Making Christmas Gift Tags with Recycled Supplies

Create stunning recycled gift tags in just four steps, with materials you already have on hand—holiday crafting at its best!
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Making Christmas Gift Tags with Recycled Supplies

Have you ever been inspired by art materials you have at home? Or looked at an old pile of paper and had the sudden urge to make something new out of it? Artist Elizabeth Zhang of Calligraphie with Liz shares tips and tricks to breathe new life into recycled supplies. Using creative materials you already have on hand, you can do your bit for the environment by creating these beautiful, recycled gift tags for the holidays. Follow the guide!

A project by Elizabeth Zhang


  • Kraft cardstock
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Hole punch
  • Twine/ribbon
  • Old watercolour paper
  • Paintbrush
  • Watercolour
  • Old book/newspaper
  • Coloured cardstock scraps
  • Washi tape
  • Sakura Pigma Micron Pen (0.8 mm)
  • Sakura Gelly Roll (White)



Step 1: Prepare the gift tag

Fold the kraft cardstock in half and add glue in the middle to glue both sides together. Using an old gift tag as a guide, trace the shape of the gift tag onto the cardstock and cut it out accordingly.

Step 2: Add embellishments to the gift tag

You can make various embellishments with supplies you already have at home.

2.1: Use an old book/newspaper

Tear out a page with words to use as embellishments. You can also type Christmas-related words on a Word document and print them on old, coloured paper.

2.2: Use coloured paper scraps from previous projects

Tear out different shapes and sizes to use as layers on the gift tag. You can either leave it as it is, or do one of the following:

- Add patterns to the coloured paper. Use a white pen/marker to draw polka dots, or use a black pen to draw stripes.

- Add words to the paper in different styles that you can tear/cut out later.

Tip: To get nice, deckled edges, I usually use a ruler and tear the paper with the front side facing down. Once you turn the paper over, you’ll be able to see the raw, deckled edges, which creates a rustic look!

2.3: Use old watercolour paper

I used watercolour paper that was previously used for a sketch. Using the clean side, draw a few Christmas elements using the Sakura Pigma Micron Pen (0.8 mm), and then paint them with watercolour. Once dry, cut out the different elements.

2.4: Washi tape

Using the leftover watercolour paper from 2.3, stick Washi tape onto the paper and cut out elements of your choice. I cut out a Christmas tree.

Step 3: Put it all together

This is the fun part! After you've created the different elements in Step 2, you can mix and match them to create fun designs! Use glue to layer them. The layered effect creates more visual interest.

Step 4: Add more details

Once everything is put together, you can add words, flowers or stars to fill in empty spaces on the gift tag! Add a string and your gift tag is ready!