83. How to Make a Luggage Identifier

How to make a luggage identifier

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how I made this luggage identifier then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘The truth is out…’

‘Teacups & Tulips is a flower shop and tea room. Politics is bad for business,’ Kim had said when Jaz tried to get her interested in the anti-fracking march. The march was due to set off from Linnet row, right outside our shop, the following day and Kim wasn’t happy.

Unusually for me, I overslept that morning and flew to work in a fluster. But when I arrived at Linnet Row it took me a good five minutes to work my way through the crowd of protestors.

‘Morning Jenny! Cup of tea to set you up for the day?’ It was Beryl with her Teacups apron askew as usual, selling takeaway teas, coffees and snacks on the pavement.

‘You can’t march on an empty stomach! Get your drinks and snacks here!’ she cried, like a barrow boy and she looked as though she was doing a roaring trade. A noisy crowd was gathering ahead of the start time and there was a real sense of excitement in the air. Politics bad for business? I don’t think so.

Jaz had taken the day off work and I could see her blue hair darting about. She was leaping around and chatting every time she saw someone else she knew – she was in her element. Her placard read: FRACK AT YOUR PERIL. I wasn’t sure what retribution she had in mind but all I could think of was: OR WE’LL UNLEASH BERYL, but that didn’t seem like much of a threat. Beryl would probably just make the frackers a cup of tea.

Jaz caught sight of me through the crowd and nodded her head to her left. I looked across to where she was indicating and saw Shaun trying to make his way through the people. The mood of the crowd changed when someone recognised he was from the council and some people started to jeer. I was sure he’d only come to show them his support but his action had been misjudged and he was coming under fire from all sides. He was heading my way but after my suspicions over him and Kim I really didn’t want to talk to him so I darted into the chemist and hoped he wouldn’t follow. A few moments later Jaz joined me. ‘He’s talking to Kim in the tea room,’ she said.

How naïve of me to assume he was here for the march. I perused the shelves of deodorant and antiseptic creams for longer than was credible and then felt I had to go next door and face the music. Time to talk to Kim.

‘Kim?’ I asked, tentatively, ‘What’s going on between you and Shaun?’

‘Nothing! What do you mean?’ she replied.

‘Well, you clammed up when I asked you how the charity dinner was, then I noticed he rang you on your mobile.’

‘Jenny!’ she exclaimed. ‘I’m married!’

‘Why has he just been into the shop to talk to you then?

‘Oh, Jenny, you’re my best friend and I should have told you sooner.’ At this point I wished I hadn’t asked, but I let her continue. ‘He got very drunk at the charity do and started telling me how much he’s enjoyed seeing you again. His wife’s quite a bit younger than him and from a really well-to-do family. Spending time with you has made him realise what he’s been missing.’

‘Oh…’ I didn’t know what to say.

‘He made me promise I wouldn’t say anything,’ Kim continued.

‘But if I’m your best friend….’

‘I did a sort of deal with him Jenny. He’s got some great business contacts but he said he wouldn’t introduce me to them if I blabbed to you.’

‘So what now?’ I asked, stunned by the whole thing.

‘I’m meeting them at a networking lunch next week,’ she said, ‘but, Jen, he’s just told me that when he said those things about you it was the drink talking and none of it’s true.’

‘Oh…’ I said again, thoroughly deflated. Maybe I should just go on holiday again and forget all about him. ◊

How to Make a Luggage Identifier

salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's pawIt will probably be ages before I go on holiday again but I thought I’d make something useful for when I do. This tag made from salvaged fabric will help me to identify my luggage from the millions of other black cases coming in on the carrousel.

Yet again I chose a couple of pieces from the old curtain sample fabric that I acquired a few months ago. And I found a bit of black elastic in my haberdashery box.

How to make a luggage identifier

I made a template (roughly the shape of a luggage label) with a 1cm seam allowance all the way round. I also hand-drew my initial and cut it out of paper. Maybe I should have made cardboard templates like I usually do – I keep my templates all together so I can reuse them whenever I want.

How to make a luggage identifier

Here are the pieces cut out. I used Bondaweb on the back of the J but don’t forget to draw in onto your piece fabric/Bondaweb back to front so it’s right way round when you come to iron it on.

How to make a luggage identifier

After ironing on the initial it’s time to assemble your pieces and pin them together. You need to put right sides together but also sandwich the piece of elastic in the middle, with the two ends sticking out at the top. My piece of elastic was 16cm. This is only just enough to attach to my chunky handle but I did find a little loop on one of the zips where it sits nicely. I recommend you decide where you want to put yours first, then decide how long it should be.

How to make a luggage identifier

How to make a luggage identifier

Then sew all the way round except for a gap for turning it right way out. I always manage to make my gap smaller than I mean to and have it in an awkward place. But it did work out okay.

How to make a luggage identifier

Now snip your corners and turn it right way out. Poke a pencil (or something similar) into the middle to push the corners out, then iron it.

How to make a luggage identifier

How to make a luggage identifier

I decided to add a small amount of wadding to give it a bit of body, before I sewed up the gap by hand.

How to make a luggage identifier

And here it is, as quick as that! All you need to do now is push the elastic through the handle, or another loop that you have on your case, and pull your label through the loop of elastic to secure it into place.

How to make a luggage identifier

Of course, you can be much bolder with your design if you like!


  • Consider how long you want your elastic. I used a piece that was 16cm and it was only just long enough.
  • I would normally hand stitch anything that I’d attached with Bondaweb but I decided this probably wasn’t going to go through the washing machine very often (if at all) so it would be fine.
  • You won’t be able to see your loop of elastic while you’re stitching your pieces of fabric together but make sure it doesn’t stray onto your stitching line.

Salvaged Items:

  • Old curtain sample fabric

This was a quick sewing project this week. Hope you’re inspired to have a go yourself.


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