Saturday, January 5, 2013

Collegiate Luggage Tags, using Duct Tape!

Have you seen the new patterns and colors of Duck brand duct tape? One local store carries the line of "collegiate" tapes, and even though it's a dollar more a roll, I had to buy some Notre Dame-logo tape. It is my daughter's alma mater, after all.

So, what to do with it? I didn't think she'd be interested in a duct tape wallet or jewelry. I finally found directions for something useful -- a luggage tag -- but I didn't like that the instructions called for writing your name on the tag with a Sharpie. Yet, 'luggage tag' stuck in my mind. I decided to play around with the tape to come up with a design that allows my daughter to use her business card to identify her bags.
A custom-made, Notre Dame duct tape luggage tag
To make a duct tape luggage tag, you'll need scissors, an exacto knife and ruler, and a cutting mat.  You will make three pieces:  an inner tag (blue in my sample), and outer tag, using the collegiate tape, and a flap, using the collegiate tape.

Step 1: For the inner tag, make duct fabric by cutting two pieces of duct tape six inches long; stick one to the other, overlapping them to make the piece about 3 inches wide (hint: working on a gridded cutting mat really helps with the measurements). Lay the duct fabric sticky side up on the table. Make a second piece of duct fabric about the same size, and lay it on top the first piece, sticky sides together. Trim and square up the piece to 3 x 5 inches.

Now, using the exacto knife and a ruler, cut a window 2 inches x 3 inches out of the tag you just made. Notice I made the window a little 'off-center' so I have room at add a grommet to the tag later.  Cut a piece of clear acetate (an overhead projector sheet or the cover of a report works great) 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches long. Center it over the window you cut in the tag, and tape it down around the edges with narrow strips of duct tape. Set this piece aside.
An acetate window allows your business card to be seen.
Step 2: Make the outer luggage tag by cutting a strip of your collegiate tape, and bordering it with a coordinating color (or a second strip of collegiate tape).
The ND duct tape becomes the focus of the outside of the tag.
Flip the piece over, sticky side up on your work surface. Cut another pieces of duct tape 5 inches long, and lay it on top of the sticky side, leaving a 1/2 inch sticky border along the 5 inch side (I used grey duct tape in my sample -- I didn't want to use the more expensive ND tape here!). Cut another piece of tape 5 inches long. Overlap the tape you put down in the previous step, and leave a sticky border along the other 5 inch side of the tag.  Square your 'fabric' up to a finished size of 4 x 5 inches.

Step 3: Center the tag you made in step one on top of the tag you made in step 2. Fold the 1/2 of exposed tape over the inner tag to secure the two together. Trim the short (3 inch) edges to square them up.

Step 4: To make a flap, cut a 10 1/2 inch strip of the collegiate tape. You will fold this piece of tape not quite in half...leave at least 3/4 of an inch of sticky tape exposed. Place the luggage tag on the table and stick the strip to the tag, so the collegiate tape folds over the end of the tag and covers the acetate piece. Affix a sticky backed Velcro dot to the flap, and the other to the inside of the luggage tag.  The business card slides into the luggage tag on the left, by the fold of the flap.
Step 5: Use a hole punch to make a hole in the luggage tag. Use a shoelace or ribbon to tie it to your suitcase. If you have the tools, you can add a grommet to the tag...this makes it sturdier, and you can use a 'zip' tie to fasten it to your suitcase without worrying that the tie will tear the duct tape.
A grommet makes the tag 'tear' proof.
I made two of these as stocking stuffers for my daughter.  She jets all over the country to visit her Notre Dame friends, and now will be able to easily identify her luggage at the airport.  Too bad she won't be using it to travel to Florida this weekend for the National Championship game!

Go Irish!!

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