Friday, April 13, 2012

Luggage (or Decorative) Tag Tutorial

My Love has an ugly plastic luggage tag on his suitcase. I tease him about it every time he travels. So I thought that I should replace it with something better! I loved the tag that I created for him, so I thought I would share it with you. It takes quite a few steps to make, but not a lot of time. Enjoy!


  • fabric of your choice (at least 11" x 9") Need fabric? Check out the Able to Sleep Fabric Shop!
  • fusible interfacing
  • washable fabric marker or chalk
  • coordinating thread
  • about 12" of coordinating ribbon
  • cardstock or scrapbooking paper
  • sewing machine, pins, scissors, etc.


1. Download the tag pattern from here. Print it out. (When you print the pattern, make sure that it is not scaled. You can double check by measuring the tag outline. It should be 5.5" by 4.5".)

 2. Cut out the tag pattern along the solid black lines (including the notches on the side) and make a slit along the red dashed line. Set aside the "Tag Insert Template" until Step #13.

3. Use the pattern to cut out two pieces of fusible interfacing and two pieces of fabric. Notch the fabric where indicated. Do not cut the fabric along the (red or black) dashed lines.

4. Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric.

 5. Set aside one piece of fabric. Take the pattern and cut out the rectangle and along the black dashed lines in the center. Pin the pattern to one of the pieces of fabric and cut out this square and dashed lines from the fabric.

6. Iron the flaps in the center towards the wrong side of the fabric to create a "window" in the middle.

7. On both pieces of fabric, fold over the top of the fabric where you notched it earlier. Iron along the fold.


8. Top-stitch very close to the edge of the window that you have created. Also top-stitch slightly less than 1/4" from top edge that you ironed on both pieces. Trim excess fabric from around the window.


**Top-stitching Tip** Instead of back-stitching to lock the stitches when you top-stitch, leave a long length of string (about 4") hanging when you sew. When you are done sewing, take a hand-sewing needle and pull the strings from the front to the back of the fabric. Tie the ends of all four strings in one knot and trim the strings. This gives a cleaner appearance to your top-stitching.

9. Using the slit (red dashed line) on the pattern as a guide, draw a line on the right side of each piece of your fabric. Make a button hole on each piece of fabric separately at the location you have drawn your line. 

**Don't know how to make a button hole?** Check out these resources: Here are the instructions that came with my machine for creating a button hole. This video shows a nearly identical process. I am assuming that most machines have similar procedures.

10. Pin your two pieces of fabric right sides together. Make sure the edges and button holes line up. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Notch the corners and trim the excess fabric.

 11. Turn your tag right side out and push out the corners. (I use a chopstick.) Iron the tag.


12. Top-stitch around the three sides of the tag that are not already top-stitched.

13. Make an insert for your tag using the template and cardstock or scrapbooking paper. Slide the insert into the tag so that it is visible through the window. (You may want to laminate your insert for a bit more durability.)

14. Tie ribbon through the loop.

15. Admire your handiwork!

I am tempted to make tags for everything in my house now...


  1. Hi! Love this post. I was able to make a similar tag using the sewing label templates at Cut a few necessary steps by using the custom text feature. Thanks for post.

    1. I am glad that you liked it and thank you for the tip!

  2. I like this tag but am unable to download the pattern. There seems to be something wrong with scribd these past few days. Anyway you could help would be appreciated.

    1. Jackie, I am sorry about the inconvenience! May I email you the pattern? Leave me your email address and I will get it to you ASAP.

      If anyone else is having this problem let me know and I will look into other places where I can upload the file.

  3. Very thoughtful and unique gift! My custom luggage tag got eaten by the airport luggage monster on a recent trip -- amazing how sad that made me.

    1. Oh no! That is horrible. I hope that when you make a new one, the luggage monsters spare it.

      Thank you for your comments.

  4. I'm going to try adding a piece of clear vinyl to the wrong side of the window piece, then top stitch. That will protect the label with out having to laminate it. Thanks for the tutorial!!

    1. That sounds like a great idea! Thanks for sharing.