How to Make Your Own Army Dog Tags

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to Make Your Own Army Dog Tags
A dog tag is another name for a soldier's identification tag. (dog tags image by pearlguy from

Military identification tags have become known as "dog tags" because they physically resemble the tags that people put on their pets. Make your own army dog tags and play at soldier to your heart's content. You will need a few household items and some supplies from a craft store. Adult supervision is also necessary for kids, since cutting edges and carpentry tools must be used.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Black pen
  • 8-inch aluminium pie plate
  • Ruler
  • Work gloves
  • Scissors
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Paper clip
  • Telephone book
  • One-hole punch
  • 20-inch ball chain

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  1. 1

    Put a sheet of newspaper on a table. Put the aluminium pie plate on the newspaper with the flat side down.

  2. 2

    Draw a 1-1/2 inch by 2-1/2 inch rectangle using the ruler and the black magic marker. Draw a second rectangle on the aluminium pie plate that is the same as the first.

  3. 3

    Put on the work gloves. Cut out the two rectangles on the aluminium pie plate using the scissors. Discard the rest of the aluminium pie plate.

  4. 4

    Place the two cut rectangles on the newspaper horizontally. Trim each corner of both of the rectangles with the scissors so as to make the two rectangles into a pair of octagons (shapes with eight equal sides).

  5. 5

    Clamp the jaws of the needle-nosed pliers on the edge of one of the octagons. Pull back on the needle-nosed pliers to bend the edge a little. Repeat this procedure with the needle-nosed pliers on all of the other edges of both of the octagons.

  6. 6

    Place both octagons vertically on the newspaper with the bent sides facing down. Smooth all of the edges of both of the octagons with the edge of the ruler to eliminate the sharp edges.

  7. 7

    Straighten out the ends of the paper clip.

  8. 8

    Put a telephone book underneath the two octagons. Etch your name on one of the octagons near the top using an end of the paper clip. Etch a made-up serial number underneath your name using the end of the paper clip.

  9. 9

    Repeat this procedure to put your name and serial number on the other octagon.

  10. 10

    Punch a hole in the top of each octagon with the one-hole punch, just above your name.

  11. 11

    String one end of the ball chain through the two holes in the army dog tags you have just made.

  12. 12

    Close the clasp of the ball chain. Put the ball chain over your head to wear your army dog tags.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use string if you don't have a ball chain.
  • The cut-outs in the aluminium pie plate are very sharp, so do not touch them.

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