Tuesday, September 7, 2010



Grungy hangtags are easy and fun to make. Their wonderful smell takes you back in time to Mom's kitchen and the aromas that filled the air when she baked cookies or cooked a batch of homemade fudge. They are popular among primitive and country décor buffs for their aged appearance. There are many different kinds of hangtags.

Cardstock paper
Strong brewed coffee (suggest instant)
Vanilla extract
Cotton string
Scissors or paper cutter
Sponges or large cotton balls (optional)
Cookie sheet and wax/baking paper
Hole-puncher with a grip handle
Reinforcement Labels


Cut tags to any size you wish, for instance, 1-3/4" x 2-3/4", round off the tops or leave them straight across. Punch a hole in the top center of the tags or place a reinforcement label where you think the hole should be and punch. Apply round reinforcement labels to both sides of the tag. It is easier to punch the holes first then apply the tabs.

Cut sections of string about 12 inches long for tags measuring 2" x 4" (cut less or more length depending on the size of the tag you are making). Fold the string in half and enter both cut ends through the hole leaving the closed end on the opposite side of the tag to loop. Grasp the open ends taking them over the top of the tag through the loop. Gently pull the loop snug and tie a knot in the open ends. Leave about 1/4" excess string behind knot and trim even. You may use ribbon, cloth, jute, or any other material of your choice in place of cotton string.
Make a cup of double or triple strength coffee and add 2 tablespoons of Vanilla extract. Allow the coffee to cool enough to work without burning your fingers. Have a cookie sheet ready and lined with wax paper. Plain white paper will work, as well. If you place, the tags directly onto the metal dark specks will appear on the tags. That is why you should line your metal cooking sheet.

Dip each tag into the coffee mixture including the string; place the tag flat onto the cookie sheet repeating this step until you fill the cookie sheet. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 250 to 275 degrees. The edges will naturally curl but will flatten to a certain extent once again. Do not turn the tags over while they are baking. Baking makes, the tags brown more and helps preserve the vanilla's scent


It works great, and you don't need to turn the oven on.

2 cups of hot water
1/4 cup instant coffee (dry)
2-3 tea bags (let seep for a bit)
3 Tablespoons imitation vanilla scented oil is optional and amount depends on strength desired.

Mix together. Soak tags in coffee mixture for 5-10 mins. Lay on paper plate lined with paper towels. Microwave in intervals of 40 sec, checking to make sure they don't burn. You can stamp on them or write on them. A really great look is old time pictures applied with decoupage. If you want you can sprinkled lightly with real cinnamon before microwaving.

Let's get grungy!! Tea bag trick!
I want to share this quick tip with you. Do you have lampshades that need that fast prim touch? Take a few tea bags (may need more ready depending on the size of the shade) Throw a cup of water in the microwave on high to get nice and hot, let your tea bags steep and gently wring out a little to get excess water off. Simply dab or blot your tea bags directly onto your shade! Yes, it's that simple. You can do as many layers as you'd like depending on how dark you want your stain.


If your coffee or tea stains your counter top, try spreading a thin layer of fresh coffee or tea over the tabletop scrubbing a damp cloth. Next, wipe the surface down with a clean damp cloth as you normally would.

Soak fingertips in 3% Hydrogen Peroxide mixed with warm water (1 part peroxide to 2 parts water) to help remove any stains from fingernails

1 comment:

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

You have such great ideas Sue . . . or you pass along great ideas. This sounds like fun. It also sounds nostalgic.