Instead of buying blank To/From stickers for your holiday gifts, look for flea market and other secondhand finds you can use as unique gift tags. Some of the vintage items can even do double-duty as a bonus gift for the loved ones on your holiday gift list. Combine your recycled gift tags with holiday gift wrap, trim, and boxes that are also made from vintage finds.
Here are five flea market finds you can use as gift tags:
1. Old Photos
Flea markets are full of old photos. Black-and-white and tinted photos look particularly charming as gift tags. Use a different one on each gift, or use your printer and some heavyweight photo paper to make numerous copies of one favorite photo find.
Use the full photo as the gift tag, and punch a hole in the corner. Or, cut the primary image into a traditional gift tag shape with a hole in the top. You can use a plain, round hole punch to cut the holes, or opt for a specialty shape made with a scrapbooking punch -- perhaps a snowflake or tree shape. Then, just thread ribbon or string through the tag's hole and tie the gift tag to your package.
You can use the same process to make gift tags with your own family photos, if you prefer. Old greeting cards look good as tags too.
2. Price Tags
It’s not uncommon to find a stash of old-fashioned price tags -- the type with strings -- at thrift stores, junk shops, and permanent indoor flea markets. Stores go out of business, switch to computer-printed tags, or invest in time-saving tagging guns that affix the tags with plastic instead of string.
Turn those old price tags into gift tags. Write your to and from names on the tag, along with any personal notes, and then affix the string to your package.
3. Luggage Tags
Old luggage tags with plastic viewing windows make fun gift tags for your holiday presents. Make a new insert by hand or print one on your computer, and then slip it into the luggage tag’s opening. The look is especially fun if you use a vintage belt on your package instead of tying it with ribbon. You can simply attach the luggage tag to one of the belt loops.
4. Vintage Postcards
Vintage postcards are frequent flea market finds, and many of them were never inscribed and mailed. Turn those unused vintage postcards into gift tags. Choose from black and white, tinted, and full color cards. Though many postcards were printed as souvenirs for tourists, others are humorous or occasion specific.
Use the blank space on the back of the postcard to write a personal message, in addition to the to and from information. Punch a hole in the upper corner of the card and tie it to the package with ribbon. Just slip it under the ribbon if you don’t want to damage the postcard.
Select a postcard that reflects the recipient’s interests when possible. Use a postcard from Paris for a college student majoring in French, for example, or select a World War II era postcard for an American history teacher. Or, simply choose a humorous postcard that will make your recipient laugh, or opt for a card depicting his dream vacation spot.
5. Picture Frames
Small picture frames look charming as Christmas gift tags, and the recipient can reuse the frame after the holidays. Write your names on a slip of paper and slip it into the frame, or fill the frame with a photo of the gift giver and recipient together. Tabletop frames aren’t the only photo frames suitable as gift tags. You can also use magnetized frames meant for refrigerators or the little metal photo frames once fashionable for charm bracelets.