Thursday, October 20, 2016

DIY Gift Tag Ribbon Garland Made With Old Christmas Cards #12monthsofdiy

Okay guys, remember when our #12monthsofdiy project was vinyl? And I made hand-cut vinyl decals for my kids' memory boxes, whilst not-so-secretly coveting a Cricut cutting machine? Yeah, well I won a Cricut Explore Air™ at Blogpodium! Yay me. (I realize it's kind of annoying when other people boast about things they've won. Thank you for your patience.)

If you have one of these machines or if you plan to get one, then yay to you too! I've had so much fun with it in such a short time. My daughter and I have been sticking vinyl lettering on travel cups, banners, pumpkins and laptops. We can't be stopped. Today's #12monthsofdiy project revolves around ribbon, however I also did part of the diy using my new Cricut. You see, obsessed with garlands as I am, I decided to make a garland using old Christmas cards. We have Christmas cards going back about 20 years. Rather than throwing them out completely (Konmari style), I decided to honour the spirit that people intended when gifting us these lovely holiday cards by re-purposing them into something that we could use and admire. Hence my DIY gift tag ribbon garland made with old Christmas cards.

How To Make A Free Gift Tag Shape To Cut With Your Cricut Explore

I thought it would be sweet to turn our old Christmas cards into gift tags for my garland. Holiday cards have such lovely images, don't they? Thrifty as I am, I wanted to find a free gift tag shape for the Cricut. So I decided to make one myself using standard shapes. Don't be deterred by how many pictures I've included here. It's super easy to create your own gift tag shape in the Cricut Design Space. (I like to use it on my iPad.) And it will get you thinking about other images you can create with simple shapes too. Like, you can make a banner using the triangle shape. I did that for my fall banner, which I hope to share soon.

To start, click on Create New Project. Click "Shapes" at bottom left. Pick the hexagon. Click on your hexagon to reveal the lock symbol. Click on the lock to unlock it.

Drag the corner of the hexagon to re-shape as desired. This will be the top of your gift tag image.

Go back to Shapes and add a square. The square will be unlocked already. Drag the square to create a rectangle.

Size the rectangle to overlap the hexagon. Cricut Design Space will automatically help guide you to the correct positioning.

Select both the rectangle and the hexagon by dragging a box over them with your fingers.

Click "Actions" at bottom and then "Weld" to join the two shapes together.

Add a circle. Lock it by clicking on it and then clicking the lock icon so it appears closed.

Re-size the circle and drag it to the proper position on your gift tag image. Again, the Cricut Design Space will help to guide it to the desired position.

Select the tag and circle by dragging a box over them with your fingers. Choose "Actions" and then "Slice."

Pull the tag away from the circle and you will see that the circle has been cut out. Delete the dark circle (by clicking on it and clicking the x in the upper corner) as you won't need it any more.

Click on your gift tag shape and drag the arrows icon on the lower right to re-size it. (You'll see the dimensions pop up in a box on the upper left.) You can also use the "Edit" button at bottom to enter the height and width.

Save your design.

Send your project to the mat for cutting, setting your Cricut Explore Air machine to cardstock.

Sizing The Gift Tags

I used three sizes of gift tags for my gift tag ribbon garland. They are kind of random as I re-sized them by appearance. The smallest is 2.1" by 3.5". The next is 2.3" by 3.9". The third is 2.7" by 4.5". I also made one really big tag, decided it was too big, didn't make more of them and then ended up using it at one end of the garland.

You could also obviously use these gift tags as actual gift tags, in various sizes to suit the sizes of your gifts. If you are coveting a Cricut machine, put the Cricut Explore Air™ Machine + EVERYTHING Starter Set on your Christmas list.

Materials for making diy gift tag ribbon garlands with old Christmas cards

What You Need:

To make the DIY gift tag ribbon garland made with old Christmas cards, you will need:

  • Old Christmas cards
  • One long ribbon to hang the gift tags from (I used a shiny green nylon ribbon)
  • Smaller ribbons to tie the gift tags onto the larger ribbon (can be cloth or plastic ribbons)
  • Scissors or a Cricut to cut the cards into tags

If you don't have a cutting machine, you could create one gift tag as a template, use it to trace gift tag shapes onto the other cards and then cut them out by hand. Use a hole punch to create a hole to tie the ribbon through. I made this project with ribbons and cards I had on hand, so it was a completely free project. Isn't that the best kind? In fact, my mom bought some of the ribbons years ago at White Rose (now closed down) and gave them to me when she was de-cluttering.

To cut the gift tags out of your old cards, trim the cards down before sticking them to the cutting mat so the Cricut will cut out the portion of the card that you want. My mom was impressed with the way I lined up the images on my gift tags. (That's what moms do, right? Praise us even for the little things.)

Jolene and Ace were impressed that I put the fireplace on while I took pictures of my new ribbon garland. This is where you'll find the dogs for most of the late fall and winter.

Some of the images on the gift tags are so special because they make me think of the people who gave us the cards and the Christmases we celebrated when the kids were small. Christmas is such a wonderful time, made just for remembering who we love and cherishing that love.

I punctuated one end of my garland with a tassel of blue ribbon, because it's pretty and, well, this is a ribbon-based project after all. This ribbon garland is an easy afternoon diy that would be a lot of fun for kids to help out with too.  I think it would be cute to do one of these garlands for a child's bedroom using kid-friendly Christmas cards.

Are you a garland fan too?

Pin it for later:

DIY Gift Tag Ribbon Garland Made With Old Christmas Cards, with tutorial to make gift tag image for free in Cricut Design Space

Now, just feast your eyes on the other amazing ribbon crafts my Canadian blogger friends have made. There's something here for every style and taste.

12 Beautiful Crafts To Do With Ribbons - diy ideas from Canadian decor and lifestyle bloggers

From the top left, they are:

Upcycled Ribbon Cocktail Napkins from PMQ for Two

Faux Greenery Big Satin Bow Grapevine Wreath from Time With Thea

DIY String Art Using Ribbon from Vin'yet Etc.

Shabby Chic Christmas Wrapping Ideas from The DIY Mommy

Ribbon Tassel Keychain from Brooklyn Berry Designs

Make Your Own Advent Calendar with Ribbon from Sustain My Craft Habit

Modern Christmas Wreath from Love Create Celebrate

DIY Gift Tag Ribbon Garland Made With Old Christmas Cards from Woman In Real Life

Hand Painted Ribbon from Fresh Crush

DIY Sunglasses Storage & Display Organizer from Heather in Heels

DIY Ribbon Tassel Garland from Lifeovereasy

Ribbon Wall Hanging from Life Is A Party

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, Woman in Real Life will get a small commission. Your price is not affected.


  1. This is such a touching garland... I mean to reuse special cards from family and friends and that they are a reminder for you of those people and times, I'm so touched by this idea! I honestly love it! Most of my old cards are tucked away and maybe purged after years of dust collecting... I like this idea MUCH better than what happens here.

    1. Aw thanks Laurie. That's the thing - the cards have been in a drawer for years and they aren't doing anybody any good any more. Our storage throughout the house is full to overflowing and lots of stuff has to go. But this garland pays tribute to the sentiments that were shared with us without keeping EVERYTHING. Haha. We have de-cluttered soooo much and we still have a looong way to go.

  2. Yay! Nice to see you putting your Cricut to good use! Love what you did with these tags :)

    1. Thanks Lindi! Yes, I'm enjoying the Cricut. :)

  3. Bravo! Thank you so much for the inspiration. I am always looking for ideas to use up Christmas cards and this one is a winner. You are also doing a great job convincing me to invest in a Cricut!

    1. Thanks Thea! I'm glad you like the project. :)

  4. Such a pretty garland, love how much you're enjoying your new cricut!

  5. that looks really nice and it's good for other seasonal stuff too if you have the right colours/pics! Ha, I can just imagine you and your daughter putting the vinyl lettering on everything ;) It reminds me of this old tv commerical we had here for those Dymp labelling maker machines that were popular ages ago-- on the ad a guy is labeling everything compulsively then goes to see a psychiatrist and says "I've come to talk to you about my problem" and the psych turns around in his chair and says "what problem?" but he's covered himself and his office in labels bwahaha. Well done on that prize!

    1. Yes, for could work for any season really. Oh that's so funny! Yes, I think the vinyl lettering is as addictive as labelling things. I'd like to do more of that too... ;)

  6. totally saving this tutorial for the future - this is awesome!

  7. What a wonderful idea! I keep many of my old cards because I don't have the heart to toss 'em but I also don't know what to do with them all. This is such a creative way to reuse and display them!

    1. Thank you! I think a lot of us have the same dilemma.

  8. What a fabulous use for your cricut! This looks amazing! And it's a top notch way to reuse old christmas cards

  9. What a great way to use old Christmas cards! Love that!

  10. I hate throwing out my Christmas cards - this is such a great way to put them to use!