Sewing is loads of fun for children, and this simple craft project gives them the opportunity to create something bright and beautiful that’s also very practical. These collaged and embroidered felt luggage tags are one-of-a-kind creations, and will ensure that your bags are always easy to identify when you collect them at the airport carousel after a flight. They also make fabulous handmade gifts for friends and family members. Best of all, you only need a few simple and affordable materials to get started.
Please note, that these tags aren’t name-tags, they’re just bright quirky little works of art that serve a very practical purpose. However, some children may want to personalise their creations by embroidering their name on them.
Time: 60 - 90 minutes, depending on the age and ability of the children.
Age: 5-10's, Over 10's
Felt in a few different colours
Some thick cardboard (or a few layers of thinner cardboard) for pattern-making and to use as stiffening / lining inside the tag
A pen or piece of chalk to mark the pattern for your tag onto the felt
A sharp needle – larger-sized needles are usually best for very young children and those who are new to sewing
Embroidery cotton in a bright contrasting colour, black or white
Ribbon or cord in a contrasting colour - at least 40 centimetres long
Optional – buttons, sew-on craft jewels, various kinds of fancy braids or lace
Take the cardboard piece and mark the pattern for the tag onto it. Although there is no set size or style, if you like you can use the diagram below as a guide. I made both a round and a rectangular tag - the diameter of my circle was ten centimetres, and the dimensions for the rectangle was twelve by nine centimetres.
Cut out the pattern that you’ve drawn, using craft scissors.
Place your cardboard pattern onto a piece of felt (as shown in the photo below), and draw around it, leaving a border of approximately one centimetre. Repeat the process on another piece of felt – this can be either the same colour or a contrasting one.
Cut out smaller pieces of felt in a contrasting colour. Although children may want to use specific shapes like flowers or hearts, even random shapes can look very effective.
Choose some coloured embroidery cotton and sew the small pieces of felt onto the larger piece. Although specific shapes placed symmetrically look great, a random collaged effect can also be very striking. This is created by sewing layers of felt pieces onto each other. Small children who are new to sewing might find this easier to do, since tidiness isn’t such a high priority.
If you have any braid, buttons, craft gems or other embellishments, these could also be added now. Alternatively, some embroidery or crochet flowers might also be a great addition.
If desired, you can decorate the second large piece of felt, which will be the back of the tag. Otherwise, it also looks nice if this is left plain.
Place the cardboard piece between the two pieces of felt, and pin them together. Sew around the edge of the tag, near the pins, with brightly-coloured embroidery thread.
Sew two pieces of ribbon or cord onto the end of the tag. This can be used to tie it onto your suitcase. Your collaged fabric luggage tag is now complete.
Damn stupid, & totally impractical, as flight luggage tags', Carolyn.
You've obviously never been into the 'bowels' of an Airport to see the automated process of luggage movements.
Suffice to say, the 'pretty little tags' could cause machinery to fail, & scanners to not be able to 'read' destination, which equals 'lost luggage' for passenger.
Use commercially made ones', either purchased from an Airline, or luggage shop. They're specifically designed, in every way to be 'correct'.
Any different 'dangly' items' from a luggage piece will be ripped off by machinery, or manually removed.
And you don't want YOUR piece of luggage to be the one to be potentially torn apart by the machinery.
If it fouls the machinery causing it to stop, you could possibly be up for the cost of repairs', & subsequent flight delays.
And that could be in the 10's of 1000's of $$$$$$.
If people are so dumb that they don't know their own luggage, & not every piece is going to be the same, buy a strong multi-coloured belt to strap tightly, & securely, AROUND luggage piece. Very easy to see on a luggage carousel. These are purchaseable from a luggage shop.
BTW, I've flown Domestically, & Internationally for 45 years'.
Not 'lost' any luggage, by any Airline, in any Country.
I've NEVER seen a piece of luggage the same colour, & type as mine, in all that time.
And yes, my complete luggage-set was bought in 1969, & is still 'flying'.
The brand is 'Triplite', & it was commissioned by TAA, in conjunction with the introduction of their 'T-Jets', ie Boeing 727's, in 1964!