This is a project I've been wanting to sew for a while but my daughter is the one who moved me to action as she wanted me to help her make one for her dad's birthday. (He LOVED it.)
So I looked at several luggage tag tutorials and it was like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears - I could not find one that was 'just right.' So I made my own. Here's what I think is truly the best DIY luggage tag around. It is the perfect mix of luxe (with an upcycled leather strap), sturdiness, and fun. I wanted an oversized one - easy to pick out from the crowd at a busy luggage claim area and it shows off more of the great fabric. The privacy feature of this luggage tag is what I wanted as well - personal contact info can only be seen when opened.
With Christmas around the corner, I'm going to be making a lot more of these for teachers, friends, and family. It is a gift that is easy to sew and easy to send in the mail.
***Dear reader, this is for personal use only and not to be reproduced for sale without permission from me.***
- 5"x7" card
- Fabric, 1/4 yard
- Fleece interfacing, fusible
- Interfacing, medium weight & fusible
- Clear vinyl (you only need a small square; Buying from the fabric store is best as it is very sturdy but you could also use something on hand for this like a piece of vinyl from a bedding set packaging or a notebook sheet protector page - I got this idea from The Crafty Gemini)
- Leather upcycled (or any kind of sturdy strap material that is 1/2" wide), 8" long
- Sewing machine
Here's the video tuorialt:
Step 1: Make Your Tag Shape
Take your 5x7 card and cut it to resemble the picture. Fold card in half lengthwise in order to get your two sides symmetrical and then cut the tapered sides, making the narrow end 1" wide when folded (2" wide when card lays flat). There's no need for an exact match to my pattern piece, as long as yours is symmetrical.
Step 2: Make Strap
Cut one leather strap 1" wide by 8" long. Fold in half lengthwise and sew along length. I didn't even use my leather needle - used a regular universal needle and regular thread. I upcycled this leather left over from these other projects:
and on my YouTube Channel Threadhead TV:
*my leather wrap OBI belt
*my dress to jacket and vest conversions
Step 3: Cut Fabric Pieces
Cut 4 pieces of fabric from your card pattern & set aside.
Then fold about 1" of the narrow end of your pattern piece and use this to cut a 5th piece (pic #2 above). This is going to serve as the frame around the card holder (with the vinyl window). (In the picture, I folded down about 2" and I wanted more length to be able to double-fold my hem on that side. Instead, I had to do with a single-fold hem. So I'm giving you 1" directive.)
Step 4: Interfacing
Cut two pieces of fusible fleece interfacing (to give your tag heft & shape) that is 5/8" smaller all around than your fabric. It is cut smaller so that the bulk doesn't get caught in the seams. Fuse/iron onto the wrong side of two pieces of tag fabric as shown in photo. Only a heavier weight or fleece interfacing will do for this. Anything less will produce a floppy luggage tag - just say 'no' to floppy!
Next you will cut the interfacing for your 5th piece as shown. This is from your medium-weight interfacing. Fuse onto wrong side of 5th piece.
Now you will have 5 pieces that look as the picture shown above.
Step 5: Make Window/Pocket Piece Layer
Grab a business card and center it on the back of your 5th piece. Pencil dots about 1/8"- 1/4" away from outer corners of biz card as shown. These dots will make a rectangle if connected. No need to connect the dots by pencil but do cut an "X" in the middle, ending cut precisely at each dot.
Fold these 4 flaps back as shown to make an open rectangle then press. Cut off corners to about 3/8" from the fold so as not to add extra bulk in the side seams. Then cut a piece of vinyl that is about 3/8" larger than the area of the open rectangle and center over the wrong side.
First finish edge that will be the open side enabling you to slip the card in:
Fold 1/4" of fabric 5th piece back over vinyl (to wrong side) then zigzag stitch along that one edge. Since you can't pin the vinyl you can use clips or just hold in place. Hopefully in the last step, you cut a little extra length than I did so you can even double-fold this hem and then zigzag stitch.
Next straight stitch 1/8" away from the open rectangle edge for the remaining 3 sides that have not yet been sewn. I used my walking foot so that the presser foot would not stick to the vinyl as sewing. If you have one, use it. If not, just use what you have!
Step 6: Sew Tag Piece #1: Back/Window Pocket Piece
Place window piece right side up on top of one of the right side of fleece interfaced tag pieces, matching raw edges.
Then place 1 piece (without interfacing) face down on those (right sides together). Pin, marking about a 3" opening on one side where you will start and end so that you have this 3" opening through which to turn piece right-side out. (I am pointing to these marks.)
Sew 3/8" around the edge from marked opening around to other opening. Or can also use a 5/8" seam allowance for a smaller overall tag. I'm going to try this size next time... either way, your window will still have enough frame to it... just depends upon how oversized you want it.
Trim corners, being careful not to cut your stitching.
Turn right side out and push corners out with a chop stick or some other instrument that is sharp but not too sharp as to put holes in your corners.
Turn the opening/hole seams allowances under & press all around edges, being careful not to touch hot iron to the vinyl window. Then topstitch 1/8"-1/4" away from outer edge all the way around this window on the fabric frame which will also close up your 3" hole that you used to turn piece right-side out.
Step 7: Sew Tag Piece #2: Front Cover
Fold leather strap as shown and place raw edges of strap along raw edge of right side of the remaining tag piece (narrow side) that has been fleece-interfaced. Since you can't pin leather, you can use binder clips or mini clothes pins or just hold in place. Place last remaining fabric piece face down (right sides together) and pin around outside, leaving a 3" opening for turning right-side out just as we did for tag piece #1.
Sew 3/8" - 5/8" away from the edge (same seam allowance measurement you chose for piece #1), leaving opening.
Turn right side out & press, turning seam allowances of opening under. Pin closed.
Topstitch 1/8" away from finished edge all the way around which will also serve to close the 3" opening.
Now you have 2 finished top (cover) and bottom (window) pieces as shown.
Step 8: Sew Cover & Back Together
Place finished cover piece on top of finished window piece. Pin. Sew along yellow lines as shown, being careful not to cross over into the window opening edge or you will sew card opening shut or partially shut.
This probably took us an hour after I made 1 prototype. This is an easy project and great for beginners.
I hope you enjoy giving or using the best luggage tag ever! Whip one up for Father's Day.
buildandsewandstuff made it!