3 Unique Handmade Pet ID Tags

Making your own pet id tags is a fun project that creates a unique holiday gift for your four-legged family members. Even though micro-chipping pets is becoming more common, id tags are still the first measure against your pet becoming lost. There are several types of do-it-yourself tags that are durable and easy to make. The following are some examples to get you started.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Plastic milk jug cap
  • Scissors
  • Small metal cutting shears
  • Metal rasp
  • Shellac spray
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • Permanent marker
  • Metal clothing tag
  • Clay
  • Clay roller
  • Clay trimmer
  • Clay needle tool
  • Glaze
  • Fine-tipped paint brush
  • Drawing compass
  • Jump ring
  • Metal hole punch

Step 1 - Cut Out Plastic Tag

Clean off the milk jug cap and remove any label from its top. If there is any glue residue left from a label, this can be cleaned off with a small amount of nail polish remover or lighter fluid. Cut out the flat part of the cap to fit your pet's collar. Cats and smaller dogs can have a smaller plastic circle, while larger dogs can have a somewhat bigger one. Smooth any rough edges of the plastic with some sandpaper, and then create a hole for the jump ring with the hole punch. You can use either a standard hole punch found in office supply stores or a metal hole punch that is sturdier.

Write your last name, your pet's name, and your phone number on the tag with a fine-tipped permanent marker. To keep the marker from possibly smudging, spray the tag with a small amount of shellac and allow it to dry for a few minutes. Alternately, you can etch this information into the plastic with the sharp point of a compass, which is more effective than other homemade etching tools such as paper clips.

Step 2 - Etch Your Own Metal Tag

If you have recently bought some clothes with metal store tags, save these tags because they are perfect for this pet id tag project. They are made of soft metal that can be cut relatively easily with metal cutting shears found in any hardware store. Use these to cut your pet's new tag to the right size just as with the plastic one in Step 1. Instead of sandpaper, you will need a metal rasp to smooth out any sharp or rough metal edges. You will need a stronger metal hole punch tool for this option, which can also be purchased in hardware stores.

Step 3 - Make a Custom Ceramic Tag

Another creative option is to fashion your own pet tag from fired clay. Select a light-colored clay so that your pet's information will be easily readable; Arctic White or Bee Mix clay is recommended. Roll out a small sheet of clay between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, not too thin to have a sharp edge but not too thick to be heavy on your pet's collar. Cut out your tag in the size and shape of your choice, allowing an extra 1/4 inch for firing shrinkage. Smooth off any edges with your clay trimmer, and create the tag hole with your needle tool. Fire your tag in the kiln and allow it to cool, then paint your pet's information with black glaze and your fine-tipped brush. Decorate your tag with other glaze colors if you wish, fire and cool your glazed tag, then attach with the jump ring.