Saturday, October 20, 2012

Name Tag Tutorial

The Non-Embroidered Name Tag Tutorial

Do you want to make a cute name tag, but hate all the hand stitching and embroidery required to add your name to it?  Then I have the perfect name tag tutorial for you.  My name tag tutorial requires no hand stitching or embroidery.  All you need are a few supplies and you will be on your way to a unique and fun name tag that you can use anywhere.  Also intermingled  in this tutorial are some handy tips to help you along as you complete your own name tag.


Inkjet printer
1     8-1/2”x11” piece of Printable fabric
4     1” x 1”  scraps of coordinating fabric
1     3” x 6” piece of white fabric
1     1”x 14” strip of border fabric (not binding fabric)
1     1-1/2"x 60” strip of binding fabric 
1     4” x 5” piece of batting
1     4” x 5” piece of backing fabric 

note 1  : This is not a comprehensive list.  Assembly supplies are implied (i.e., iron, sewing     machine, pins, etc.).

note 2: All seam allowances in this tutorial are a scant 1/4” unless otherwise noted.

Handy Tip #1:   A scant 1/4”  seam means a seam allowance that is not quite 1/4”.  It helps the creases to lay flatter.

Lets begin:

Step 1:  In a word processing program, type your name and any other identifying information that you want on your name tag.  

I used this font for my name with a 48 point font size and this font for my quilting blog title with a 24 point font size. 

Here is what it looks like on my computer: 

                             The Scrapbucket Quilter LISAi a

Step 2: Print out your text on regular printer paper until you get the look and color you want.  Make sure that you print with at least a 1” margin on all four sides of your text.

Once you have the text looking the way you want it, print it onto printable fabric following the directions on the package,  You might want to consider printing multiple copies of your text all on the same sheet incase you make a mistake during assembly.  Follow the directions on the back of printable fabric packaging to set the ink         to the fabric.  Cut fabric text block to 2-1/2” tall by 3-1/2” wide.  

Step 3: Cut 4 scraps of fabric into squares measuring 5/8” x 5/8” and a 1”x6” strip of white fabric .  

Step 4: Start with a runner if desired before sewing the squares to the white fabric.  With right sides together, sew each of the four squares to the raw edge of the white strip in a chain, leaving a little space in-between each square. 

Handy Tip #2:  Sewing in a chain means that you sew your fabric one right after the other without stopping to cut thread in between.  This cuts down on wasted thread as well as speeds up the sewing time. 

Handy Tip #3: When you sew little pieces of fabric , it is helpful to start with a runner ( a random scrap of fabric that you sew first before  you start sewing your first piece.)  This keeps the little pieces of fabric from getting pushed down into the bobbin hole by the needle.   

Step 5: With chain still in tact, press seams toward the squares. Do not cut fabric yet. 

Step 6: With the chain pressed open, cut the white fabric strip side 1/2” beyond the seam. 

Step 7: Now cut apart the strips using the edges of the squares as your top and bottom guide. 

Step 8Arrange the strips in the order desired with the white side to the right. Use the chain method to sew the white side of piece 1 to the color side of piece 2 and  the white side of piece 3 to the color side of piece 4.  Cut threads between chain and sew the white side of piece 1-2 to the colored side of piece 3-4.

Step 9: Sew a piece of white piece of fabric about 1” x 1-1/2” long to the left side of the chain so that you begin and end the chain with a white piece of fabric.  Press all the seams towards the colored squares. 

Measure the length of your finished chain. (Mine is 3”).

Step 10: Cut two more strips of white fabric, 3” x 1” each if your chain measured 3", otherwise adjust the length to however long your finished chain ends up.  Sew one strip of white fabric to the top length of the chain and the other strip of white fabric to the bottom length of the chain.  Trim up sides of the finished piece leaving 1/2” of white fabric on top and bottom and about 3/8” of white fabric on the sides.  

Step 11: Sew a strip of fabric to the top, bottom and sides of the block until you now have a color border (or you could just add more white fabric).  Press seams and square up block to the width of the fabric text block.

Handy Tip #4: Squaring up a block means making sure that the top and bottom of the square are the same length, the left and right sides are the same length and that all four corners are at a 90 degree angle.  

Step 12: Put a small crease in the bottom center of the text block and a small crease in the top center of the four square block.    Line up creases to center the fabrics.  Pin and sew the top of the four square block to the bottom of the text block.  Press seams towards the text block.

Step13: Cut a piece of batting and backing fabric the same size as the name tag front. (mine were about 4” x 5”).  Pin all three layers together with either pins or safety pins and square up all three layers together. 


Step 14: Either cut one continuous piece of fabric 
1-1/2"x 60" or cut multiple shorter strips of binding fabric into 1-1/2” strips and sew together end to end until you have a piece of fabric roughly measuring 1-1/2” x 60”.  Press seams to one side.  

Step 15: Iron binding in half length wise.  Open up and iron again folding raw edges towards the middle crease as you iron.  

Handy tip #5: Typically I iron the top  raw edge first and then go back and iron the bottom raw edge.  

Step 16: Cut a piece of your pressed binding the same length as the top of your name tag (mine was about 3 1/2” long).  With the binding folded on its creases, slip the binding over the top edge of the name tag.  Stitch the binding from the front side of the name tag, making sure to catch the binding on the back side at the same time.  Even up the sides.

Step 17: To make the binding into a lanyard, take the remaining strip (about 56"-57") of binding and put a small crease in the center lengthwise (about 28" or so from the end of the strip).  Line up this crease with the middle of the bottom of the name tag.  Pin the binding around the bottom and sides of the name tag.  There should be quite a bit of binding extending beyond the top of the sides.  Fold the rest of the binding up so the raw edges of the loose binding  are tucked inside itself.  Pin. Start sewing at the very top of the loose binding on the right side, about 1" below the top edge of the binding strip.  Continue sewing onto the side of the name tag,  then  across the bottom  and back up the left side to the top of the other loose edge, stopping 1" from the top of the left side.  

Step 18: To attach the top edges of the lanyard, place the top raw edge of the right side inside the top raw edge of the left side, folding under the left raw edge.  Sew together for a nice clean seam.

Step 19: Add your own quilting effects. I stitched in the ditch where the text block and the four square block meet.  I also used a wave stitch already preset on my sewing machine and lengthened the stitch so it made longer waves.  I sewed them on a diagonal across the text block.  Then I sewed wonky squares around the four colored blocks on the square block.  I used a grey thread, but you could match your thread to your fabric for a more discrete look.

Handy Tip #6: To add a decorative stitch to your quilting, you can lengthen one of the decorative                            stitches already on your machine.

VOILA, you now have a non embroidered name tag that will fool your friends.  Your finished name tag should look something like this. 

Make sure and post your finished name tag here in the flickr group for others to see.  I would love to see your take on this name tag tutorial.

If you like this tutorial, check out some of my other tutorials here and here.


  1. I loved your name tag Lisa! It was so great to meet you!

  2. Love this tutorial...complete, visual, details- all I need to make my name tag! Quiltfest 2013 coming soon- plan to wear my nametag! Thanks!!

    1. Glad you liked it. Send me a pic of your finished nametag. I would love to see it.

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