Hello, and welcome to the craft room and today’s Christmas in July Gift Tags post. Every year I try to come up with a different type of gift tag to use on our gifts. This year I thought I would get a huge jump on the game and in the process, design my own. Let’s head off to Inkscape and I’ll share with you how I created these tags.
The Design Process
I am getting a lot more comfortable designing my own SVG files in Inkscape, so today I wanted to try my hand at gift tags. I only have 1 die set specifically for gift tags, and while I love it and have used it for years, I wanted something with a curved top. At first I had no idea how I would accomplish that, but after thinking about the design it ended up being rather easy to make. It all starts with a simple rectangle. You can make this any size you want when creating the design. It’s simple to resize the finished file before saving.
Next, how to create the curve at the top? At first I tried using the node feature, but wow, that was a mess and a half! The easiest way to accomplish this is with an oval. Getting the width to match the rectangle is probably the most tedious part. Just zoom in nice and tight and adjust it.
To add the extra curve, duplicate the first one, resize it a bit and move it up until it looks good to you.
When it looks right to you, make sure to highlight all three pieces and align them vertically, then while they are all still highlighted, choose “Path”, “Unite”. And just like that you have a gift tag with a rounded top.
If you want to mat your gift tag, like I did, Duplicate the shape and resize it as you like.
Christmas in July Gift Tag Design Elements
As happy as I am with the shape of the gift tags, I wanted to add some design elements as well as text. On the first trial run, I created a very “Charlie Brown” looking snowflake to add to the bottom corner of the tag. After cutting a sample, it just didn’t feel right. Instead I used simple shapes to create a small tree. To cut the shape from the tag, hold down the Shift Key and select the tag layer and the triangle. Click “Path” “Difference”. Repeat that step with the small rectangle trunk.
I also wanted to try out the Pen feature with the Cricut Explore. Because the Cricut machines will only print an outline of fonts I had to find a simple, thin font. To make this task easier I used the free version of a downloaded app called Main Type. This program will “collect” all of the fonts on your device and display them for you, even giving you the option to type your own text at the bottom. It makes choosing the right font for a design so much easier. In the screenshot below I was able to see what my text would look like before doing anything else. For this project I chose the font Clean Notes from Creative Fabrica and it worked perfectly.
In order to make the font work with Cricut Design Space there are a few things you need to do. First, arrange the text on your project as you want it printed. Next, highlight one word at a time, from the “Path” menu choose “Object to Path”. Next, from the “Object” Menu choose “Ungroup”. Return to the “Path” menu and choose “Unite”. This will turn the text into a path that Design Space will be able to work with. Do this for all of the text in your design. The last step is to highlight all of the text as well as your tag layer and from the “Object” menu choose “Group”. This will keep the layers together when the design is saved.
Gift Tags and Design Space
Once you upload the file into Cricut Design Space there are just a few more steps to take before you are ready to cut your tags out. Take a look at the height of your file, that will be the height of your mat layer. I did learn today that when you upload a file into Design Space, it may come in larger or smaller than the size the file was saved as. Make any adjustments to the size before moving on. For the next step you will need to “Ungroup” the file. Next, to be able to use the Pen feature you will need to “Ungroup” the tag layer from the text. Finally you will need to highlight the text and change it from a “Basic Cut” feature to a “Pen” feature. Now you are ready to cut! Choose your paper, the number of tags you want and go!
Here is a super sort clip of the Cricut Explore Air 2 using the Pen feature. It’s really quite fascinating. You can really see how it is just printing the outline of the colon.
One thing I have noticed about any finished cut is a ridge along the very edge of the paper. I personally don’t like the look or feel of that ridge so I use my teflon bone folder to smooth that out. In the following images you can see the before and after of that process.
Using the adhesive of your choice, glue the two layers together and you are ready for the holidays! Because I cut the top layer from 110lb. Recollections card I used Art Glitter Glue. If I had used a lighter weight card, I would have used scor-tape instead. I think for my next batch of tags I will add to the To: and From: to the other tag with the tree and just use those for our gift tags. To really finish them off I will also use my We R Makers Crop-A_Dile to punch holes in the gift tags to add decorative ribbon or string.
Thank you so much for joining me for today’s Christmas in July Gift Tags post! It was a long one wasn’t it. I do hope you enjoyed learning a little about Inkscape as well as Main Type. If you are interested in giving Inkscape a try, check out this link here, https://inkscape.org/.
I’m curious though, do you make your own gift tags or do you prefer to purchase them? Let me know in the comments down below. Have a wonderful week and I will see you again soon for another Christmas in July post.
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