So, I have to admit that I’m not that good with gift tags. I’m one of those people whose version of a gift tag is saying “Dad, that one’s yours” on Christmas morning.
I like to think this is not my fault. I learned bad gift-tagging directly from my mother.
But, this year will be different. Because this year, I’ve created the most over-the-top gift tags in existence. I like bouncing between extremes.
They’re gorgeous though, so it’s worth it.
Materials Needed to make laser cut gift tags
- Gift Tag Cut File
- 1/8″ Baltic Birch Plywood**
- Acrylic paint
- Wood Glue
- Laser Cutter*
*On Laser Cutters – I have both the Glowforge Aura and the xTool M1, and you can do this project with either machine. That said, I vastly prefer the xTool M1. Read why here.
**On Plywood – I’m cheap and therefore I don’t buy Glowforge’s Proofgrade or whatever xTool’s fancy plywood is called. I buy big sheets at Woodcraft, and cut them down to 12″x15″, which is the perfect size for the xTool. It’s equally nice, and much more affordable.
But, I use a table saw to do that, and you probably don’t have one of those. Woodcraft does sell 1/8″ Baltic Birch in smaller sizes, and while it’s still cheaper than Glowforge, it’s pricier than the big sheets.
So instead, I recommend checking out Etsy. There are a number of small shops selling packs of 12″x12″ Baltic Birch at decent prices. If I didn’t have my Woodcraft option, I’d probably give this one a try.
How to make laser cut gift tags
Are you ready to dive into the world of laser cutting?! These gift tags are a perfect way to jump in and get started!
Part 1: Cutting the Gift Tags
You can grab the SVG for the gift tags here.
There are two types – with and without snowflakes. The snowflake ones take a little more care when painting, so that you don’t paint into the engraved snowflake area, but other than that, the projects is basically the same.
I found the following settings worked best on xTool M1:
Note that while I used the “cut” function on the red line, by keeping the power low and the speed high I got more of an “engrave” look.
While I haven’t made these on the Glowforge Aura, I’d do a few tests on some scrap plywood before you start to make sure you have the right settings. I’d start with the Proofgrade “Light Basswood” settings, and adjust from there.
Part 2: Cutting the Letters
I used the font “Hello Sweets,” which you can find here. Unfortunately it’s not free, and I can’t give it to you because I don’t own it. However, “Hello” on DaFont.com is very similar, and its free for personal use.
If you’re using the xTool M1, you can install the font on your computer and type the lettering directly in the xTool Creative Space. If there are any overlapping parts, make sure you hit “Weld” before printing so that the laser doesn’t make extra cuts.
The gift tags are about 3″ in diameter, so I made sure the letter height didn’t exceed 1.9″. I went even smaller on the monograms, since I had to worry about width there as well.
If you’re working with the Glowforge Aura, creating the letters is a bit more involved, because you can only do text in the Glowforge App if you have Glowforge Premium. And still, with Premium you can only use their fonts.
So, you’d need to open up a different vector software (usually Illustrator or Inkscape, although I’ve heard Canva does SVGs now too) type out the letters you want, and convert them to paths.
On the xTool M1, I found that because the letters were so intricate, it was better to have the laser move slightly slower to ensure it always cut all the way through. Therefore, my settings for cutting the lettering were as follows:
Part 3: PAINTING!!
This is the fun part! I mixed various acrylic paints together to try and create good combinations, and I encourage you to experiment and see what you like!
My favorite was the red and gold. I mixed the red with a little bit of brown to deepen it, and I think it looks so good:
In fact, I just love the gold in general. It’s an old Martha Stewart Crafts gold, and I don’t think it’s on the market anymore, but I’d bet this one is similar.
The gold with teal looks great too!
Part 4: Assembly
Once all of the paint was dry, I assembled the tags.
The smart thing to do is to attach the twine first, then glue the letter on. For whatever reason, I kept doing this backwards.
The twine is just a slipknot, and it looks better if you push the loop through the hole from the front of the tag, not the back.
I didn’t tie the twine together to make a loop, since this was intended to be a tag that’s taped on to a gift. But you absolutely could if you’d prefer to turn them into ornaments!
I used wood glue to attach the letter to the to tag, but other glues would probably work too.
And then they were done!
I think they’re super cute, and there are so many ways to use them! I’m going to use them as gift tags, but they could be ornaments! Or stocking labels! So many options!