How to turn Trash to Treasure A Tag Making Tutorial


How to turn Trash to Treasure A Tag Making Tutorial

art tag trash to treasureTrash to Treasure Tag Making

How to turn trash to treasure, making art tags with anything in the house!

Here I used a medicine box and a ink cartridge box. Adding white acrylic Gesso for texture and paints for color.  I also outline the tags with a black sharpie for added details.

Lastly ribbons and broken jewelry plus store bought keys were added to finish off the tags.

Years later I ended up putting that tag inside of a journal page!! I’ll link to that later when I get it added.

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Watch the video below for steps (please note was my past website).

OR, see the steps lower down the page:

Let’s Get Started Artsy People!

Today’s project is a trash to treasure where I show the novice how to make tags out of discarded boxes.
These can be used in journals, as bookmarks, or made into gift tags.

The tags here were all made using discarded boxes, such as cereal boxes and empty microwave boxes. mixed media art tags

Today I am showing you how I make tags from such trash and hope to inspire you to make your own.

Materials needed:

  • Empty Boxes (such as cereal boxes, or product boxes)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Paint (acrylics work best)
  • Makeup wedges (or waded up paper towels) – to apply the paint
  • Hole Punch
  • Black permanent marker
  • Ribbons/yarn/strings, etc.
  • Jewelry/embellishments
  • X-acto knife or a paper cutter (optional)
  • Ink or distress ink (optional)
  • Gesso (optional)
  • Corner punch (optional)

First you will need some boxes, any will do. I save pretty boxes and containers all the time for possible
future projects. You should see my storage area; it’s hard to decipher if it’s a trash bin or a storage space!

The two boxes here will be transformed into three front and back tags, which again, can be used as gift tags, journal tags and more:

art journal tags

I chose this particular box due to the pretty butterfly. I plan to leave the butterfly fully exposed:

mixed media art journal tags

This box I chose due to it’s raised text and shiny gold coloring:

mixed media art journal tags

  • Step #1 – Cut up the boxes leaving the usable pieces:

trash to treasure art tags

  • Step #2 – Cut out your tags at your desired shapes and sizes, creating a front and back for each of equal measurements. Here I have the front and back to one large tag, one medium tag, and one very small tag.

mixed media art tags

  • Step #3 – Glue the fronts and backs together. I used a glue stick, but you can use any glue that will adhere to paper.

mixed media art tags

  • Step #4 – Next, I would normally round the edges with my corner punch, but these tags are far too thick, so this step is optional if you do not have a corner punch, or your tags are too thick.

  • Step #5 – Punch a hole for your ribbons to go through. This can be done with a simple hand punch.

art media tags

  • Step #6 – Add some texture. I use acrylic gesso to do this, however, if you do not have any, all you need to do is build up layers of paint. I suggest using makeup wedges instead of a paint brush to make the task much easier. You could also apply it with a paper towel or your fingers! Let it dry between layers/sides. *Be sure to leave any areas that you want to be visible untouched by the Gesso (or paint).

art journal tags

  • Step #7 – Time for paint! (That is if you didn’t already do this above instead of using gesso.) Choose the colors you so desire. I used green and brown metallic for the butterfly, and red, gold and a pearl for the other two tags. Again apply with wedges/paper towels/fingers.

art media tags

  • Step #8 – I like to blacken the edges with black permanent markers on all my tags. This really ties in every thing and give it a more artsy professional look. Simply use the flat end or the rounded side of a permanent marker and go over the edges of each tag.

art journal tags

  • Step #9 – Ink or distress around the outside of the tags. This is optional, especially if you do not have ink. You could however, glitter the edges instead, or draw around them – just be creative! I used a black ink and applied it with a wedge.

mixed media art tags

  • Step #10 – Attach your ribbons, strings and any other embellishments that you so desire. As you get more experienced, you will find you can be very creative in this particular area and there are millions of options and embellishments that can be added. The sky is the limit really!
  • To add your ribbons, loop them and push the loop through the hole of the tag. Pull your loop wide, thenpush then ends over and through the loop and then gently tighten. See the video above for a better idea on how to do this.
  • Add your jewelry, or embellishments. I used old broken Avon jewelry and purchased key charms.

art tags

All done! The textures, colors and luminosity turned out gorgeous on these simple tags. That’s how you
take trash to treasure my friend!

art tag trash to treasure

Enjoy in Joy,

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