How-to: Make a Reusable (Not Disposable!) Kid’s Name Tag for School Field Trips

Reusable Nametags for a Whole Year's Worth of Field Trips

Kid going on a field trip? Generally gotta have a name tag.

I suppose that if you’re in school, disposable name tags, while spendy and wasteful, are easy enough to dish out, but they’re certainly not green. And we’re homeschoolers, so buying an entire package of disposable name tag stickers just for the couple of field trips a year that require them is just silly.

Instead of buying disposable name tags, or, I don’t know, writing our names on notebook paper and taping them to our shirts, my kiddos and I make reusable name tags. These name tags can be made almost entirely by a kid with just a little adult help, and can be used until any of the information changes–if a kid made one of these in kindergarten, and used it until she headed off for middle school, that’s probably worth an entire package of disposable name tag stickers right there, and if the whole class did it, that’s a good effort towards helping a school go green.

cut plain light-colored fabric to size

1. To begin, cut any light-colored cotton-based fabric to size. I used a notecard as a template for one kid’s name tag, and my younger daughter free-handed hers. Zig-zaggy scissors are fun, and will keep the fabric from fraying.

2. I iron fusible interfacing to the back of the name tag fabric just to stiffen it so that it’s easy to write on–this is an adult’s job in my house, because in my house only the adults are careful enough not to get the iron sticky. Of course, you could also use starch to stiffen the fabric (and a kid could do that one), or these natural fabric stiffeners for a greener project.

decorate the name tag with fabric markers 3. Write your information directly on the name tag fabric. We like Tee Juice markers, but Sharpies or any other permanent markers will also work well for this project. Kids can also take this opportunity to decorate their name tags and make them really special (and less likely to be groused about when it’s time to wear them).

4. To add even more support to the name tag, back it with the kid’s choice of wool felt, trimming the wool felt about 1/2″ wider than the name tag on all sides to show off the pretty color of felt that the kid has chosen. Kids can also free-hand this one, especially if they want to make the felt a silly shape!

stitch the name tag to the wool felt background5. Stitch around the edges of the name tag to secure it to the wool felt backing. Since the stitching just needs to hold the name tag to the felt, not be…I don’t know? Competent?…this is another great chance for a kid to take control and do the sewing herself.

Two easy ways to attach this name tag to a kid are to 1) use a safety pin to pin it to a shirt or jacket or to 2) punch a hole at the two top corners and attach a cord to hang the name tag around a kid’s neck. Either way, you’re all set for Children’s Day at the local farm!

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.


Leave a Reply

Comments (Keep It Civil...)

How-to: No-Sew Upcycled T-Shirt Grocery Bag (with Beads and Bells and Fringe!)

What do You Need to Reuse or Upcycle?