Wednesday, June 22, 2011

make 3D lizard gift tags



This is a reprint of a guest post I did for Skip To My Lou's Craft Camp. Enjoy!

Hey, you Craft Campers! I'm Larissa Holland at mmmcrafts, and I love to make stuff. You can find all kinds of coffee-fueled patterns and tutorials here on my blog, and also creative stuff for sale in my etsy shop.

I'm so happy that Cindy invited me to be a part of Craft Camp again this year. I'm doing another paper craft this time, a cool 3D Lizard Gift Tag, tailor-made for older, scissor savvy kids. It combines the card and gift tag all in one! If you have some birthday parties to attend this summer, this is a sure fire way to make your gift a stand-out on the gift table, plus have some crafty fun to boot. As a bonus, the lizard makes a fun paper toy for after the party.

Here's what you'll need to make one:

  • This PDF template printed at full size on an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of colored card stock (template is shown already cut out in the photo above)
  • Scraps of white and various colors of card stock for the details
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Gel glue and a toothpick
  • Circle punches of various sizes.  I used a standard hole punch, a one inch starburst, a 5/8 inch circle and a 1/2 inch circle.
  • Gel pen or marker for greeting
Plus the following items that are optional but certainly add pizazz:
  • Pinking scissors
  • Pop dots
1) Cut out the lizard with scissors or a craft knife (if you use a craft knife, BE CAREFUL, and be sure to cut it on a protective mat. You might want to get Mom or Dad involved in this step). Once your lizard has been liberated from the page, turn your craft knife blade* to the wrong side (not the sharp side) and score along the line that runs down the middle of the lizard, all the way from the nose to the tip of the tail. Then score across the neck, and across where each leg meets the body. Did I say BE CAREFUL? I did? I'm glad you are being careful, because that blade is sharp.
*No craft knife for scoring? Use the tip of a straight pin instead.

Score with the dull side, not the sharp. You don't want to do lizard surgery.

2) You are ready to embellish your lizard! Grab a scrap piece of paper from the recycle pile and squeeze a blob of gel glue on it. You will use a toothpick that is dipped in the glue to apply the glue to the small pieces for the next steps. You don't need to cover the entire piece with glue for it to stick just fine. Less is better, because you don't want glue squishing out from under your pieces. Ew.

Hmm. You can't see the blob of glue on the scrap very well. But trust me, it's there.

3) Make the eyes. Punch out two larger circles and two smaller circles. I used the 5/8 inch punch for the larger, and the 1/2 inch punch for the smaller. Glue them together like so:

Punch two one-inch circles. I used a starburst, but a plain circle works too.  Use a pop dot or a dab of glue to add the smaller eyes to the larger circles like so:

 4) Now add the eyes to the lizard's head with either pop dots or dabs of glue.

5) Punch out different sized circles in various colors and glue them on (using the toothpick method) to decorate your lizard. Be sure to leave some room on the tail to write your greeting:

6) If you have some pinking scissors, cut out a shape like this for teeth and glue it underneath the lizard's head so that the pointy parts just peek out, then repeat for the other side:

7) Cut out a small rectangle and snip out a triangle from the end to form a lizard tongue and glue it under the head, like this:

8) Summon up your A-Game penmanship and write a birthday greeting along the tail. Be sure to tell them who it is from! There's room on the other side of the lizard if you'd like to write a note.

9) Now comes the fun, bendy part. Gently crease your lizard all along the curved score line. Start from one end and work your way to the other. If it is too hard to bend or it keeps bending in the wrong places, you may need to lay it flat and score it again. Bend the neck and legs along their scores. That's it! You are done.

10) Now all you have to do is hook the lizard's top leg over the edge of the gift bag. You can secure the leg inside the bag with a piece of tape if you are worried about it getting knocked off:

Show off your work. I'd love to see your lizard tags in my flickr group!

What, you don't need a lizard gift tag? You can still make a 3D pet lizard and place him/her in a terrarium. Have fun making an environment for your lizard to enjoy by adding moss and rocks. Print the template at different sizes to assemble a whole family of lizards!

Mom and Dad: You can young this craft down for little kids by doing the following:
  • Cut out and score the lizard for them, or skip the scoring and keep it flat.
  • Let them use markers or crayons to color on eyes and dots/stripes instead of using punched paper.
  • Skip the tongue and teeth.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial! If you are ready for a more challenging paper project, check out my 3D project from last year. Cindy, thanks for another great summer crafting series!


  1. These are SO adorable, have to make one! :-)

  2. These are awesome!! I never give cards with gifts but do a fun tag instead....add this to my list of tricks! Thank you.

  3. These are so fun! What a great idea!

  4. I love them! My girls keep their cards forever and would have so much fun with these.

  5. These are so adorable and I want to make them for library, but they do not print on colored cardstock and that makes it impossible to print for the kids to cut out. Can you please, PRETTY PLEASE, darken the template so they can be copied. You can barely see it on light yellow. thanks a zilloion

  6. Aunt Bea's Treasures,
    I have darkened the template up for you. It will work better on light colored card stock as opposed to dark! Hope that helps!

  7. Larissa,

    THANK YOU soooo much for darkening the template. I so appreciate your response. I printed off 50 last night and made one as a sample. My cousin stopped by and was walking around with it on her shoulder. Your talents are so appreciated. I don't have a camera, but if someone takes pictures I will share. thanks again and again.


    Aunt Bea

  8. This is a great project. I bet they would look great at a bigger size for wall hangings! Thanks for sharing. I featured this on my blog:

    Feel free to grab my Featured Button if you like.


  9. Hi - thank you so much for sharing this idea! My boys loved them, we just made a bunch for a stash of birthday cards.

  10. Your tutorials are great! I have been sharing them on my CraftBliss Facebook page and Pinterest and linking back to you. ~Dee

  11. I just found your site looking for a simple messenger bag pattern for my tween niece( which I will attempt tomorrow!) and found these darling tags. My 3 year old son is addicted to lizards and will adore these just cuz. Thanks for the fab tutorials!

  12. They are so cute, I am thinking of printing them on white card so that the kids can colour them them selves as I will be doing it with toddlers in a preschool, That way they can do more for the craft.

  13. Awesome craft. I received one as a gift once and I loved him!
    Can I have permission to use this as a VBS craft this year?

    Beckwith Baptist Church, Carleton Place Ontario

    1. Hey, Suzie, sure, just please honor the 'no commercial use' stipulations for my print designs. Enjoy!

  14. wow!! this is insanely creative. I'm a web designer but now finding your designed stuffs more creative :), great work!! I should follow ur blog on regular basis and try myself these things :D

  15. This is Awesome craft. I bet my children would love this one! Thanks alot!!!

    CharmPop Cards

  16. So cool! My husband has this obsession with chameleons. HIs birthday is next month and he would be so excited to have a lizard gift tag on his present!


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