Ballard Designs Hack: Easy to Make Wooden Drink Tags

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DIY tutorial for wooden drink tags/labels

Isn’t this the cutest idea for summer entertaining?!

Last week, Terry emailed the below picture to me and Amy.  Within minutes, we both responded with, “We can SO make these!”  Pulling out my newest Ballard Designs catalog, I opened it up and took a closer look.  Their new Southern Living Collection is awesome (disclosure:  I am a Ballard nerd and save their catalogs for years), and at $15 for a set of 6, these SL beverage tags are a pretty reasonable buy if you’re in a hurry, or if you’re a not-so-crafty person:


But Ballard people, please don’t hate me for making these on my own without buying yours.  Check my order history and realize that I am really a very devoted customer!!  I just couldn’t buy them when I knew that I had every last thing I needed to make a set of these labels in about 15 minutes, and for about $2.  A girl’s got to economize where she can, so that she can save for that Henriette chandelier!!

I started with a package of pine wood that I had bought earlier for my we can/can’t play sign (read about that here) and hadn’t used.  It was $2, but I’m sure if I went to the hardware store I could have bought ten times as much thin pine for the same price.

I used my miter saw to first rip the pine in half lengthwise, and then to cut it into strips.  The tags should be about 1.5″ x 4″, but obviously you can vary that according to your preference (or the size of your wood).  I first tried to angle the top two corners, as you can see in the picture below, but it was faster and easier just to cut rectangles.  Next time my tags will be a uniform size since I won’t have to cut off my wonky corners and start again!

As an aside, I think that paint stirrers or wooden rulers/yardsticks would be the perfect size to cut up and use for this project, although you might have to paint them first (but wouldn’t that be fun to do them in different colors?).

OK, back to the project:  I sanded the rough edges lightly and drilled a hole at one end with a 7/34″ bit.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut black vinyl letters (I used the font “Noteworthy”), but if you don’t have a Cameo, just use a Sharpie and your nicest handwriting 🙂  .

By the way, how do you like the new script fabric I put on my kitchen chairs?  It was time to update them a bit and I just put this on a few days ago.  Got to get the kitchen jazzed up for the BH&G photoshoot in a few weeks!

Because I ended up with eight wooden tags, I made a set of 6 for myself, and another two of the “Under 21” and “Over 21” labels to give as a hostess gift.  We make a lot of mojitos (my husband has the BEST recipe that I’ll have to share with you all soon), so that was a must-make label.  It might be fun to spray paint some tags with chalkboard paint; that way you could use them on pitchers, teapots, baskets, etc.

Finally, I finished off the tags with some jute twine I had in my laundry closet.  Then I celebrated by making a pitcher of mojitos.  After all, I HAD to put something in the pitcher before I took the picture, right?!

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. These are so so cute! I love ballard designs and would always be happy to save some money with a diy version!

  2. Great idea! Thanks. I won a pillow cover in that same print from Anne @Sutton Place. I would love to know where you purchased your fabric.

    • Linda, I bought mine at Hobby Lobby. The selvage says that it’s a P Kaufmann fabric called “Monogram.” My shade is pewter but there’s another one called “paper bag” which is obviously more of a brown. Hope that helps.

  3. Interesting, because it is a softwood, the pine can be coloured by stain, dye or wax.

    • Good point. Also, the tags could be sealed to protect them from moisture, but I figured that was too much effort for such an easy project! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hello,

    I just saw these too and wanted to attempt to make some. How were you able to adhere your vinyl to the wood? I thought about writing on the wood but I am afraid it will bleed through.

    Also, a website called save on crafts has pre-cut wood signs for a decent price that might save you time 🙂

    Please advise, thank you


    • Hi Amber–
      The vinyl is sticky on the back and adheres well when it’s rubbed on to the wood. You might also be able to write on the wood without it bleeding (I’ve had pretty good luck with a Sharpie before) but obviously you’d want to test a small area first. Thanks for the tip on the pre-cut signs!

  5. Dear Christy,
    Very interesting, I wanted to know a little bit more about the quality before I order a piece and have it shipped to me. Ballard Designs prices are very good, but I want to make sure that the pieces aren’t cheap looking and last a while.
    Jim Anderson

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