Of

In my stock, I had some thin leather sheets, usually used for making shoe soles.

First, I traced a picture of the original tag in Inkscape then retouched it slightly, but I didn't want to take too much time on customization, since my motto is "I design them basic, you fab them special", so my Instructables are mainly proofs-of-concept, that propose an easy way of doing custom goods.

To avoid unpleasant fume marks, I generally use masking paper (that makes the leather seem white on the pictures in the laser machine). The only drawback of this method is when you have to peel off the tape after engraving: small pieces are (relatively) hard to remove...

Step 2: It's Up to You, Now! Dream, Design & Do It Yourself!

Well, you'll find here all needed file to do it yourself at will.

You can download several versions, depending on your (software & hardware) equipment.
Please note that I used Epilog standard for engraving and cutting: thin lines for cutting, the rest for engraving (here: pure black).
I generally use red lines for cutting, so that I can easy spot what will be cut...

When modifying these downloadable designs, don't forget that the end has to go through the slot, otherwise you can end up with a nice leather bookmark, but not a luggage tag ;-). If I explained it not enough clearly, see second photo to understand the constraints of the design.
Anyway, you still can customize the engraving without modifying the shape!
You'll see that I chose to put a QR Code on mine. It makes it easy to put a link to your website or blog, or better: a specific page that explains what to do when people find your bag...

Please, put your comments here to show your customizations, ask questions and make suggestions!!!
I'll be glad to read & answer your questions. Don't hesitate, I'm open to criticism!