3 Clever ways to add your child's name to his belongings

Aug 31, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. ET

It's that time of year again, my friends.

If you have school-age kids, then you know just what I am talking about. You feel like you've just settled into that summer groove. Your kids have finally adjusted to the new no-school non-schedule. Naps are occurring again, flawlessly. You've determined the perfect weekly kid-to-Popsicle ratio so that your supply is ample without any midweek trips to the store. You've reached that summer sweet spot.

And then one day you're casually strolling through the store and notice they have clearanced out all their patio furniture — and fear grips your heart! The summer section is being replaced by school supplies! It hits you: Summer is nearly over, and you need to get cracking on getting the kids ready for another year. One important step in getting the kids prepared is to make sure all their belongings are clearly labeled with their names. You especially know this if you have ever seen the lost and found at an elementary school. They can be one scary mess.

Here are some clever ways to easily add your child's name to their belongings:

DIY luggage tag

This tag can be used to label a backpack, lunch bag or instrument case.


  • Small fabric scraps (2 designs)
  • 1-inch-wide double-fold bias tape
  • Plastic vinyl
  • Button
  • 8 inches decorative elastic
  • Button
  • Sewing machine and sewing tools


  1. Prepare your fabric: Cut 2 pieces of fabric, each measuring 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 inches, 1 for the front and 1 for the back. Cut a piece of vinyl measuring 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 inches.
  2. Pin the elastic, shaped into a loop and raw ends matched up to the cut edge of the front fabric, to the short end of the front, and baste. Take care that the decorative side of the elastic is facing the right side of the fabric when looped.
  3. Place the front and back together, trapping the elastic loop in between, and sew along the short end where the elastic is basted.
  4. Flip the fabric, pull the loop of the elastic out top, and press. Baste the wrong sides together on the 3 remaining unsewn sides.
  5. Place the vinyl piece on top, and use clothespins to hold it in place.
  6. Using the bias tape, carefully finish the 3 remaining raw edges.
  7. Sew on the button underneath the vinyl layer, and using sharp scissors, cut a buttonhole in the vinyl.
  8. To attach, loop the tag through the elastic.

Sew-in labels

This one works great for clothing, jackets or winter gear. Adding the transfer to decorative elastic makes a great, removable water bottle nametag.


  • Grosgrain ribbon, cotton fabric or decorative fold-over elastic
  • T-shirt transfer printer sheets
  • Iron
  • Ink-jet printer


  1. Create your labels using any basic graphics program or word processor.
  2. Follow the transfer product instructions to print the images onto a T-shirt transfer sheet, making sure your image is mirrored, since it will include text.
  3. Cut out your graphic, and iron it onto either the cotton fabric, grosgrain ribbon or decorative elastic.
  4. Use a needle and thread or sewing machine to sew it in place, or if using the elastic, make a loop and tie a knot.

Custom letter stickers

This one is economical and foolproof for those non-crafty types who don't have a lot of craft supplies — and don't want to invest in them. It is a cute way to label, with many ways to customize. If you already have mail labels or any type of printable, sticky-backed paper, even better!


  • Blank printable labels
  • Scissors
  • Printer


  1. Find the template that corresponds to the type of labels you have. This is available with a quick Google search or through Word.
  2. Type out your child's name, making sure you put only 1 or 2 letters per label. Use a fun font, and make them as big as possible while still fitting on a label.
  3. Print out the labels.
  4. Cut out each letter, leaving some white space surrounding them.
  5. Remove the back, and adhere.

More back-to-school projects

DIY school project storage box
Back-to-school ideas I'm way too lazy to try
DIY back-to-school bulletin board