How to Make Personalized Dog Tags

Written by stacy d. cooper
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How to Make Personalized Dog Tags
Dog tags have evolved into an artistic outlet. (dog tags image by pearlguy from

After the Civil War, 54 per cent of the soldiers' bodies that were reinterred in national cemeteries were listed as "unknown," showcasing the need to be able to identify soldiers during wartime, according to the Army Dog Tags website. In 1906, a circular, engraved, aluminium disk was suggested, and by 1913 identification tags were made mandatory. During World War II, the aluminium disk was replaced by the rectangular disk with a notch, and the nickname "dog tag" was adopted. Dog tags are still used by the military, and they have also evolved into a way for people to express themselves.

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Things you need

  • Dog tags
  • Hand-held engraver
  • Dog tag frames
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Cord or ribbon

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  1. 1

    Purchase dog tags in different shapes or colours. Dog Tags, Inc. sells dog tags in pink, green, purple, blue, red and black. You can also buy a tag shaped like a bottle opener, as well as tags with flag and camouflage designs.

    Engrave your dog tag with a symbol, personal motto or inspirational word like "dream" or "peace." If you don't have a hand-held engraver, take your tag to a jewellery store or engraver.

  2. 2

    Place a colourful plastic ring called a frame around your tag. Frames are available in many colours and patterns, including flag and camouflage designs. You can make your own design by using acrylic paint and a narrow paintbrush to draw a design on your plain frame.

  3. 3

    If you like, have a photo printed on your dog tag. Websites like Photacular, Walmart and Personalized Gift Express will allow you to upload a photo to print on your tag.

  4. 4

    Hang your dog tag from a cord or ribbon instead of the usual ball chain necklace.

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