Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Creating Unique Home Decor

One my favourite things about having a stall at a craft fair is being able to talk to my customers. It's nice to hear what they like (and don't like) about my products and they inspire me with their suggestions about what they would like to see and how they will use the items they buy.

At a recent fair my upcycled luggage label gift tags proved popular. I make the tags using a luggage label with string and decorating it with old maps, dictionaries, stamps and adverts all relating to a certain place.  I love the idea of using them on a special gift for someone who has memories and associations with the area as it can then be kept as a little souvenir of the place and the occasion the gift was for. And a lot the visitors to my stall loved this too.

unique home decor - upcycled tags
Some of my upcycled luggage tags.  From left to right: a French map, stamps and adverts; Yorkshire tourism adverts from old envelopes; Yorkshire adverts and UK stamps. 

However, some of my customers had other ideas! I was intrigued to listen to people talking to their friends about what they could be used for - and then join in the conversation. When you make something it's very easy to get 'stuck' in the idea of what you think they are, thinking that they have a particular purpose. And so these interesting customers and their wonderful ideas got me thinking... what alternative uses are there for these tags?

The following pictures and ideas are a mix of what I've heard at craft fairs and some my own inspirations.

Luggage tag pictures

The tags look nice displayed as art in picture frames.  Here I've just added one but they also look good in groups or in a photo frames with separate sections for each picture.  Again, they can create a personal memory of a special place or even be added to a set of photos of the places on the tags.

holiday memories

Luggage tag bookmarks

Another use for the tags is as a bookmark.  They're an ideal size for marking a page and the string makes it easy to find your place as it stops the tag slipping down.  One person who bought them was going to use them like this to send to penfriends with local images on them as a unique and personal gift (and they're easy to post!).

unique home decor

Luggage tag bunting

Either as a decoration for a party or a permanent part of your decor, the tags look pretty used as bunting.  In this picture I've used a mix of tags from the UK and France which would be a good memory of holidays and home! I've simply used small wooden pegs to fix the tags onto a length of ribbon. They could also be tied to a long piece of ribbon or string with the strings already attached to each tag. If they are pegged in place as bunting they can still be used as tags too!

unique home decor

Or, of course, they could just be used as gift tags!

I love the idea of my work having other uses as it ties in with the idea of upcycling and reusing - not throwing away items just because they've served their first purpose. And gift tags which have been attached to a present from a loved one make great keepsakes too. So thanks to my customers for opening my eyes to my own designs!


  1. These are cool! I especially like the idea of using them for bookmarks!

    1. Thanks! The idea of the bookmark was suggested to me at a craft fair - I'd never seen the connection before!

  2. those luggage tags are awesome!!