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Advent DIY Day 20: Gift Tags by What Ina Loves

Dec 20, 2013

by Jo Casley handmade and vintage goods

Every day between December 1st and December 25th, we bring you a new festive ‘how to’ as part of our DIY Advent series.

Ina is from beautiful Freiburg near the Black Forest. Her blog deals with all the things in life that Ina loves. Primarily, this means recipes and baked goods (baking is replacing her yoga class), DIY projects for beautifying her home, and making others happy with “small gifts from her kitchen”. Ina also loves traveling a lot. Therefore you will regularly find Ina’s favourite places, accounts of short trips, and pictures to go with it on What Ina Loves.


 For you, how is Etsy “where one-of-a-kind gifts come from”?

I consider Etsy a real treasure trove of one-of-a-kind gifts. So much love and work goes into the products, which is why they make such good presents. Etsy is great for discovering unusual and exceptional products that would be hard to find in a brick-and-mortar shop. I especially like the fact that you can easily buy products from foreign countries (e.g. the United States). You have only just bought it, and a short time later it’s in your mailbox.

Is there a favourite handmade present that someone gave you?

There is indeed. My blogger friend Becky made me a perfect journal, as she knew that I am always on the lookout for the perfect notebook. She designed the cover herself (with pressed blossoms), and she also bound the whole book herself. Sooo much love and work went into the book, that I practically always carry it with me.

Do you have a special tradition you do every holiday season?

Yes, I do. The weekend before the holidays I take some time out and spent a whole day alone at home, nice and cozy, to wrap all my presents beautifully, and to make a few little pots of caramelized almonds which I will then give away as presents. This way I really get into the Christmas spirit. While doing this, I eat cookies and drink lots of steaming hot chai latte.


The holidays are coming closer, and it’s about time to start thinking about presents (and the right gift wrap). Last year I was really into brown packaging paper, letter-drawing, and homemade Christmas tags.

This year I am thinking of trying modelling compound. You can cut out great figures from it, and decorate them with lines of text or names. This is perfect for creating customised tags. It’s really quite simple and you don’t need many materials.

You will need:

  • Modelling compound (preferable the air-drying kind, not the one that needs baking).
  • Pastry cutters
  • Rolling pin
  • Scissors, knife, wooden skewer
  • Spray adhesive, glitter
  • Letter stamp


  • Roll out the modeling compound on an even surface (e.g. grease-proof paper). Use your pastry-cutters to cut out the desired shapes. Alternatively, use a knife to cut them out. The knife method is better for cutting out things like letters, for example.


  • Now stamp your text onto the shape. (Note: In order to read the final stamped text, the letters must be arranged back-to-front.)
  • Next you use the wooden skewer to make a hole in the shape through which you can later thread a ribbon. If you plan to use wide ribbon, make a larger hole.
  • If you like, you can now decorate the tag with a bit of glitter! Just apply a small amount of adhesive, and sprinkle some glitter on top of it.
  • Let the shapes dry for 24 hours, and you are ready to decorate your presents!

Have you made any Christmas advent DIYs? We’d love to see – send us pictures with the hashtag #ChristmasAdventDIY and we’ll share them on and Twitter @EtsyUK.



  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 6 years ago

    Lovely idea. Thank you for sharing and wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  • deabeatovic

    Dea Beatovic from DreamCorridor said 6 years ago

    You can do this for every season with different clay color :)

  • jescamp Admin

    Jesse Campbell said 6 years ago

    Love the personalized touch and how these could also be used as ornaments after!

  • AndreaSusak

    Andrea Susak from CrestviewSoapworks said 6 years ago

    You could also use salt dough instead of clay, cheaper, but you have to bake it. Awesome idea, I love it!

  • dawnparsonagekent

    Dawn Parsonage-Kent from TallyHoOxford said 6 years ago

    Lovely! Ohhhh I might do this for Birthday presents... I have a January full of them.

  • KnitByCoutureStudio

    Rachida Selvidge from KnitByCoutureStudio said 6 years ago

    In this time of mass-produced, a personalised handmade present does not simply add a personal touch, but it's the greatest love and the warmest thought that we can always be thankful for that our life is still blessed by their presence, and the presence of these people that they take the time to surprise us and care. With a lot of love, and Season's Greetings :)

  • pamelarfry

    pamelarfry said 6 years ago

    "Marry" Christmas is only correct if the gift box holds a diamond ring. Otherwise, "Merry" Christmas is the correct spelling.

  • annecorr1

    anne corr from modestly said 6 years ago

    lovely idea, thanks for sharing! I want to do this, but too late for this years wrapping.

  • guidouxvintage

    Guidoux Vintage from GuidouxVintage said 6 years ago

    Great creativity and lovely blog!! I wish I could understand German!

  • BlueOtterrr

    Kip Perdue from Kartegraphik said 6 years ago

    I've done this for a number of years using a home made compound of salt dough. It's not nearly as flawlessy white, but it's exceptionally cheap, and the kids can much about with it as much as they want. When it's done you certainly get ornaments to keep for the years to come.

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