I have been hard at work getting my son’s little play area organized, decorated, and perfectly outfitted for him to have fun and learn. I recently re-painted a thrift store table and chairs and designed a magnetic learning station for him and I to play at together. Because his “playroom” is situated right inside our front door, one of my challenges has been organizing his toys: keeping them easily accessible for playing but also quick and easy to put away when guests drop by or at the end of the day. Baskets on a bookcase turned out to be the perfect solution for us, but I was going crazy trying to figure out what all was inside my 8 identical baskets! I set off to make some cute basket labels, and came up with these!
One of the best things about this project is that you don’t need a ton of fabric…in fact, this is a great project to use up scraps!
Here’s what you’ll need: (enough for one luggage tag)
- A 4″x6″ rectangle of Ultra Firm Stabilizer (I used Peltex 72F)
- Two 4.5″x7″ rectangles in coordinating/matching cotton print fabrics
- A 10″x8″ scrap of heavyweight fusible interfacing
- A 2.5″x4.25″ cut of 20 gauge clear vinyl
- A 10″x1.5″ rectangle of matching fabric
(Not pictured: ruler, scissors, iron, press cloth, pins, sewing needle, sewing machine, coordinating thread, disappearing fabric pen.)
To help with cutting, download the luggage tag pattern (below); print it out on card stock, and cut out all the pieces.
Trace and cut. Using the pattern piece provided, trace the luggage tag main body shape onto both fabric rectangles with a disappearing fabric pen. With a scissors, cut out the luggage tag FRONT along the lines you just traced.
At this time, you don’t have to cut out the other (BACK) rectangle, but it does help to have the shape traced onto the fabric for placement later on (especially if you are “fussy cutting” your fabric”).
Attach vinyl to front. To place the vinyl rectangle onto the front of the luggage tag, place the FRONT luggage tag RIGHT side up on your work surface. Using a ruler, measure down 1/4″ from the middle corners and 1″ in from each side.
Pin and place the vinyl at these locations; then using a sewing machine, sew three sides around the vinyl rectangle with a 1/4″ seam allowance (pivoting at the corners and leaving the top open). Be sure to strongly fix your start and stop points so that your threads don’t loosen over time. Once your vinyl is attached, set this piece aside.
Sew strap. Next, take the 10″ strip of fabric and follow these steps to make your strap:
- a. Place your fabric RIGHT side up on an ironing board
- b. Iron the strip (lengthwise) in half with RIGHT sides together (I find ironing easier than pinning a small strip like this!)
- c. Using a 1/4″ seem allowance, sew the strip shut
- d. Attach a large safety pin to one end of the strap
- e. Feed the safety pin through the fabric tube to pull it right-side-out
- f. Iron the strip flat with the seam running down the middle of the strip.
Place strap. Using a ruler, find the center of the top of the luggage tag (it should be 1″ in from each side). With the seams facing you and centered on the top of the FRONT body rectangle, pin the ends of the strap right next to each other (see bottom photo). Make sure your strap isn’t twisted and you are pinning on the RIGHT side of the fabric!
Baste in strap. Using a sewing machine, baste the strap in place with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Mark stitching lines. (Note – this step is optional. Because of the unique corners of the luggage tag, I wanted to make sure I was pivoting in just the right spot. By marking my 1/2″ seam allowance, I was guaranteed that all my seams and corners were just right!). Now, flip the luggage tag with the vinyl and strap sewn on over; you should be looking at the interfacing side. Using a ruler and a disappearing fabric pen, mark a 1/2″ line all the way around the WRONG side of the luggage tag front piece. Draw little circles where the lines meet to denote your pivot points.
Pin front and back together. Take the luggage tag front (with the vinyl and strap attached), and place it RIGHT side down onto the RIGHT side of the other fabric rectangle. Pin in place.
Sew luggage tag together.
- a. Starting in the bottom lefthand corner, sew up and over the luggage tag, pivoting at each corner and stopping at the righthand corner.
- b. Be sure to leave the bottom edge open.
- c. With a scissors, CAREFULLY trim away the excess fabric and interfacing in order to decrease bulk once it’s flipped right-side-out. Take caution not to snip your corners too closely.
Press the bottom seam. Before flipping it right-side-out, press open the bottom seam (wrong sides together) with an iron. This will help you have a crisp, clean bottom edge once it’s flipped.
Flip right-side-out. Using the strap to help you, flip the luggage tag right-side-out. This may be a bit challenging with the vinyl and added interfacing, but it will eventually flip! Once it’s flipped, set your (almost finished) luggage tag aside.
Cut out ultra firm stabilizer. To make the luggage tag extra firm (and less bendable), we’re going to add some ultra firm stabilizer to the inside of the tag (I used Peltex 72F). If you are comfortable with the stiffness provided by the heavyweight interfacing, you can skip this step!
- a. Cut out the stabilizer pattern from the download (Note – you should be using the smaller of the two tag patterns)
- b. Using a disappearing fabric pen, trace the tag onto the Peltex
- c. Cut out the tag shape from the Peltex (Note – this stuff can dull your scissors, so don’t use your best ones!)
Insert Peltex into luggage tag. Now it’s time to stuff, stuff, stuff the Peltex tag into the fabric tag. This may take some tugging and pulling, but you should be able to get it in. If for some reason it won’t budge, take it out and trim the sides and top. Eventually, it will slide right in!
Fold fabric over Peltex insert. To make it easier to sew the final seam together, fold the backside seam allowance (in the picture below, the grey polka dot) over the end of the Peltex insert.
Sew final seam. Bring the bottom seams together, and hand sew using a needle and thread. Finally, using a press cloth to protect the vinyl, iron the entire tag flat (not pictured).
The last step is to insert whatever it is you want to use the tag for! Like I mentioned, these tags are for labeling my son’s toys, so I made toy labels, each measuring 2″x4″.
Want to know something exciting? I have these labels available for you too!! Here’s what’s included…two pages (20 labels) of various toy categories and one page (10 labels) of blank labels for you to use however you need!
AND…I have them available in four different color schemes: grey, red, navy, and green!
The last step is to attach your label to your basket!
- a. With the tag facing you in front of the basket, take the strap up and over the top
- b. Pull the strap through the handle of the basket
- c. Put the bottom of the tag through the strap opening
- d. Pull the tag down to cinch the strap tight.
Now…load up your basket with all the right items…
And go back to your sewing machine to make lots more 🙂 (Truth be told, I made these assembly line style. If you’re going to make a lot, I would cut everything first, then sew all the vinyl on, then make all the straps, etc.)
Ten luggage tags later, all my son’s toy baskets are organized and labeled! I love that I now know where everything goes AND there’s a fresh pop of color on the all-white baskets!
Posted In Babies & Kids, North Carolina, Sewing