I was a little hesitant to post a tutorial on this, since my results were a little mixed. But enough of them turned out that I decided to go ahead and do it.
These little tags are just chipboard, paint and vinyl. That's it!
I started out
with little tags like these.
I got them (I think) at Tuesday Mornings a long time ago. (I did a quick search, and this is the best deal I found online.)
First, I primed them using this.
(It's the best primer in a spray can, I'm convinced of it. LOVE this stuff! You might be able to get away with not using primer, but I thought the tags would just soak up the paint, so I used it.)
If you feel the edges of the tags, you'll notice one side feels a little bit rounded. That's the side you'll paint.
Then I used a gloss white paint on top of that. This is Rustoleum 2x, too.
These are hard to spray paint, because they blow away with the blast from the paint. I just did short spritzes of paint. It comes out thick, but that helps with the illusion later on. (If you want to get all technical, I guess you could use double stick tape to secure them. But really, why make it easy? I didn't think of this until just now. It really would have made it easier.)
Give it at least a day to dry. You want the really dry, or you'll end up with a disappointing mess. (Trust me. I'm not just guessing on that. At best, the tags just won't turn out as well as they could have.) Then you add some vinyl numbers or letters. Whatever you choose. If you don't have a vinyl cutter, you could use something like these.
I found mine at a True Value hardware store. They come in different sizes, but no different fonts that I could see.
You'll see that the paint isn't very smooth on the #5 tag. It's OK. That one will be my chipped tag.
I just used black craft paint and a small brush to paint the parts I wanted to look chipped. Really glop the paint on. It will give it texture and make it look more authentic. You can paint the edges all around the tag black if you want; so the chipboard won't show.
Let it dry.
Then I used this.
Here's where it gets tricky. Sometimes the vinyl letters will start to curl after you put the finish on. I just used the head of a pin and kept pushing the curled parts back onto the tag. I had to do that several times over the space of about an hour. (I mean, like 20 times. If the thought of doing that makes you crazy, I'll explain another method you can use a little later in this post.)
It's not a perfect process, but the thing is, the curled parts, if they don't curl too much, make the numbers look raised.
See? Not perfect, but raised. It really does add to the illusion. I don't think I let this one dry long enough~it didn't turn out as well as some others I've done.
Here's the "chipped" tag.
When I made this tag, I used a different method. I spray painted the tag black first, let it dry, then put the vinyl numbers on. I painted it with high gloss white paint, let that dry then peeled off the numbers. Then I painted the "chipping" parts, and covered the whole thing with the high gloss finish. Instead of raised numbers, everything around them is raised. It just depends on how you want to do it and the look you want.
So that's it. Simple. Kind of a lot of work for a fake tag, but I think they're cute. And since I've never found real ones at an estate sale or yard sale, it was easier to just make them.
Thanks for reading!