Upcycle Greeting Cards to Gift Tags

“You say it’s your Birthday …”

Everyone gets cards be it for Birthdays, Holidays, Thank Yous, Anniversaries, etc.  We prop them up on display somewhere for a few days and then, with regret, we usually toss them (some of us even recycle them) and a small minority of us UPCYCLE them.

With few exceptions, most cards are a miniature work of art, if you had it enlarged to ten times it’s size you would probably like to hang it on the wall.  Well that’s not going to happen here but we can make the pleasure of those cards go just a bit further.  You will need:


Greeting Card, Tag Shaped Punch,  1/8″ Hole Punch, String



In the picture above you can see two different types of paper punches, the gray one punches one tag shape out at a time and the yellow one will punch out three tags in three different sizes per punch.  For this project I will use both punches.

For the purpose of upcycling greeting cards, look for cards that have an interesting cover, like this garden themed card, and on the reverse side of that cover, you need it to be blank so your tags come out with a blank side so you can add a message when you use them.


I always give a little thought as to where to start punching out tags.  I want to get as many tags out of this pretty picture as possible and make each tag have it’s own little scene after it’s punched out from the main card.   You want to be mindful of the final result, like the tag above will feature the plant’s clay pot and some purple flowers.  If I had come down a bit further with the punch it would have been just the pot, not very interesting.


Now there’s room at the top of this tag to punch the hole for the string later, but isn’t it a nicely “framed” cut?


I always mark where I want to punch my string hole, when you’re looking through that tiny opening of the 1/8″ hole punch, it can be difficult to know if you’re in the right spot or not and if you’re off much at all, you could waste the tag at this point if you punch to close to the edge.


You can use plain old white string or get fancy with Baker’s Twine which comes in a huge variety of colors.  You’ll want about a 2-3 inch drop so cut your string twice as long as that, then tie a knot at the loose ends.  Run the loop end through the hole from the front, feed back through the string loop and gently pull snug.  Now, on to the rest of the card.  I’ll continue to punch out tags one by one here, including the words “thank you”.  They were a good size and I could capture the whole message in one punch.  Once I punched out most of the right side of the card I trimmed off the excess paper scraps to see what I had left to work with.


I’ve switched over to the multi-tag punch.  I thought I could get a good grouping here and wind up with some very cute tags.  See how the little bird is in a perfect position and the two larger tags are going to work out well, too.  It’s amazing how frequently this kind of “luck” occurs when punching tags!  NOTE:  Sometimes you might have to trim a little excess card paper so the pictures you want line up properly within the punch. After you make a few of these, that arranging comes easier.


So here’s that section after it’s punched, the tags came out great and you can see there’s still some usable art above and below where I just punched.


Using just the two left tags on the multi punch, I got a medium and small tag out of that upper section.  After trimming off the scraps on the right I switched back to the one tag punch and got a few more pretty punches out of what was left here.  Remember the bottom section from two photos up?  I got four small tags from that using the smallest tag punch in the multi unit.


This is what I like to see when I’m done punching, nothing but a pile of scraps too small to get any more tags from.


These are the smallest tags from the multi tag punch, I wound up with six of them from this card.  Because they’re so small (1″ x 1/2″)  I’m going to use a smaller hole punch here  for a 1/16″ hole.


I’ll also change to a different “string”.  I like to use embroidery floss, here I’ve chosen #8 DMC floss using the variegated green spool in the bottom left corner, it was a perfect color match for these garden tags.


So there you have it, sixteen Gift Tags made from one greeting card !  I have six large tags, two medium size tags and eight small tags.  You can use these for so many things, hang a large tag off a bottle of wine, medium tags are great to add onto a ribbon bow on a present, and the small tags are perfect for just a little “happy face” greeting.  Scrapbookers, paper crafters, card makers – everyone will like playing with these little paper jewels and now that card you just loved when you received it can go on and make someone else’s day in an all new shape!

Craft On




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