Indiana Artisan Marketplace was a HUGE success! The venue was great, the quality of the artwork and food was top notch, the volunteers ROCKED(!), I met some really awesome people, and oh yeah…I sold a lot of my inventory which was really exciting. It’s the ultimate complement whenever someone is willing to spend money they have worked hard for on something I’ve made. I know my particular style isn’t for everybody, but am amazed when somebody likes it enough to spend their $.
Anyway…I showed you my new logo a few weeks ago.
The intention was to then print up new biz cards and a banner, create hang tags, etc with the logo. However, with only 2 weeks to go before the show, my brain was too fried to try to design something and have it printed and here in time.
I instead decided to look into a custom rubber stamp and ordered a total of 4 traditional wood handle stamps from Simon Stamp. I had them in my hands 2 days after ordering and the quality is great, the prices very reasonable. They are very stinky when you first open the package though. However, the smell goes away.
I decided to create my hang tags out of shipping labels. I am definitely not the first one to do this. However, this is how I did it to get this particular look.
I made them vintage-y looking, plus they smell good and I cannot even tell you how many comments I got on these tags. Just about every female that walked into my booth told me they loved them.
So how did I take the boring industrial looking shipping labels and turn them into something beautiful? Today is your lucky day because I am going to show AND tell.
You will need:
-Shipping labels (I got mine 500 for $5 at Office Depot)
-tea kettle or sauce pan
-decorations for label
*Boil the water in tea kettle or pan then let sit for a few minutes.
*Add some instant coffee crystals to the baking pan. I didn’t measure, but I think I used quite a bit….maybe 1/3 cup? Maybe more? It’s not an exact science. The darker you want them, the more coffee you use.
*Add some hot water to the instant coffee. Again, not an exact science and depends on how dark or light you want your tags to stain. I would say you want the water to be at least 1″ high so the tags can be easily submerged.
*Allow the coffee to cool to room temperature
*Add some cheap vanilla extract (don’t use your expensive stuff for this!) and stir it around a bit. The purpose of the vanilla extract is to make the tags smell more pleasant. Trust me, it’s very effective!
*Heat oven to lowest temp. On my oven that’s 175F.
*Add the number of tags to the coffee that will fit on the number of cookie sheets you’re using and allow to soak. The amount of time the tags are allowed to soak will affect the color too. I soaked mine about 10 minutes. You can do less or more and get great results.
*once they are finished soaking, lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. You do not need to drain them or anything like that. Just pick them up, let it drip if you want to prevent it being too messy, then plop them on the cookie sheet.
*Place cookie sheet in oven. At 175F in my convection oven, the tags took about 10 minutes to dry. You do not have to dry them in the oven. I did for 2 reasons. #1-it’s quicker and I didn’t have space to lay 150 tags out single layer all over the house. #2-when I laid them out to dry, the color became very uniform and that wasn’t the look I wanted.
*When dry, they will start to curl and pull up off the cookie sheet.
*Use a heavy book to flatten them a bit.
*Once they are flattened to your liking, decorate them however you want. I used on of my custom logo stamps on the front. I also ordered a stamp with my website address and stamped that on the back. Keep in mind placement for your jewelry when decorating or stamping so you don’t ruin the effect.
*punch holes for earrings or tie onto necklaces, bracelets, etc. I like to punch the holes so they are not in perfect alignment.
*As an extra bonus, these tags provide ample room to write info about each piece on the back. I included materials used, sometimes process or inspiration info, the name of the piece, and the price. This was time consuming and I had writer’s cramp, but the customers loved this personal touch and appreciated having the info.
To give my branding a bit more continuity (especially since I didn’t do new biz cards), I also stamped my logo onto kraft paper shopping bags
I used the Green Way line of bags from Nashville Wraps. They are made of 95% post consumer waste and also made in the USA. Gotta love that.
All I did was use my large logo stamp on both sides of the bag. Simple. Much more inexpensive than having the logo printed on bags for me, but still looks custom (hand)made.
Edited to Add: I ordered the 1″ x2″ traditional wooden stamp for the shipping tags. The most important dimension is width for this application, so I uploaded my logo and figured out the shortest height I could get away with to get the width I needed. The cost goes up the larger the stamp in either direction.
For the bags I ordered a 2.5″ x 5″ stamp.