Gift Tag 911

One of the things I love about the internet is that everything is on there somewhere, and it’s all available at midnight on Christmas Eve. For example: gift tags. In this case, almost all of my shopping is done (Light still has not made her list), and it’s two-thirty in the morning, and I want everything wrapped but I’m realizing that I didn’t get gift tags. And wrapping presents without tags is a recipe for disaster. Although I hedge my bets by giving each person in the house her or his own wrapping paper, I use whatever’s left over from those gifts to wrap the stuff I send. And if I send the wrong gift, I will not be there to tell my mother that Hot Tub Time Machine was supposed to be for Lani. But because I once got lost on Martha Stewart’s website, I’m betting that she has downloadable gift tags. And boy howdy does she:

Martha’s Animal Gift Tags:

Generally, I’m not a fan of da cute, but these are cute cut with a little snark, so I’m all over them. The good news is, I also found some really beautiful tags by Whitney Beard on the Blah Blah Blahg:

If you want to pay Whitney back for the freebie, go to her Etsy store, Whisker Graphics. She has amazing paper graphics there, too.

If you want something less pictorial, I like these striped tags from Free Printables Online

But the tag I’m probably printing the most of is this one from Amy Karol:

I tried to find the page on Amy’s blog, angry chicken, so I could link to the page instead of directly to the pdf, but I couldn’t find it. So the link is to the PDF, but you really should check out the blog. Plus she has Bend the Rules tags for sale that say all the things you want to but can’t. Like “This seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I’m not so sure.”

And now back to wrapping. God, I love the internet.

38 thoughts on “Gift Tag 911

  1. Oh, that’s one of my favorite things to do this time of year — find the latest fun gift tags. I’ve used the angry chicken ones before because they are so hilarious. I especially like the one that says, “I made this myself, so don’t say anything mean about it.”

  2. I save xmas cards from the previous year to cut up with pinking shears to make gift tags. Its cheap, green and I love any excuse to use pinking shears!

  3. Oh, thank you. The Amy Karol tag is perfect for my sister in-law’s gift. It reminds me of my favorite Christmas rubber stamp that says, ‘Dear Santa, I can explain…’. I got suckered in by the Martha punch shaped like a holly garland. Totally the craft store’s fault, they were selling discounted iTunes cards. I was just going to browse a little bit…

  4. I will totally be using the Amy Karol ones on my gift bags, they’re hilarious! I don’t typically care to use gift tags on packages. They mess up the pretty lines of the gift and the ribbon and they always fall off. Meep! So, I usually write the to and from on the bottom of the box with a pretty gold or silver metallic paint pen.

  5. LOL – I love these tags, but will likely rely on either the peel and stick tags I have left over from last year or just write directly on the paper. That’s if my son left me any paper – he must have used three feet of my best paper to wrap a soccer ball for his sister!

  6. Love the tags. I shall go and explore.

    Ha ha, on Hot Tub Time Machine. I watched it, and Get Him to the Greek, with my son and his girlfriend at Thanksgiving. Was too embarrassed to tell any of my friends.

    1. Lani and I watched it and were just in awe of the writers. Great craft structure and no storytelling boundaries. I don’t think there was ever a moment when any of those guys said, “We can’t do that.” Almost as funny as Dodgeball.

  7. I just read through the gift stories on the angry chicken page πŸ˜› The only bad gift I can think of is two years ago, my sister’s sister in law got everyone fire blankets – they’d ordered too many at work and she’d been given them to take home.

  8. Ah, gift tags. For years during my childhood we had no gift tags on Christmas gifts. This was because one of my brothers was caught putting his (tagged) gifts on the bathroom scale, then checking mailing weights on the JCPenney catalog. In the end he had pretty accurately inventoried his entire haul in advance, and my mom got fed up. After that, she wrapped everything up anonymously but made certain paper/bow combinations were unique. He could still measure and weigh stuff, but was never sure if it was his or not. Only once did Mom goof, mixing up two shirt boxes.

    (Yes, I know, she didn’t have to put gifts under the tree, but we had honkin’ big (11-12 ft high) trees and she thought it looked “naked” without gifts under there. )

    I still have to remember to put tags on — and often forget them!

    1. Gosh, that seems like a missed opportunity for an (additional) lump of coal… or an orange, to be nicer. Very clever of your brother.

  9. One other Christmas gift story. We are a bunch of jokesters, often misunderstood by outsiders. For example: we compete to give the grossest birthday cards — my mom got royally pissed off because she got a nice “I love you Mom” card from my brother (the box-weigher), called him up and chewed him out because she was convinced he’d passed off buying her card to his wife …

    ANYWAY, back to Christmas. My widowed grandmother remarried while we were quite small. Our new grandfather gave our dad some money each year for Christmas. One year instead of the usual envelope there was a (fairly heavy) package under the tree. Hmmmm. Interesting.

    Dad opened it up on Christmas morning and it was, in fact, again the usual $50 bill, but Grandpa had nailed it between two boards and wrapped them up.

    Guess we infected him…. ;>

  10. Oh, I am so happy you like my tags! I use them all the time of course, and then laugh at myself when I am surprised at how useful I find them. Because, you know, they sound like me.
    After my book publisher (Potter Craft) published these, I pulled the free version from the blog, but am thrilled you found the PDF to link to. The Bend the Rules for sale ones are the same, they just have slicker graphics and come on handy sticker paper.

    1. Well, THAT’s why I couldn’t find it on the site.
      It works really well as an entry drug to your purchased tags, though. That’s how I got to Amazon.
      Oh, and THANK YOU, Amy!

  11. Are you really already wrapping Xmas presents? I’m still thinking about St. Nicholas presents (due on 5 December) and they need rhymes as well as wrapping. You are organised!

    1. No, I’m just about to go into the final month on this book, during which I’ll be pedal to the metal 24/7 and have no time for Christmas. So it has to be done NOW or it won’t get done at all. I’ve told Light if I don’t get a Christmas list in the next forty-eight hours, she’s getting coal in her stocking. Of course, then I’d have to go out and get the coal . . .

  12. My Dad likes to wrap things in a unique way too- One year he used an entire roll of electrical tape on my brother’s gift; another time he covered all of our gift boxes in wood glue and then stuck things on them, including gum, dirt, and twigs. I myself have given up on gift tags for my family; I have a giant beveled sharpie that I use to scrawl their names right on the packages. After the year my brother showed up with everyone’s gifts wrapped in garbage bags there really didn’t seem to be much point.

      1. My mom bought my dad this honking HUGE gold link chain for Christmas (it was 1978). Then she bought 10 feet of bright yellow plastic chain like they use on golf courses, put the jewelry store box inside a bigger box and surrounded it with the rattly plastic stuff. He spent *days* trying to figure out what was making that noise in the box.

  13. Actually, I’ve always liked using the funny pages as wrapping paper — colorful, earth-friendly, cheap! Unfortunately in Europe no Sunday funnies. I did once get a load of funnies of old Stars&Stripes from friends in Heidelberg, which I have carefully parcelled out.

    Duct tape (silver) could work — or maybe even yellow electrical tape…

  14. One year my aunt wrapped all her presents in regular black and white newspaper. She put red ribbon and big red bows and they were beautiful.

    Love the tags.

  15. My mom and I have both made a bunch of fabric bags to re-use over and over (pretty minimal sewing – she may hem hers, I tend to cut mine on the selvage; it was partially an excuse to buy the Christmas print fabrics), and then take old cards and a hole-punch to thread them on the ribbon tie.

    But your tags are much cleverer.

  16. Mom, Grandma, and I finally just started reusing the same gift bags over and over. Sometimes one of them would just cross out the names inside the gift bag and write the new ones. Sometimes you were lucky and found you were using a gift bag for the same person again.

    When I actually wrap gifts, I use colored tissue paper and write the recipient’s name on it in silver or gold pen. If I’m feeling creative, I add something unusual: once I fixed a package so that you pulled a ribbon downward and it acted like a zipper and opened up the wrapping.

    The gift tags look way cool. Now if only I were giving any gifts this year ….

    1. Before there were gift bags, my mom wrapped the TOPS ONLY of department store clothing boxes (shirt boxes, coat boxes, shoe boxes, etc), and used ribbons and/or scotch tape to hold the top and bottom together. Clean-up consisted of nesting the (still wrapped) boxed (with tissue paper refolded inside) and putting ’em back in the attic for next year. So: almost no paperwaste, minimal effort with wrapping. No wonder my brothers are environmentalists… Recycling ’60s style!

  17. I love Amy Karol’s tag! But I should warn you. I told my Mom about the same thing one year about the present I bought her…she decided to save it and gave it to me for Christmas the next year! :o)

  18. After one of my husband’s endless house projects, we had a giant roll (3′ w by a zillion feet long) of brown construction paper. I have used it for years with a giant roll of ribbon (fabric with gold thread) and it makes a surprisingly nice looking package.

    OFF TOPIC (so feel free to skip) I was just at writer’s almanac and am totally bummed. Indiana is deemed the most average state in the union – which is okay with me because I don’t know anyone from Indiana so I don’t have to be offended for them although maybe they would consider it a cheering thought – who knows. BUT to my horror Oregon is the second most average. We like to think of ourselves as radical (or uber conservative – your choice) or cutting edge or totally family oriented but NEVER as average. I console myself with the thought that we have so many extremes that we cancel each other out.

    1. I feel your pain. I just found out that Lincoln County (out here at the coast) has lost its place as number one in the state for Meth use and production. We’ve slipped to #2! πŸ™‚ My realtor told me, but she didn’t remember who had displaced us as #1.

      Average? Oregon? Never!

  19. Best Christmas mix-up in My family at least. Once several years ago, my Grandmother (a sweet little old preacher’s wife) wrapped up a nice nightgown for one of her DIL. Only she sent it by mistake to her recently divorced son. I wish I had been there when he unwrapped it…

  20. I just spend most of the last 2 days wrapping gifts and stocking stuff for 9 people. It was a waste of a fabulous 1 1/2 hour hot stone massage I had this morning. But it is done. For now. Yes on using cards cut up for gift tags. And to paste over logos of company sacks. And freebie ones send in ‘will you donate to me’ letters. Using tote bags picked up from hospital conference vendors-I have no idea what medical slogan is on my son in laws bags. πŸ™‚ I use these at Wally World and grocery store.

    I am feeling green.

  21. i use the free tags that i get in the mail so i’ll send them money. i started sending $$ to the paralyzed veterns ’cause their speeding wheelchair guy logo made me laugh – he’s got speed lines behind him (i am not deep.) so they hook me up every year.

    sometimes if i’m feeling fancy (or i have a small bit of paper left), i’ll use the paper for a tag, punch a hole in a corner and use ribbon to attach it to the bow. but my cats make ribbon, bows and any extra paper a rather bad idea. so, stickers! yay!

  22. One year my aunt gave my mom a banana for Christmas as a joke. My mom left it in the box by mistake and it got put away with the other Christmas decorations. The next year, there it was all dried and brown so Mom gave it back to my Aunt. The next year Mom got it again, spray painted gold. It went back and forth and ended up with sequins and ribbons, etc. It was the most important gift every year. The tradition died with my favorite aunt. At least 10 years later, her daughter found it and gave it to my Mom. We laughed until we had tears and remembered Aunt Edie and her banana. One of my favorite Christmas memories.

  23. Amy Karol is one of my craft heroes.

    My family is laid back about many things, one of them being gift bags. We usually write someone’s name on the tag the first year it is given and after that the tag gets cut off and names go on odd bits of whatever and ribbon. One year in the distant past I gave the ex-MIL a bag that still had the name tag on it form a previous year. She caught it and tried to give it back assuming I had grabbed the wrong bag. When I told her that it was a recycled bag she asked, “You mean someone else’s gift was in this bag?” like most people would ask, “You want me to walk through two week old dead fish?”

Comments are closed.