How to make an illustrated nametag

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I love to go to SCBWI conferences, but I don’t like the sticker nametags I get at local conferences. I figure since I’m an illustrator I should jazz it up a bit. Plus, if you’re like me, you might need a conversation starter . . . illustrated nametags are perfect for that.

I recently updated my logo to reflect my current style, so I needed to make a new nametag. Here is a step-by-step tutorial, so you can make one too.

Here’s all the supplies you will need. Printed illustration w/your name, cardboard to mount it to (baseball cards or those generic credit cards you get in the mail work too – don’t use one that has real info on it, of course), spray adhesive, clear Contac paper, x-acto knife/ruler, big safety pin and a hot glue gun.

Once you have the cardboard or card size to fit your illustration, spray the back of the illo with adhesive and fold the paper down across the back (no one will really see this, but the sides need to be covered, so might as well make it look nice all over. You’ll need to fold the corners like a package or cut triangles in them too lay nice. If you need to, use some clear tape to secure the sides down in the back. None of this should be visible from the front.

After the paper is secure onto the board, you’ll need the clear contact paper to protect your design (you don’t want to spill something on it and have to make another nametag). Start by just laying your tag on the contac paper face down. Then wrap like a package just like you did in the previous step. I think it works best with notched corners.

After the Contac paper has been smoothed down, it’s time to glue on a pin. Pump out a bit of hot glue onto the back of the tag and hold a big safety pin in place til secure.

There it is – my new nametag. I’ll be wearing it for the first time at the LA SCBWI conference this week! If you see me, please say Hello!

UPDATE: I wore my nametag during the entire LA SCBWI Conference and I wanted to let you know that this was one of my better ideas ever. So many people recognized me and came to talk to me because of it. It was also the perfect way to get my art out there in a quick way. I highly recommend making one for yourself.

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