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A Vintage Tag Christmas Card Wishes
"Scrappy Holidays" to Your Scrappy Friends.

Vintage tag Christmas card photo
(click here for a larger
Tag Christmas Card image)
Our 2010 Vintage Tag Christmas Card sports an 1890 Santa Claus "scrap" printed on a shop tag. The Victorians would have approved. They were "scrap-happy" by the end of the 19th Century. Printers were turning out sheets of die-cut, embossed, color paper scraps, and people were pasting them in books, on ornaments, cards, furniture, and anything not moving.

This card is very easy to make. We provide the printable template and tags. You create the traditional shop tag using a manila file folder as stock. Add a grommet and tie on some hemp string.

We chose to make this card small, so you can print two cards on one 8.5" x 11" piece of cardstock. Office supply stores now sell boxes of envelopes sized at 4 3/8" x 5 3/4", which perfectly fit standard paper folded into quarters.

Materials for this Vintage Tag Christmas Card

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  • Vintage image and template (FREE PDF download).
  • Cardstock, gold or brown, 8.5" x 11". We used "Kings Gold" from OfficeMax, where we had 100 cards printed.
  • Cardstock, manila. We used the back of a manila file folder, trimmed to 8.5" x 11".
  • Hemp cord or string.
  • Grommet setter and brass grommets, or hole punch.
  • Foam mounting tape or squares (see Tips).
  • Paint pen, silver.
  • Distressing ink or strong tea for aging the tags (optional).
  • Deckle-edge scissors or other deckle-edge cutter (see Tips).
  • Paper cutter or scissors.
  • Ruler.
  • Bone folder.
  • Self-healing mat.


  1. Tag Christmas Card, Step 1Print the card template (page 2 of the PDF document) on 8.5" x 11" gold or brown cardstock. Cut the cardstock in half to form two 8.5" x 5.5" cards. With the printed text on the inside, score both cards across the center and fold with a bone folder to form two 4.25" x 5.5" vertical cards.

  2. Tag Christmas Card, step 2Open the card and lay it inside up on the cutting mat. With a deckle-edge cutter or scissors, cut away a 1" wide strip from the leading (left side) edge of the card (see Tips). Yes, this photo has the card upside down and we are cutting away the right side. Choose whichever is more comfortable for you. Notice too that we have a 1" wide piece of blue masking tape on the cutting mat. That made it possible to quickly measure and cut the 1" strips from 100 cards.
  3. Highlight the deckle-cut edge on the front of the card with a silver paint pen. You may choose to use distressing ink or even glitter glue, instead!
  4. Print the tags (page 1 of the PDF document) on manila cardstock or an 8.5" x 11" piece cut from the back of a manila file folder. Cut them out with a paper cutter or scissors, being sure to cut away the black template lines.
  5. Tag Christmas Card, step 3Punch a grommet through the hole marked at the top of the tag template. In our photo, you can see our "vintage" 1940s Bates Eyeleter grommet setter, still working like a charm.
  6. Now, if you wish, you can age the tag with distressing ink or maybe tea staining.

  7. Tag Christmas Card, step 4Cut an 8" length of hemp cord for each tag. Loop the cord, push the looped end through the grommet on the front of the tag, then slip the loose ends of the cord through the loop behind the card and pull them tight.
  8. Cut four small squares of foam mounting tape, stick them near the corners on the back of the tag, and then stick the tag to the center of the front panel of the card.
  9. There! Easy enough that you may want to make a few hundred!


  • The tag on this card was attached to the front panel with a few squares of foam mounting tape, to give it some dimension. You may choose to use double-stick tape, glue, or even tie the tag to the card and let it dangle. If you do, you can write the traditional "To and From" message on the back, and it can be used as a gift tag!
  • Artist and crafters often try to simulate rough deckle edges by hand tearing the edges of paper. Since tears usually follow the natural grain or imperfections in the paper, you really have little control over the result. For this Vintage Tag Christmas Card, we chose to use a Fiskars rotary paper edger with a deckle blade. Deckle-edge scissors will get the same result. If you are more adventurous and want a more authentic look , we suggest you try these methods:
    • Purchase a deckle edge ripper. This metal or Lucite straight-edge has small, varying teeth which rip a jagged edge when paper is torn (usually upwards) against them.
    • Fold the paper on the line you want deckled. With a serrated knife, cut through the fold with small sawing motions, from the inside out.
    • Cut the paper apart with a fine-toothed saw, like a coping or jewelry saw.
    • Soften the paper fibers first by brushing a thin line of water along the desired tear line and waiting a minute. One artist recommended a portable watercolor brush, which is like a fountain pen filled with water. The paper should be torn by laying it flat and pulling the paper away from the water line, not up or down. The water helps to constrain the tearing, however it can also stain or cause inkjet printer inks to run.
Martin making Tag Christmas CardsNote:This was our personal Christmas card for 2010, and we made and sent 100 of them. Here is a photo of Martin, practically lame with paper cuts, to prove it. Rather than torture our ink-jet printer, we had the card template and tags printed at the local copy center. These were still the easiest and most economical cards we have made.

If you liked this Vintage Tag Christmas Card for Christmas 2010, be sure to see our Christmas Stamp Card for 2009.

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