6 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy Christmas Gift Tags

Customized Free Printable Gift Tags to Fit Your Gift Giving Style

In this gift giving season, holiday gift tags can be bought everywhere from Target to your corner drug store. Today I am having a little fun, not only with the title of this post, but with many festive ideas on how you can make your own tags to accent every gift you give this year.

There is nothing wrong with buying holiday gift tags to attach to all the gifts you wrap for your friends and family. Personally, I like to make my own tags every year so that they are not only unique, but coordinate with the wrapping paper I am using.

Many free printable gift tags you can find on Pinterest have a lot of color. They’re pretty but also use a lot of expensive printer ink. I have used tags like this, but what I am sharing today is a bit different. Limited ink usage and a free printable gift tag template that can be used in different ways.

Here are 6+ ideas on how you can make your own gift tags this holiday or for any occasion, plus a free printable gift tag template for you to print out if you want quick and easy.

Get your gift wrap, paper cutter or scissors ready…

1. How to Make and Customize Christmas Gift Tags Using a Template

How to make gift tags of all different shapes and sizes the easy wayGift Tag Making Template

This post came about after a long time reader, Susan, wrote to me asking where I got the gift tag template in the above photo.

About two years ago I posted about how I used the template to make gift tags using card stock or scrapbook paper.  I bought it at a craft store 25 years ago. Since I bought it so long ago, I couldn’t find a source for it.  So last week I made a free printable of the template to share with you.

Gift tag free printable being cut on paper cutter.

This template can be used in a few different ways:

Free printable gift tag template to cut out

When printed out on a clear acetate sheet, you can create your own gift tag template that can be used over and over again.

  1. Print the template out on a 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of acetate/transparency sheet that you can get at any print shop or Staples. Cut out the tags using a paper trimmer or small pair of scissors. The template can then be used over and over again. to make a tag. Simply place it over any type of paper, trace the shape and cut out to make your own tags to coordinate with wrapping paper.

Note:  The fact that the template is see-thru allows you to position it over a pattern on paper to make sure you have it centered or on the part of the design on your paper you want for the tag.

Gift Tag Free Printable and Template-

You can use card stock (bought anywhere printer paper is sold), scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, sheet music…. any paper, even corrugated cardboard.  Use colorful ribbons, twine, string, raffia to tie the tags on the wrapped gifts.

Gift Tag Free Printable and Template to make and customize gift tags made using cardboard.

I made this tag from cardboard I found inside packaging. Instead of throwing it away, I repurposed it. This is one reason I like to make my own tags. Less waste. :-)

free printable gift tag using cardstock

Note: When cutting out the tags, I usually cut just inside the printed line, but if black is one of the colors in the gift wrap I am using, I cut just outside the lines which ends up looking like a design element.

Here is Another Way to Use The Free Printable Gift Tag Template

Gift tag free printable being cut on paper cutter.
  1. Print out the printable on any paper that is cut to 8-1/2″ x 11″ so it fits in your printer. Card stock works the best, but I have cut maps and paper bags. Look around to find creative paper options.
  2. The paper above is green card stock from the craft store. To facilitate the tag cutting, I use a paper trimmer for the straight sides and a small pair of scissors for the rounded or angled sides. You can also use a ruler and a craft knife.

Since cutting the tags is mindless, I usually do it while binge watching Netflix.

How to punch a hole in a gift tag

Use a paper hole punch to create the hole.

Free printable gift tag made using a template

Tie on a piece of twine and you have a very festive gift tag perfect for your gift wrapping style and needs.

Free printable blank gift tags to customize

For this tag, it is hard to see, but I brushed white glue on the edges and sprinkled glitter over the glue to add a little sparkle.

Using the template and printable is only one way I make gift tags. Here are a few other ways to make pretty gift tags not only for the holidays, but for any occasion.

2. How to Make Gift Tags Using Gift Wrap

Christmas gift tag of a snowman made using wrapping paper

The easiest and most budget friendly way to make a gift tag is to simply cut out an image on a scrap piece of gift wrap.  Like this snowman.

Gift Tag Free Printable and Template-
  1. Cut around an image on gift wrap. Mount on card stock using spray glue. Then cut the image out in detail, making sure to leave paper on the top of the image as a place to use hole punch to make hole. String ribbon through hole.

3. How to Make Gift Tags Using Last Year’s Christmas Cards

Christmas Card Recycling idea - make gift tags
  1. Find pretty or cute images from the covers of last year’s Christmas cards. Remember to include some additional paper above the desired image so you don’t have to punch the hole into the image itself.  Tie gift tags on with sparkly tulle or ribbon.

4. How to Make Gift Tags Using Cardboard Numbers

Check out this post on how I made these Letter and Number Gift Tags

5. How to Make Monogram Gift Tags


Learn how to make these monogram tags using your computer and script fonts.

6. Use a Gift Tag Maker

How to make a gift tag using a gift tag maker from Fiskars

Make Gift Tags Using a Handy Gift Tag Maker

6 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy Christmas Gift Tags this year

Giftwrapping takes a while but hopefully you’ll have fun finishing the packages off with tags in your own style. Have you decorated your house yet? Looking for some Christmas decorating inspiration?

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  1. Thanks for the template of the gift tags. You are so creative and I love the cost cutting posts.

  2. Judith Currie says:

    Long ago I was forced to make my own tags. There was nothing out there except “TO” and “FROM”. Sooo boring and soooo unfeeling. I wanted “FOR” and “WITH LOVE” or LOVE. I want the feeling of love put back into the Spirit of the Season. JudyCinNC

  3. This is such a great tips. Thank you!! I love to give DIY presents wtih unique wrapping, so this DIY tags are cherry on top.

  4. Najaf Mazari says:

    I love this blog.I appreciate your skill and work so nice

  5. I cannot believe I referred to you by a name other than your own!!! From now on, you may refer to me as Santa’s most-confused elf, DOPEY!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kay – You are too cute!!! When I respond to reader’s comments I have done this myself. :-) It is so easy to do when you are online and reading blogs, Facebook and more where a lot of names go through our brains. You are Santa’s cutest elf.

  6. Janet, your home decorating ideas are original and clever. Directions for creating and refinishing things are exacting and easy-to-follow. Suggestions for inside/outside home improvements are spot-on. Your blogs surely serve as exemplars for other bloggers. In other words, you are truly a wonderment and I always look forward to your blog.

  7. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband Diane, many more to come In sure of it! Thank you for the gift tag ideas, so much more personal. Happy holidays!

  8. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    I agree, make your own tags. And I love the snowman! I’m going to specifically look for wrapping paper to use for tags.

    Thanks again for all the inspiration and tips and free downloads.

  9. I was wondering what you were up to… Happy Anniversary, what a wonderful surprise trip!
    Christmas blessings to you and yours from Greenville, SC.

  10. I really like the music sheet gift wrap. If you recall where you found that, I’d love to know!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – I got the sheet music wrapping paper at either HomeGoods, TJMaxx or Marshalls.

  11. Happy Anniversary, Diane! I think you and Ed just have way too much fun together……lol, of course I’m kidding, think it’s so wonderful you two enjoy one another, whether it’s working together or playing together.I
    Love your energy to do all those gift tags.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Sharon :-)

  12. We recently started a holiday gift wapping project and saw this article. I would have never of thought to use a clear acetate sheet but it makes perfect sense. Our tags are amazing. Thanks a ton

  13. Gail Vernali says:

    Happy Anniversary Kids!! Great gift tag idea and thanks for the free template. Another great idea to file away!!

  14. That Ed…he’s a keeper ❤️ Happy anniversary

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Laura – He keeps life fun. :-)

  15. Well, I’m not going to try to make gift tags. At least not for this year. Maybe if I start now I’ll have a couple ready for Christmas, 2019!! LOL My talents are limited.
    But I did want to say what a fantastic anniversary experience y’all shared. Congratulations on 35 years…kind of rare now-a-days. -:)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susan – Thanks. It doesn’t seem possible it has been 35 years. :-) We had a great time, got to relax, sightsee and enjoy lots of fish.

  16. I save the fronts of Christmas cards I have received and use them to make cute, unique tags. I love repurposing, helps me feel like maybe I’m doing a little something to help save our planet.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Janet – I agree with you. I enjoy finding ways to reuse and recycle. It not only saves the planet, but is fun to come up with new decorative ways to reuse old Christmas cards. Some are just too pretty to throw away. I hope you have a very merry holiday season.