• Making To/From Tags in Photoshop and PSE

    This week’s tip is another in our holiday project series. Make your gift tags extra special this year by personalizing them for each person on your gift list. Using your digital stash and Photoshop or Elements, it’s easy!

    Begin by opening a new blank document in Photoshop or Elements in the size you’d like to print. For the sample, I created an 8x5x11-inch document at 300 pixels per inch.

    Create the tag shape by getting the Rectangle Tool. (Don’t confuse the Rectangular Marquee tool with the Rectangle tool in the tools panel!) Set the foreground color to grey and Shift Click and drag out a square on your document. This will be the front of the tag.

    Next select the first square and open a photo or digital paper. Drag the paper onto your document, positioning it one space above the square in the layers panel. Move your cursor between the two layers and Alt click (Mac: Opt click) to “glue” the paper to the square.

    Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) to select the paper and the square then press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the two layers.

    Make the back of the tag by pressing Ctrl J to duplicate your square.Select the duplicate layer and press Ctrl T to get the Transform controls. This will create a box around your duplicate copy.

    Position your cursor outside the square. When it changes to a curved arrow, Shift Click and drag to turn the square upside down. Holding the Shift key will turn in increments, allowing you to keep the square straight. Now use the Up arrow key or Shift and drag the square up so that the bottom of the new square just touches the top of the first square. Flipping the square this way will allow the pattern to be right-side-up when the tag is folded.

    Decorate the front of the tag with text or digital elements to your liking. If you add text or elements to the back of the tag, be sure to flip them using the steps you used to flip the paper. Now you can copy these squares enough times to fill up the page.

    Select File > Print and follow the on-screen instructions to print out your tags.

    Finish up by cutting out the tags and creating a “mountain” fold so that the fold is at the top. Print your “to-from” information inside the tag and tape or tie it to your package.

    Use your creativity to personalize the tags for each of your gift recipients. Make them smile by placing a photo of the person on the front of the tag or use a theme that matches the gift inside. Find elements that will appeal to each person and create enough duplicates so that you can use the same tag on each gift you give them. Identifying the gift recipient will be quick and easy with your personalized tags!