Postcards From a Hoarder: Dye Tags

Have I mentioned my hate of waste? I hate waste. But above all things, I hate pretty waste the most.

I can get rid of egg shells and cardboard tubes, but when they come in pretty packages, I can’t do it, I can’t. Eggshells end up in the garden and cardboard boxes end up ask desk caddies and I end up spending half the night thinking about all the cat food cans sitting in the recycling bin.

It’s a problem.

My least favorite thing to waste is craft supplies. As a craft blogger, I am lucky to get samples of a lot of products sent to me (most of which I give away) but on the occasion that I should use the product, it feels like a gift and thereby I have to use alllllllllll of it. It’s like if someone gave you a concert or theater ticket and you left at intermission. Not cool.

My recent work with ILoveToCreate has prompted me to do a lot of tie dye projects lately, which is all kinds of rad, however, it prompts me to have these plastic bottles with little droplets of dye on the inside. Something must be done!

I could rinse them off and chuck them in the recycling bin, orrrrrr, I could add water and mail tags for an overnight jacuzzi rendezvous for two.

Make that an overnight jacuzzi rendezvous for 500.

Look, they don’t sell these mail tags solo.

And at the end of the night it would look like this.

My long term plan is to keep a ready stash of tags for gifts down the line, but my selfish plan is to use them as hang tags on some of the baskets in my workroom. I have a lot of baskets. They require a lot of taggage.

So there’s 12 tags well used and accounted for. Only 488 tags to go!



  1. says

    Cant you use them to make marbleized paper? You know, like the endpapers in nice books?
    Now, how about a dye/coffee filter flower idea. Dye your underpants?

    • says

      Yup, I have been dyeing just about everything. Not sure about marbleizing though…I think that would require introducing some oil-based something. May require further research…

    • Anonymous says

      Check out Shaving Cream dying. It can create that lovely marbled look!

  2. says

    Where do you buy mail tags? I couldn’t remember the paper name for them!! See what happens when you lose yourself in the craft world?!!! The best thing is that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

    Have you seen Wish Trees? They also use mail tags.

    • says

      Any of the big office supply stores will keep them in their mailing/shipping section. I found these at a garage sale, but I am positive they will have them on Amazon. Lot’s of fun ways to use them!

  3. says

    Peaches,those are madly wickedly beautiful. I have been looking for a good bin labeling idea, this is IT, BABY!

  4. Naomi B says

    Taggage… excellent word.

  5. Deb in Oklahoma says

    Pretty and neat-ooo, clever girl!

    I’m impressed by the amount of organization in your workroom. That’s my dream–to get all my stuff organized. Of course, it would help if more than five projects weren’t in various stages of completion all over the dining table–it’s getting pretty bad if I have to keep adding leaves to the table to make more room. Ahh, the dream of being organized!

  6. says

    OMG!!!! I am so glad I read this post when I did. Procrastination was a win today. I was helping clean out the storage room and the historians room in our church SundaY School building (hasn’t been done in years!!!!) and found a large box of these tags. I could not let them be recycled but I wasn’t sure what I should do with them. Now I know!! I’m going to dye them and then sell them at our church craft fair to raise money for the sunday school!!! WOO HOO!! A little divine intervention I think!! Thanks Aunt Peaches!!

  7. says

    This is exactly what I was trying to do with folded note cards for stationary but the cards just stuck together and the ones in the middle wouldn’t absorb any color. Maybe it has to do with paper thickness.

    • says

      If they are sticking together in a way that they tear when separated, it sounds like the paper has some sort of coating (sometimes added to increase stiffness). If you think they are uncoated, I bet they won’t stick so long as you shuffle them around in the water a bit after the first five minutes. Even exposure seems to be the key (at least for me!) hope it works out for you!

  8. CarynAngel says

    I was just talkin about this and bam there it is…..Thank U

  9. says

    first may I say this made me laugh, in a good way. I really enjoyed your post and recognised myself in it too. Having piles of stuff that may be used one day, collecting new materials until we have the time to test them, leftover that look too goo to throw away, it i hard to live with but part of us creatives.Thank you for sharing your tips with such nice pictures. going to find a link to follow your blog. πŸ™‚ Gaelle by the sea

  10. Kat says

    If you’re still looking to get rid of some… if you have any blue or teal or greenish tags left, I’d love to buy some from you! I’ve been looking for a cute tag for my kitchen canisters, and looking at these every time I measure dry ingredients would make cooking so much more happy! It’d be more effort for me to try to make them when yours are ready to go! πŸ˜‰

    • aunt peaches says

      Sorry — they were mostly used up by last Christmas. Good luck!

  11. Ashley Farrington says

    Is the dye just a water based dye? How long did you soak the tags for? After you soaked them you took them out and air dried them? I want to make these to use on my wedding favors and I just want to make sure I am doing it right! Sorry for all the questions.

    • aunt peaches says

      I used fabric dye (Tulip was the brand)…soaking time varied widely depending on the color, but most of them sat in a little pool of dye overnight.

  12. says

    I love this DIY! Your tags are so pretty, they look almost like watercolor. I tried to do this myself, got the same tags and used some leftover tie dye as well, but mine are more of just an ombre rather than the watercolor effect you have going on here. Do you have any tips as to what I did wrong? Thanks!

    • aunt peaches says

      I think the sort of paper the tag is made from will effect absorption, and that will change the water markings. Most of mine are very ombre, but if you want more of a watercolor look, just lay the tags flat and paint them with the dye. Layering up the dye looks awesome, so just go for it. I find it very hard to predict the exact outcome with dye of any kind, so the best thing to do is give up expectations of exact results. It has a mind of its own!

  13. Marci says

    Have been using these tags for a few years. You can get them on Amazon… A package of 50 is about 5-6$… A good way to start to see if you like doing them! These are great! I will try some like these. Have been using distress paint on them this week. Love the result! Thanks!


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