northstory + co

DIY Name Tags

Last Fall I was a Contributor at A Nest for All Seasons (home of the talented Amy Renea) where I did several projects that I am finally getting around to sharing on here as well.

And because school has started already in various parts of the world (we start next week), I thought I’d start off with this project where we made our own backpack name tags using juice can lids.

No really. Juice can lids. Upcycling 101.

What you’ll need for this:

– juice can lids from frozen juice containers
– a nail that’s at least 5 mm in diameter and a hammer OR a drill
– an eyelet tool kit
– foam craft sheets
– craft embellishments of your choice (stickers, jewels, etc.)
– hole punch
– glue
– wax or parchment paper
– split key rings
– Modge Podge Dimensional Magic

Start off by saving and cleaning your juice can lids. I only use the ones that are off of the opening of the can as I find the bottoms to hard to remove from the container paper.

Making backpack name tags (2)

Start by punching a hole with your nail through the juice can lid. The easiest way is to do this over a wood cutting block that you can afford to have dents into. Or if you have a drill, then you can use that instead.

Making backpack name tags

The back of your juice can lid will wind up looking like this with a whole bunch of sharp edges that you will need to flatten and smooth out.

Making backpack name tags (3)

This is where your eyelet tool kit comes in handy, as inside the kit is a tool to flatten eyelets and it works perfectly in this case to flatten the edges of the jar lid hole.

Making backpack name tags (5)

Making backpack name tags (4)

Your front after will look like this…

Making backpack name tags (6)

And your back like this.

Making backpack name tags (7)

Now the fun part – decorating!

Here’s my fool proof cheat method for making a circle stencil when you do not have a protractor or circle paper punch handy.

Push the jar lid face down onto the foam craft sheets. When you lift it up, you will have an imprint the exact size you need to fill the circle.  Just cut it out and use at will. Now I used foam sheets as the base for all of these tags, but if you want to use card stock, make sure it is fairly thick and then you just use your newly cut out foam circle as your template to trace around.

Making backpack name tags (8)

Making backpack name tags (9)

I hole punched and glued the foam circles to the jar lids. Then I printed up and cut out names on laser sticker labels on my printer at home and embellished the remainder of the lids with stickers and craft supplies I had around my house.

Now for those of you who craft a lot you’re probably very familiar with Modge Podge Dimensional Magic. If not, what this does it basically create a three-dimensional epoxy like coating over your crafts. Think of a pendant filled with a glossy plastic feel and something frozen inside of it. That type of dimension. Now you don’t have to use this for these but I chose to because I wanted them to be able to handle all the insanity that kids can throw at it. Or rather when they toss their backpacks onto the school yard floor.

Lay out your decorated jar lids onto a layer of wax or parchment paper.

Then place them on surface that you won’t move them from for AT LEAST 24 hours.

Slowly cover them with the Dimensional Magic. It will look cloudy when you coat your surface but it dries clear.

Making backpack name tags (10)

Making backpack name tags (11)

If you get a bubble (trust me you will get a bubble), don’t panic.

Just use a needle or in my case I grabbed a screwdriver from my mini screwdriver kit and move it off the surface. Sometimes tiny bubbles may form as it dries so I have learned with some practice to layer the dimensional magic in a thin coat rather just gobbing it on.

Making backpack name tags (12)

Making backpack name tags (13)

Let dry overnight. The container says it will dry in 3 hours, but I have never had this dry in 3 hours, so I do not touch the surface for at least 24 hours or else you will be left with fingerprints in it.

And they’ll wind up like this.

Upcycled Name Tags made from Juice Can Lids -

DIY backpack tags -

Upcycled backpack tag -

Then add some split key rings or whatever key ring clasp of your choice.

DIY name tags made from juice can lids -

DIY Name Tags -

And you’ve got yourself a pretty cool personalized backpack name tag!

DIY upcycled kids backpack name tag made from juice can lids -

I forewarn you, the common side effect of making these is that your kids friends will be asking you to make them some as well.

Good thing tutorials exist on blogs eh?

DIY Upcycled Backpack Name Tags made from juice can lids -

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  • Reply
    September 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I love these! My kids and all my luggage needs them! I need to try this Dimensional Magic – I’ve never used it before and I love the finish it made on your tags!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Oh!! How fun is this!!!! I want some!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I made a nametag for my daughter’s backpack using just a foam shape – from a package of random foam shapes. It’s less rigid than this, but leaves more room for originality (shape) and doesn’t have the danger of punching holes in metal or the resulting sharp edge to deal with.

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