A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: CRAFTED by Alex ::: Personalized Backpack Tags for Back to School

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13 August 2013

CRAFTED by Alex ::: Personalized Backpack Tags for Back to School

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Prepare yourselves.  You are going to fall in love with this girl.  She is kind and sweet and says the most hilarious things and you will not HELP but like her.  The "she" of whom I speak?  Meet Alex.  (...and I totally didn't bribe her to say what she says below...the nice things she says are totally inducing blushes cheeks over here...)

Hello, hello! Nice to meet everyone!

My name is Alex and I blog over at northstory and when I got an email from the super talented Amy asking if I'd like to be a contributor to her site, I thought she was kidding. I actually double checked to make sure that I wasn't accidentally reading my spam email box. I mean have you seen her press page of credentials and she thought I would rock as part of her talented team? I mean where do I sign up? Sold.

So this is my first contribution, a little Back to School craft that you can do with your kids. If there is one thing that you need to know about me is I am all about reusing materials that I already have at home and re-purposing a lot of craft supplies in other ways. Two simple reasons - A) It's cost effective because craft supplies can run you a pretty penny and B) upcycling and recycling are always great for the environment.


  • juice can lids from frozen juice containers
  • a nail that's at least 5 mm in diameter and a hammer OR a drill
  • an eyelet tool kit (the Fiskars one linked is relatively inexpensive and QUALITY)
  • foam craft sheets
  • craft embellishments of your choice (stickers, jewels, etc.)
  • hole punch
  • glue
  • wax or parchment paper
  • split key rings
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic

Start off by saving and cleaning your juice can lids. I only use the ones that are off of the opening of the can as I find the bottoms to hard to remove from the container paper.

Making backpack name tags (2)

Start by punching a hole with your nail through the juice can lid. 
The easiest way is to do this over a wood cutting block that you can afford to have dents into. 
Or if you have a drill, then you can use that instead.

Making backpack name tags

The back of your juice can lid will wind up looking like this with a whole bunch of sharp edges that you will need to flatten and smooth out.

Making backpack name tags (3)

This is where your eyelet tool kit comes in handy, as inside the kit is a tool to flatten eyelets 
and it works perfectly in this case to flatten the edges of the jar lid hole.

Making backpack name tags (5)

Making backpack name tags (4)

Your front after will look like this...

Making backpack name tags (6)

And your back like this:

Making backpack name tags (7)

Now the fun part - decorating!

Here's my fool proof cheat method for making a circle stencil when you do not have a protractor handy.

Push the jar lid face down onto the foam craft sheets. When you lift it up, you will have an imprint the exact size you need to fill the circle.  Just cut it out and use at will. Now I used foam sheets as the base for all of these tags, but if you want to use card stock, make sure it is fairly thick and then you just use your newly cut out foam circle as your template to trace around.

Making backpack name tags (8)

Making backpack name tags (9)

I hole punched and glued the foam circles to the jar lids. Then I printed up and cut out names on laser sticker labels on my printer at home and embellished the remainder of the lids with stickers and craft supplies I had around my house.

Now for those of you who craft a lot you're probably very familiar with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. If not, what this does it basically create a three-dimensional epoxy like coating over your crafts. Think of a pendant filled with a glossy plastic feel and something frozen inside of it. That type of dimension. Now you don't have to use this for these but I chose to because I wanted them to be able to handle all the insanity that kids can throw at it - or rather when they toss their backpacks onto the school yard floor.

Lay out your decorated jar lids onto a layer of wax or parchment paper and place them on surface that you won't move them from for AT LEAST 24 hours. Slowly cover them with the Dimensional Magic. It will look cloudy when you coat your surface but it dries clear.

Making backpack name tags (10)

Making backpack name tags (11)

If you get a bubble (trust me you will get a bubble), don't panic. Just use a needle or in my case I grabbed a screwdriver from my mini screwdriver kit and moved it off the surface. Sometimes tiny bubbles may form as it dries so I have learned with some practice to layer the dimensional magic in a thin coat rather just gobbing it on.

Making backpack name tags (13)

Let dry overnight - the container says it will dry in 3 hours, but I have never had this dry in 3 hours,
 so I do not touch the surface for at least 24 hours or else you will be left with fingerprints in it.

And they'll wind up like this:

DIY backpack luggage tag (3)

DIY backpack luggage tag (2)

DIY backpack luggage tag (4)

DIY backpack luggage tag

DIY backpack luggage tag (5)

upcycled backpack name tags

Then add some split key rings or whatever key ring clasp of your choice!

Backpack tags

DIY backpack name tags

And you've got yourself a pretty cool personalized backpack name tag!

DIY kids backpack tags

I forewarn you, the common side effect of making these is that your kids friends will be asking you to make them some as well.

Good thing tutorials exist on blogs eh?

See?  You are totally in love now, aren't you??  I told you Alex was awesome!

Now please go SHOW HER SOME LOVE on facebook, twitter, 
pinterest, instagram and her home base, NORTHSTORY!

psst...she is an AWESOME twitter aficionado!

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Martina Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

Super cute execution on a great upcycling idea! My mom used to use frozen concentrate juice can lids as the base for Christmas decorations when we were kids but I hadn't seen this before.

Julie Gernhardt Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

This looks like the perfect tag to compliment my daughter's prized Rainbow Dash backpack!! She loves unique things and we pretty much have to DIY any customized items due to her name being fairly uncommon. She will love this!! Thank you!

Amy Renea Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

Martina -- cool idea -- would love to see some ornaments made in a similar way!!

Julie -- thanks for stopping by -- glad Alex inspired you -- she's pretty awesome!

Natalie Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

Oh wow! I totally love these but I think my daughter would love them even more!! I have been itching to try dimensional magic for awhile and haven't, but this might just be my inaugural project! Love it!

Carrie Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

THESE. ARE. AWESOME. I'm going to share them next week when I focus on back-to-school. Thanks for a fun tutorial!

Victoria Elizabeth Barnes Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

I SO love that you made your husband one. Look out, HIS friends may be asking for them too.

Lynne Knowlton Tuesday, August 13, 2013  

So happy you have Alex contributing on your site Amy ! Alex is a good friend of mine. She is truly AWESOME !!!

Amy Renea Wednesday, August 14, 2013  

I agree Lynne - she IS awesome!! :)

Lauren Lanker Thursday, August 15, 2013  

LOVE THIS! I want one for my backpack now! And I feel like an amateur crafter for never having worked with mod mod dimensional magic before. I gotta get on that!

AMAZING first contributor post, Alex. And Amy is right, you are totally a Twitter aficionado. I must learn your tweeting ways....

The Thinking Closet

Thalita Thursday, August 15, 2013  

Are you kidding right now? this is AWESOME! The being a contributor part and the totally wicked craft part!!! Damn, girl... you can work magic with some juice lids and modge podge better than anyone else!!!

Angelynne Amores Wednesday, September 11, 2013  

What does the backside look like? Is it still the metal can?

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