5 Little Monsters: Leather Tags for Crochet Projects

Leather Tags for Crochet Projects

-This post may contain affiliate links, some products used in this project provided by Cricut and Plaid Crafts-


A few years ago I made some leather tags that could be sewn onto crocheted items like hats. I cut them out with my Cricut Maker and then used my Cricut Cuttlebug to emboss the leather with different designs. They turned out kind of cool, the only problem was that I kind of wanted to be able to make more personalized designs than the Cuttlebug embossing folders allowed. 

Since then Cricut has discontinued the Cuttlebug, so although there are other diecutting/embossing machines out there, the one I used is no longer available. Also, they came out with some new blades for the Maker since then, including an engraving and a debossing tip. They have been out for over a year now and ever since they came out I have wanted to revisit that old leather tag project and see how it works with the new tips, and if they allow you to make a more personalized tag. 

It took a little bit of trial and error to get the results I was looking for but in the end I was happy with the final product and I thought I would share what worked for me and what didn't. 

I used Cricut leather, both genuine and metallic versions. I cut the tags out with the deep cut blade, and tried both the engraving tip and the debossing tip. 


I had great results cutting the leather with the deep cut blade. One of the issues I had with the last set is I tried cutting little tiny holes to sew the tags onto the hats and the Cricut really struggled cutting all the way through the little holes, it would have been better to use an awl or punch to make the holes because they just didn't cut well. This time I decided to use leather posts and screws so I cut the holes larger and it worked so much better. So as far as the cutting goes it worked great. 


The engraving was a little bit different matter. I tried the engraving tip first and it worked ok, I thought the results were best on the metallic leather. But it was a little hard to see unless you looked at it just right. So I thought I would see how the debossing tip worked. It was not great at all. You could hardly see the design at all and it seemed to slowly lighten over time. 

Since neither option turned out exactly the way I was imagining I decided to try something else. I took the debossed or engraved tags (I would recommend engraved) and used my woodburning tool to burn the designs into the leather. This worked really well.

So the winning combination is a Cricut Maker for cutting the tags, and engraving the designs so that you have a guide to follow, then a woodburning tool to finish the designs and make them more visible. 


How to Make Leather Tags for Your Crochet Projects


You will need:


Instructions:


Begin by either opening the Leather Tags Design Space file that I created or creating your own tags. I made the tag shape starting with a rectangle with rounded corners, I resized it to 1" x 2.5". Then I added a circle, resized to .25" and sliced it out of each end of the tag.

Once you have your basic tag shape you can add your design. Make sure you use a writing style design or font, or something you will just want the outline of. Just like when you write or draw with your Cricut, the engraving tip with just outline everything so if you use a regular style font it will outline each letter rather than just writing the letter. Also, keep the designs as simple as possible. Small and detailed designs will not show up well. 

Create the design and size it fit on the tag. Change the linetype to engrave. Place it over the tag in the exact place you want it to be, then select both the tag and the design and attach. 

Prepare the leather for cutting by first cutting 1" off of one side of your 12"x12" leather sheet (if you are using a smaller piece of leather you may not need to do this, you just want one inch on the right side of the mat to be empty). Place the leather right side up (opposite of what the package will tell you but because we will be engraving it we want the right side up) on the strong grip mat, you may want to tape around the edges if it needs extra help sticking, a brayer also helps it stick better. Push the white star wheels on your machine all the way to the right so they do not roll over the material (this is why you trimmed the edge). 

Select the type of leather you are using in the materials list when you go to cut, there is a listing for both the genuine leather and the metallic leather, as well as several other non Cricut options. You will start with the engraving tip, then you will switch to the deep point blade to cut out the tag. 

Once the tag is cut out and engraved you are ready to burn the design into it. Put in a fine point tip and heat the tool to the setting for leather, the tool I used (the one I linked to above) has a temperture wheel and leather is the medium or orange setting. Carefully trace over the lines engraved in the leather so that they are black and you can see them well. 

Use the screw posts to attach the tags to your crochet item. If you made a tag that folds over the edge like I did you will want to stick the post through the top hole, then through the crochet edge, then fold the bottom around and even with the post hole on the inside of your item. Then screw the screw piece on the back of the tag into the hole in the post until it is secure.