Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hand Stamped Clothing Tag Tutorial

It's dumping bucketloads of rain down on Richmond, VA right now.  So what better time to pour out another cup of tea and type up this fun and easy to follow hand stamped clothing tag tutorial?!  But first I'll share a bit of background on the subject at hand. 

Earlier this month I met up with some other VA-based Etsians from the Etsy VA team out in Short Pump.  They've been meeting on a monthly basis, sharing ideas, (local) business opportunities and creative inspiration.  It was a fantastic meeting and it really inspired me to start taking the handmade portion of my business more seriously.  I've been wanting to grow my handmade Preciousowl brand and establish a local, physical presence in addition to what's already established online.  All of the other women I met up with sell at local craft shows and many of them also sell on consignment locally and elsewhere.  I've been wanting to do both but between records, stamps and everything else in life, I just haven't had the time to create enough handmade inventory to pursue these avenues.  While many of the goods that I sell in my etsy shop are supplies, many are also handmade.  Of course, this could all be in head but I think my online presence is more of a supplier than anything.  However, my goal for this Fall is to create an entire range of my own branded handmade clothing and accessories.  I want to build enough inventory to grow my handmade business and take it to the streets!  Even just typing about it helps to make it feel more real. 

Much of my creativity is a product of my thriftiness and building your own business isn't cheap.  I'm not a total cheapskate but I do take pride in practicality.  Recently I was browsing etsy, looking for a place to get clothing tags printed.  But after hours of browsing, I wasn't totally satisfied with the results.  The best price I could find for the highest quality tags was about $40 + S&H for about 100 custom tags.  Between the handling time and every seller's inane policies, I came to the only natural conclusion.  Why not just make my own tags?!  I made 40 tags in about a 1/2 hour.  I used vintage linen fabric that Troy brought home from work & craft supplies already on hand, so aside from the time I enjoyed making the tags, I spent zip, zilch, zero, making them.  But even if you had to buy most of these supplies brand new, it would still cost under 40 bucks.  So let the tag making tutorial begin!


At least a yard of smooth linen or cotton fabric (this should be enough to make 100 tags)
Archival ink stamp pad (I used Ranger brand - acid free, permanent & waterproof)
Alphabet stamper
Sewing machine (optional, for finishing purposes only)

1) Iron your fabric.

2) Stamp out a test proof of your tag on regular paper.

3) Measure your proof with a ruler and then sketch out a grid on your fabric allowing enough room between each tag for folding and/or sewn finished edges.  In my case, my proof measured 2 3/4" x 3/4" so I made each block 4" x 2".

4) Stamp away!

5) Now your tags are essentially finished.  You can cut them out and use them as you like.  Keep the raw edges if you like the DIY look, but if you want to make them look extra professional, you can follow these optional steps.
Finishing the tags
1) Fold the bottom of the tag behind the front.  Press with an iron.
2) Stitch a border around 3 sides of the tag (leaving the top open).  Reverse stitch the beginning and end of the border for extra security.
Now your tags are finished and ready to be inserted into all of your groovy creations!
Inserting clothing tags into your garments
1) Position the tag under the seam before you stitch it.
2) Stitch your seam.



  1. hello! I found you on craftgrrl on lj. following you on GFC & bloglovin now!

    great tutorial, by the way! definitely going to make these :) thank you!! :)


  2. Sweet! You have a super cute blog and etsy shop. I just started following you too! <3