The first and most important step in creating an old-fashioned gift tag is to choose your materials. Select a black and white or color decal for your tag, the appropriate size and shape for trimming the desired package. You can use craft cardstock and handpainted designs as your decorative medium, but you may prefer to print your own image choice.
You can also print images from copyright-free sites online that host vintage or antique clip art. Sheet music makes a great tag or background for your vintage images; colorize the paper by brushing it lightly with watercolor paints and allowing it to air dry for for a few hours.
To “antique” your tag, add three or four squirts of raw sienna or light brown paint to bowl, then add one-third cup of water or less, depending on how dark or “aged” you want your tag to appear. Stir and let sit for a moment before painting the mixture onto the tag’s surface a little at a time. If the image is a color printout or hand drawn, go slowly and daub the mixture on to keep the ink from running and ruining the image depicted.
If you’re afraid the colors will blur, use less water and more paint, making sure the layer is thin enough not to conceal the design beneath. Wipe the brush once against the mouth of the jar to remove excess liquid before applying to the image. Lay the tag out to dry on an old cloth (weigh it down gently at the corners to keep it from curling). Once dry, add glitter, stickers, or any other decorations using a little glue to secure them to the surface.
For sheet music tags, choose selections from holiday-themed music or lyrics with a significant meaning for the gift or its recipient. Remember, do not copy and print sheet music — it is copyright material! Instead, purchase cheap secondhand sheets at yard sales, flea markets, and other vending or retail sellers.
Punch a hole in your finished tag and add a decorative ribbon or cord — now your tag is ready for your package!