May Arts Ribbon Blog

Tag you’re it!

Welcome back to the May Arts blog!   Summer is going quickly and that means it will be the holiday season before we know it.  It’s not too early to start thinking about thrifty gift and card ideas.

I want to show you how you can turn these humble supplies:



Into this gift that you’ll be proud to give to anyone on your gift list:



This would make a great gift for a man or woman who loves to travel, a recent graduate, or a special teacher.

I like to keep a supply of shipping tags and small composition notebooks and Pentel pens in my stash for thrifty gifting.  I want to show you how May Arts Ribbon transformed this set from good to great.


Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

  • Stamps:  Tim Holtz “The Journey”
  • Ink:  SU black, Chocolate Chip, Papertrey Ink Summer Sunrise
  • Other:  Black and Clear embossing powders,  heat gun, metal key, wrap closure, strong double sided  tape/adhesive, foam squares,  2 regular tea bags,  hot water, Crystal Effects or strong glue,  SU black, Chocolate Chip ink, Papertrey Ink Summer Sunrise,



1.      Heat a cup of water to boiling.  Steep tea bags about 5 minutes.  Place shipping tags in tea just until they retain some color.  Place on paper towels to dry.   After drying, weigh them down with a heavy book to flatten.  We’ll get back to these after they dry.



Perfectly Vintage..almost!

2.     In the meantime, follow the basic instructions found here in my Altered Notebook/Pen tutorial for covering the composition notebook.  Embellish with stamps.  Here’s how the notebook looked before I added the May Arts Woven Velvet Ribbon.



Nice but not too exciting.


3.     Cut two lengths of May Arts Woven Velvet Ribbon 6.25” long.  Apply double sided tape to ribbon.  Carefully align the ribbon along the paper seam on the front and back of the notebook.  Trim evenly with the notebook.  I did some  black embossing around the edges of the book as well.   The embossing gave it a nice finished look and added to the vintage look as well.



4.     Notice that the wrap closure looks a bit wimpy, too.   Gently pull it out.  Cut 9” of May Arts Black Satin Cord.



Place a dot of Crystal Effects or strong glue on the foam dot.  Use a straight pin to attach one end of the cord to the closure foam dot on the back side of the notebook.  Set aside until dry.  When the glue is dry, tie a small knot in the free end of the cord and wrap around the notebook.



Wimpy to elegant!


5.     Since this gift may go to a male, I didn’t want to bead the pen.   I just cut a scrap piece of paper approximately  3.35” x ½”.   Unscrew the top of the pen, remove the ink.   Beginning on a long end, tightly roll the paper into a cylinder.  Insert into the barrel of the pen.  Replace the ink and cap.  A matching decorator pen in seconds!


6.     It’s time for the tag.  To achieve this aged look, stamp some of the clock images from “The Journey” stamp set  in Versamark ink.   Sprinkle with Clear embossing powder, heat until dry.  Using your finger, do some “finger inking of the embossed images.  Have a baby wipe close by for cleaning your finger!    Just dab your index finger in the brown ink first, tap off on a piece of scrap paper then tap onto your images.  Repeat with the Summer Sunrise ink.  Sponge the edges of the tag lightly with black ink.  Add May Arts Woven Velvet Ribbon



Here’s another way to “Tag It” with May Arts Ribbon.  Use your ribbon & tags as a focal point on a card.



Wrap your tag  with May Arts Natural Burlap String and tie with May Arts Crochet Lace



Paper:  Stampin Up, The Girls Paperie; Stamps:  Rubbernecker Stamps; Other: Martha Stewart Punch, foam dots



Gifts and cards that look like they came from a boutique and only you (and May Arts Ribbon!) know you’re “Thrifty Gifting”.



Blog post by: Charlene Driggs

  1. Maxzine Baker

    I am ready to get creative.

  2. MaxzineBaker

    I love your work, so happy I found your site.

  3. Dorothy Casas

    This is a gorgeous project. One of my nieces will be traveling for the next three months. This will be a perfect gift to send her off.

    Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. Jessica G.

    Awesome gift idea, Charlene! Love both mini comp books and bookmarks and your vintage feel for both of these is perfect!!

  5. {vicki}

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the Travel journal! and the tag!

  6. ellen s

    oh how awesome! love love it

  7. Jingle

    Charlene, these are gorgeous!!!

  8. Sharon Johnson

    LOVE your project, Charlene. And LOVE the idea to tea stain the tags. I’ve tea stained ribbon for ages, but not paper — this was surely a DUH moment! THANK YOU! It’s on my-to list!!!

  9. Jan Hennings

    LOve this!

  10. Karen K

    Nice I really like both of these. Great journal and very nice card. That journal would make a great gift and like you said it could be for a male or female.

  11. -amy-

    Super fabulous!!

  12. Aki

    What cute tags!

  13. Holly Tolman

    This is amazing, I like to cove my notebooks with contact paper to help preserve the covers, but this looks great!

  14. Nancy Peterson

    This is so it!

  15. Nancy Peterson

    Both of these projects are do cute! Love it! The paper line is really cute and I have the keys already….can’t wait to make one.

  16. Nancy Peterson

    This is so cute! Love it! I would love to make one of these, or maybe a few to give away. Thanks!

  17. Kristie Maynard

    Wonderful projects! These would be great for me to make for stocking stuffers. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Kimberly Jones

    Charlene, you are the queen of thrifty gifts! I love the vintage vibe of the notebook and cards. Simply gorgeous!

  19. Glyniss

    I love this and am going to make my own!!

  20. jen shears

    this is gorgeous- a wonderful gift set!!


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