Thursday, March 3, 2016

Water Bottle Identification Tags

Have you ever been somewhere with the kids and they ask where their water bottle is and you see two or three of the same types and don't know which one belongs to whom? This has happened to us a few too many times and I decided to find a way to be able to identify which bottle belongs to my kids. We use these CamelBak water bottles which have small handles.

I needed our water bottle tags to be easy to remove and be washable. I found some fabric at JoAnn by Babyville Boutique that is a laminated fabric and is used for cloth diapering. I figured if this fabric could handle the stress of being a diaper it should be good enough for the labels I wanted to make. I also decided against making a see-through window for a written name tag because I didn’t want a lot of seams that could harbor food, and make it difficult to clean.

Here is what I used:
  • ¼ yard PUL (polyurethane laminate) fabric (if the fabric store allows for smaller cuts, than 3 x 7 inches, or a tad more to allow room for error, will be enough).
  • Snag free velcro that is sew on
  • Polyester thread
  • Clover clips - Or hair clips, bobby pins, or anything to help hold the pattern pieces together but doesn’t pierce the fabric.
  • Universal needle in size 80. Can also use ballpoint needle for the PUL fabric.
  • Walking foot, vinyl/leather foot, or paper stabilizer. The coating on the fabric can stick to other types of feet
  • Self drafted template. The pattern below is just one pattern piece.  The line that separates the strap to the tag is due to how I drew this template.

To determine the best size for the tags I made a few tester versions first using muslin. Because we are having difficulties posting pictures with drawings in them at this time I have to attach a file with the dimensions of the tag, you can find it here!

Before I started sewing the name tags I read up on how to sew with this type of fabric. On the Babyville Boutique website I found some information here. I also found this site to be helpful.

Here is how I put my tags together
  1. Cut two of the pattern pieces from the fabric using your self-drafted pattern.
  2. With right sides together clip the pattern pieces together, matching raw edges. Make sure to mark the start and stop point, leaving yourself enough room to turn the tag right side out.
  3. Sew around the tag using a ¼ seam allowance, stopping at the predetermined point.
  4. Turn fabric right side out and press with a cool iron, folding the raw edges where the tag was turned, to the inside. If you press with a warm iron you risk the chance of fusing the two laminated sides together.
  5. Top stitch around tag ensuring the raw edge of the opening is enclosed to the inside of the tag.
  6. Measure length of snag-free velcro needed for the top of strap, then cut 2 pieces. Sew the velcro to top of the strap and coordinating place on tag. I sewed my velcro on the strap first and then tested the strap on the bottle to determine placement of velcro for the tag. Nothing special has to be done to sew on velcro, just stitch around the perimeter. Don’t forget to double check the stitching to ensure it didn’t get snagged in the hook and loop. The reason why I sewed the velcro to both layers is that I didn’t want all the stress to be on just one piece of fabric.
  7. If you would like to seal the needle holes, toss in dryer on high heat for 20 minutes. However, when doing regular washing use warm water and low dryer heat or line dry.
  8. That’s it. If you find someone has the same type of fabric as your tag, you can use a sharpie and write your child’s name on the tag.

We have been using these tags for about three weeks now and love them. They wash great!  We have been hand washing them in the sink since they haven’t gotten too dirty yet.  The velcro is strong enough that the kids hold on to the tags to carry their bottles but not too strong that it is a pain to take them off.  And the part that excites me the most, besides my kids’ not drinking out of other kids’ water bottles, is being asked where I bought these!




Written by: Shawna

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