Happy Circles:: Round Luggage Tag Tutorial

luggage tag 1

Want a quick little round project?  Why not a luggage tag?  If you’re like me, all my luggage looks just like everyone else’s on the luggage carousel.  What my suitcases need is a little something to set them apart so I can spot them from far away.  Note: the luggage above is not what I actually carry on trips.  This one is strictly for display purposes only – cute, but also old and fragile. 

Here’s what you’ll need:


1.   4″ fabric circle  (with fusible interfacing on the WRONG side)
2.   3 3/4″ vinyl circle
3.   4″ fabric circle with a 2 1/2″ circle cut out of the center (with fusible interfacing on the WRONG side)
4.   4″ circle of fusible webbing with a 2 1/2″ circle cut out of the center
5.   luggage tag strap (buy ’em or use one from an old luggage tag).

Notes on supplies:
1.  The fabric I used in the following pictures is NOT interfaced, but it should have been.  Interfacing adds sturdiness and minimizes fraying of the raw edges.
2.  Throughout this tutorial, I will be calling the clear plastic “vinyl”, but it really is cut from a clear plastic presentation cover sheet (available at office supply stores).
3.  Pattern pieces are in a pdf file here:  Round Luggage Tag Pattern Sheet.  Make sure page scaling is set to “NONE”.
4.  There are plenty of options when it coves to luggage tag straps.  There are the buckled kind shown above as well as plastic loops.

Are we ready?  Okay!

STEP 1: Start off by fusing the fusible webbing to the WRONG side of the fabric ring.  Peel off the paper backing.

fusible web

STEP 2:  Center the fabric ring over the vinyl so that the vinyl is against the WRONG side of the fabric.  Carefully press the FABRIC ONLY to warm up the webbing so that it sticks to the vinyl.  Be careful not to keep your iron in one place too long as you may melt the vinyl.  I had the setting of my iron on “cotton” which is quite hot and didn’t have a problem.  Fusing the vinyl to the fabric prevents it from sliding around in the next step.

pressing fabric to vinyl copy
The vinyl is impossible to see in the picture, but it really is there.

 STEP 3:  Mark identical marks on both pieces of fabric, 3/8″ from the edge and 3/4″ wide.    Stitch buttonholes around these lines.  With a seam ripper, make an opening in the buttonholes.

Buttonhole Marks

STEP 4:  Stitch around the inside of the ring with a 1/8″ seam allowance, securing the vinyl to the fabric.  Hey, no laughing at my sorry stitching here.

buttonhole sewn

STEP 5:  With both pieces WRONG sides together, slip the strap through the holes to keep them lined up properly during this final step.  Starting ~1 from the buttonhole, stitch the rings together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Stop stitching ~1″ before reaching the buttonhole.  Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end.

luggage tag 2 tilt

This little paper insert is available on the pattern sheet here:  Round Luggage Tag Pattern Sheet.

This little circle makes me happy and I hope it makes you happy too!

More Happy Circles here and here.

28 thoughts on “Happy Circles:: Round Luggage Tag Tutorial

  1. Eeee! So cute!

    I’ve been eyeing some new tags lately because ours are falling apart (and plain, ugly black ones), but just couldn’t part with the money.

    These are perfect! And so much cuter!!

    Hmmm…methinks I might need to make a set for my best friend’s honeymoon! 🙂

    • So glad you like them! I think they would make a perfect honeymoon gift. 🙂 I’ve gotta to find a place that sells the cute leather straps. I love the green, but haven’t seen many colors other than brown for sale out there.

  2. I really want to make one of these, but I just don’t think I can. Any chance you’d make one for me before May 12 (going to Hawaii…and I’ll pay you!) 🙂

    • So glad you like them, Meagan! You really should make them yourself – you still have a sewing machine, right? They aren’t hard. Hawaii with the boys? Should be fun! One problem with making them myself is finding the cute little tag straps. I haven’t found a place that sells them in cool colors. The green strap is off of another tag that I already had. And I really shouldn’t even say this, but I’m going to: Target has some cute luggage tags for $3. Slap me now for discouraging anyone to buy sweatshop products rather than handmade. 😦

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  4. very nice. i’d love to carry a line of your luggage tags in my store.

    p.s. i have my doubts about whether the vinyl is really there.

  5. You can’t scare me with circles AND vinyl, then tell me that Target has some cute tags for cheap. At this rate I’ll never attempt to sew a circle. Don’t worry, I won’t be rushing out to buy the sweatshop’s wares just yet – I doubt that I’ll be hopping on an aeroplane any time soon, unless I win the lottery.

    • I can’t believe I didn’t respond to this! So funny! I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned Target! They have such cute ones, but really I had to try making my own. Vinyl really isn’t too scary – it just takes some patience. And think of all the things you could make with clear pockets if you just gave it a try. 🙂

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  7. Thank you for these circular lessons! I didn’t know that you can get circular sewing feet for sewing machines, I now really want one!

    • It’s such a simple concept, and so much fun! I’m hoping to play with mine a little more – I have ideas going around in my head for some fun things to try. 🙂 So little time to do what I want to do…

  8. Love! Love! Love! I’ve been attaching knitted i-cord bows to my luggage and they don’t travel well at all. I think I need some ultra-cool luggage tags!

    • Thanks, Hilari! A nice,bright i-cord would help in sighting my luggage at carousel – bummer that they don’t travel well! My dad used to duct tape our family’s initial onto the front of our suitcases. I understand why, but it was always embarrasing to me as a kid. 🙂 I’m sure my kids will be wondering why Mommy always has to put fabric tags on our suitcases. Ha! What goes around…

  9. Wow! That is exactly what I’m after making!!!!!

    Hi I’m Shelley and I came across your blog about a month ago, it’s great! Always inspiring me to get the sewing machine and fabric out!! Keep up the wonderful job xxx

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