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Handmade Suitcase Tags and Passport Holders

A handmade suitcase tag brings style and a dash of color to the baggage-claim carousel’s endless circle of identical-looking luggage. You can easily sew the tag and matching passport holder from nearly any heavy fabric, since a coat of decoupage finish makes it durable and water-resistant (and keeps the cut edges from fraying). Then all you need is basic sewing skills -- and a dad with travel plans.

Photography: James Ransom

Source: Martha Stewart


Our tags were photographed on a stretched canvas depicting a street map of Paris, designed by Karen M. O’Leary of Studio KMO ( Learn more about her work.


Cotton canvas, 10.5 oz., in Olive, Princess, and Graphite, $20 a yd.,
Decoupage finish, by Martha Stewart Crafts, in Matte, $10 for 8 oz.,
Eyelet-setter kit, by Artminds, $8,
Elastic band, 1/4", and cord, 1/8", $1.25 a yd.,
Secure-top sheet protector, by Martha Stewart Home Office With Avery, 5 1/2" by 8 1/2", 4-pocket (for tag) or 2-pocket (for passport), from $5 for 10,


  • Rotary cutter and ruler, or scissors

  • Cotton canvas

  • Decoupage finish and paintbrush

  • Eyelets

  • Flat elastic band, 1/4 inch

  • Sewing machine and supplies

  • Clear page protector, 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches, 4-pocket (for tag) or 2-pocket (for passport)

  • Elastic cord, inch (for tag)


  1. Cut an 18-by-7-inch piece of canvas. With brush, cover 1 side with decoupage finish. Let dry, at least 3 hours.

  2. Download desired templates. Trace onto fabric and cut out.

  3. With scissors, snip small notches in piece 1 (as indicated on template) for placing eyelets. Set eyelets.

  4. Flip over piece 1 so untreated side faces you. Thread a 10-inch (for tag) or 15-inch (for passport) piece of flat elastic through both eyelets, and knot to a finished length of 8 (or 13) inches. Trim excess.

  5. With untreated sides facing, place piece 2 and piece 3 atop piece 1, aligning all outer edges. Making sure elastic is out of the way, sew pieces with a 1/8-inch seam allowance.

  6. Cut a single pocket, 2 3/4 by 4 3/4 inches (for tag) or 5 1/2 by 4 3/4 inches (for passport), from page protector. Align edge with center of piece 1 as shown on template. Sew.

  7. If making tag: Loop a 12-inch piece of elastic cord through desired eyelet near center fold; knot.

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