If you're looking to elevate your gift-giving this holiday season, what better way than to customize your own gift tags? These gift tags are about freedom of expression, meaning your finished gift tags will be fun and whimsical abstract designs. However, you can get as realistic as you'd like! Creating your own gift tags shows your friends and family how much you care about them and is the perfect way to stay creative during the holiday season.
- Watercolor Paper or Mixed Media Paper
- Scissors or Crafting Knives
- Cutting Mat
- Paintbrushes (If you're using paints)
- Hole Punch or Adhesive Glue
- Medium (or mediums) of choice! Here are some great ones to get you started
Step 1. Design and Cut out your Tags
Choose the shape you'd like to make your gift tags. We chose a simple gift tag shape, but you can choose any shape you'd like! Once you know what shape you'd like, grab a pencil, a ruler, and your fine art paper of choice. Draw out as many tags as you need on the paper, then grab your scissors and cut!
If you're not as precise at cutting with scissors as you'd like, a crafting knife against the edge of a ruler helps ensure precision; make sure your hands and the surface you're cutting on are protected, as crafting knives are sharp! Lastly, use a hole punch to create a hole to thread the gift string through. Alternatively, if you're in a pinch and don't have a hole punch, you can use our adhesive glue to glue the tags down onto the wrapping paper.
Inspiration: Make your gift tags extra personalized by making different shapes for different people!
Step 2. Start Creating
With your medium of choice, start designing! Here are some of our favorite ideas for unique textures and patterns!
- Keep it simple with paint! We love using gouache for its opaque effect, but you can use any paint you have on hand. First, pick as many or as few colors as you want and start painting several shapes on the gift tag. Once those layers are dry, choose a different color (or colors) and begin partially painting more shapes on top. Make sure to create some overlap, as well as let the new colors stand out on their own. This will create a unique, layered effect that you can see reflected in some of our tags above!
- Remember your fan brush! Gather one color on the tip of the brush and move it back and forth down one of your gift tags. Depending on the viscosity of your paint, the paint will become more transparent by the time you get to the bottom of the brush. Since fan brushes are wide, you can add multiple colors to the tip for even more fun results.
- Let the watercolors move naturally for a stunning surprise every time! Using a wet-on-wet technique with no additional guidance, watercolors will form unique patterns independently. To accomplish this, use a wet paintbrush to cover the entirety of your blank tag with a thin layer of clean water. Then, use at least two shades of pre-watered down watercolor paint and add those colors to random spots on the gift tag. Your watercolors will 'bloom' out and if placed close to another color, will start mixing with that one. Keep adding paint until you are satisfied with your results!
- Create a mixed-media masterpiece! Using all of your favorite mediums, experiment with layering them on top of each other. One of the simplest ways to see stunning results fast is by putting down several watercolor or gouache shapes. Once fully dry, create patterns with markers or colored pencils over some of the shapes for extra dimension. Whichever media you choose, ensure each medium is completely dry before adding another for the best results. Still trying to figure out where to start? Click here for some beautiful (and easy) media combinations.
Once you've finished your artwork, address the gift tag on the blank side or even the side with the artwork.
Inspiration: Try some of these color combinations with any medium you’re using!
- Complimentary color (Blue and orange, red and green, yellow and purple)
- Analogous (three colors next to each other on the color wheel)
- Monochromatic (lighter shades and hues of the same color)
Step 3. Give Amazing Gifts!
Voila, you've created fun, custom tags for all of your family and loved ones to enjoy. We hope they love the thoughtful gesture as much as you loved making these unique gift tags!