How to Make Pet ID Tags From Home

Written by robyn tindle
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How to Make Pet ID Tags From Home
Dogs need an ID tag to be found if lost. (poodle image by palms from Fotolia.com)

Keep your pet from being lost forever by making sure it can be returned to you. Make personalised pet ID tags if you are feeling creative or if you do not wish to purchase an everyday one from your local pet store. This is not as difficult as it may seem, for you do not need metal discs or metal engraving tools to make pet tags. Buy some inkjet shrinkable plastic or some quick drying clay to make a choice of pet ID tags for all your pets.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Ink-jet shrinkable plastic
  • Paint software program
  • Colour printer
  • Extra large hole punch
  • Standard single hole punch
  • Toaster oven or conventional oven
  • Clear glaze
  • Metal ring
  • Quick drying clay
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry cutter or knife
  • Knitting needle or pencil
  • Acrylic paint
  • Art brushes

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Create a tag design on your computer using paint software, such as Microsoft Paint or Paintbrush for a Mac. Make a shape of your choice, such as a bone or a fish, using the paint tools. Fill the shape with colour. Add text -- your pet's name and contact number. Make sure that the design is bigger than the actual size of the tag because the plastic it will be printed on will shrink when heated. Also use light colours within your design because they will darken.

  2. 2

    Print off the pet tag design on a sheet of printable plastic.

  3. 3

    Cut out the pet tag design using scissors or create a perfect circle or oval shape by using an extra large hole punch. (A range of novelty, extra large hole punches are available to cut out paper shapes -- from circles to butterflies -- that you can purchase online or in your local craft store.) Place the pet tag design into the extra large punch, align paper in position, and then press to produce a perfectly-shaped pet tag.

  4. 4

    Punch two to three holes beside each other with a standard single hole punch to create one big hole in the pet ID tag, as the hole will shrink on heating.

  5. 5

    Place your ID tag on a sheet of brown paper or aluminium foil. Put it into a toaster oven or a conventional oven. Follow the directions on the back of the shrinkable plastic pack for heating instructions as times differ according to the type of plastic. Place it in the oven to heat up and shrink. Keep a close eye on your tag to make sure you don't spoil it. It is normal for the tag to shrink and curl during the heating process.

  6. 6

    Apply clear glaze over the tag to preserve the print. Allow to dry according to instructions.

  7. 7

    Attach a metal ring, and secure it onto the pet's collar.

  1. 1

    Buy some quick drying clay that can be left to dry naturally or baked in the oven.

  2. 2

    Roll out the clay using a rolling pin until it is flat and thin.

  3. 3

    Cut out a round disk using a pastry cutter, or cut out a shape with a knife.

  4. 4

    Create a hole using a knitting needle or a pencil.

  5. 5

    Leave to dry and harden, or bake in the oven according to heating instructions on the back of the clay pack. Paint the pet tag using acrylic colours. Paint the background colour first, and allow to dry for 30 minutes. Write the dog's name and contact number in paint with a very fine paintbrush. Allow to dry before applying clear glaze. Attach to a metal ring ready to go onto the pets collar.

Tips and warnings

  • Do about six designs at a time to fill the paper and to avoid wasting paper.
  • For safety, do not reuse the rolling pin or pastry cutter for baking food.

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