DIY State Ornament Tags
This DIY that Anniemade created for us is great for both weddings and for the holidays coming up! These DIY state tags can be used as Christmas ornaments or wedding favors, and can be made any in state or other shape that strikes your fancy.
From Annie of Anniemade: Deceptively easy and practical to enjoy long after your big day, these tags are made from kids air-dry clay. You can simply customize with any cookie-cutter in your own state – or if you’re from two different states, make both! We’ll even show you how they can be favor thank you tags, gift tags, and escort cards for your reception. Moreover, they can also go on to become great ornaments for your friends and family to enjoy at the holidays.
Here’s what you need:
- State-shaped Cookie Cutter (you can find many more states here)
- 5 lb tub of Crayola Air-Dry Clay (makes approximately 20 ¼” x 5” CA-shaped tags)
- Foam brush
- Gold acrylic paint (ours is Martha Stewart Yellow Gold)
- Bamboo Skewer
- Jute string or thin ribbon
- Parchment Paper
- Rolling pin
To add text layer:
- Graphite Transfer Paper (ours from Amazon)
- Pencil with eraser
- Painter’s Tape
- Regular computer paper
- Extra Fine Tip Black Paint Pen
Step 1: Play with the Clay
Set parchment paper out on a flat, hard surface like your dining or kitchen table.
Open your clay container and grab the approximate amount of large avocado. Roughly shape it in your hands into a ball that somewhat resembles the shape of your state.
Set the clay ball down on the parchment and use a rolling pin to roll the clay to a ¼” thickness or so. Our clay was sticky so we recommend rolling the pin very fast so it doesn’t get caught up on the roller.
If you’re making a bunch, you could roll out a much bigger rectangle of clay to be cut the same way you would cut a bunch of cookies from a large piece of dough.
Step 2: Cutting your state
Set your cookie cutter down on your flattened clay ball and push down firmly. Carefully peel away the excess clay around the cutter and place back in your clay container to use later.
While the clay is still in the cutter, use the flat end of your bamboo skewer to create a hole (where the string will eventually go) near the top of your state shape. Make sure the hole pushes cleanly through.
Then carefully press the clay out of the cookie cutter. If you get fingerprints on the piece, you can smooth them out using a few dabs of water.
Repeat for as many tags as you’d like to make in a batch. Set the shapes out on parchment and allow to dry for 2-3 days.
Step 3: Painting & Finishing your state
Set your gold paint and cover your now-dry white clay shapes. You can paint right on the parchment paper. We painted just the front of ours but you could paint both sides if you so chose.
When the paint has dried, cut a length of jute string or thin ribbon about 6-7 inches long. Fold it over on itself once and then use the pointed end of the bamboo skewer to push the ribbon through the hole you left in the clay state. Push, do not twist the skewer, as twisting can remove some of the gold paint.
Once pulled through, slide the open ends of the jute through the loop and your tag is ready to go!
Step 4: Adding Text
We added some rustic text using a graphite transfer method and a black paint pen. We measured the size of the space for text (about 1.5” x 3.5”) and typed our messages and names, such as “thank you.” The font is a free Google Web Font – IM Fell.
We printed this on computer paper as our template which we used painter’s tape to adhere to the gold tag.
Between the tag and the paper template, we slid a small piece of graphite transfer paper. Graphite paper is basically just a giant sheet of colored pencil that adheres when you push down on it- making it a great tool to transfer / trace any image or text.
Once the graphite (dark side touching the gold tag) is in place, use a pencil to press down firmly and trace each of the letters. When you finish, remove the paper and the graphite and you’ll have markings left for you to trace with a black paint pen.
When the paint pen dries, carefully use the pencil’s eraser to remove any visible graphite lines and you’re done! You can also use pre-set rubber stamps if you’re making larger quantities.
Have fun! You can make these as escort cards hanging from manzanita branches, as place cards with guests’ names on them, as favors, as tags for packaginging… no matter how you customize them, you can display these as escort cards or favors on an intricate tree of Manzanita branches, for guests to take off each branch. Or for the holidays, go all out and place them on a Christmas tree!