An I.D. Tag for Dolly (A Tutorial)

I couldn’t imagine if we lost Li’l Sally (our 10″ AppleTreeHouse Waldorf doll). Boo would be traumatized, I would be traumatized, and my wallet would not be happy about having to replace her! These dolls are so popular now (along with Bamboletta and DragonFlysHollow dolls) and almost impossible to get. There was a discussion on the LBB Facebook page the other day about the horror of losing one of these dolls and the idea of an I.D. tag necklace or bracelet came up. And so, a distressed identification tag was born for Li’l Sally:

Li’l Sally is wearing a Lil Blue Boo silk screened dress! Pattern to come soon!

This tutorial is almost identical to my wooden pendant accessories tutorial. But here are the directions again…..

Step 1: Create your text in a word program or Adobe Photoshop and reverse the text so that it prints backwards. (if you are using a word program you’ll need to save the text as a picture first and then import it back in so that you can reverse it). Print it out using a laser printer (which uses dry ink, an inkjet will not work) or send your printout through a black and white copier.

Our tag reads: Li’l Sally, if found call: xxx-xxx-xxxxn (I blurred out my phone number).

Step 2: Apply an acrylic paint base coat to a small piece of craft wood. These can be found at any craft store for about 20 cents a piece.

Step 3: When your base coat is dry, apply thick coat…..

……of Golden or Liquitex soft gel mat medium (also found at most craft stores). This is what will transfer the black toner from the paper to the wood.

Step 4: Cut out your text and press the paper face down onto the gel….burnish/rub the paper to make sure it is adhered and there are no air bubbles.

Step 5: When the gel is completely dry, apply a few drops of tap water to the back of the paper and peel off as much of the wet paper as possible.

Step 6: Rub the rest of the wet paper off with your finger. The text will stay behind.

Step 7:
Use sandpaper to distress the edges of the wood pendant.

Step 8: Dilute some brown acrylic paint with water and paint onto the distressed areas. Wipe off any excess. Once dry you can seal the pendant with acrylic gloss varnish.

Step 9: Drill a tiny hole in one end of the pendant.

Step 10: Add string or a leather cord through the hole and you are done!

Now if your doll gets lost at the mall or restaurant she’ll have some form of identification on her! Just tuck the pendant down into her clothing and he/she is ready to go!


  1. Jen says

    So cool, I actually just made McKenna a Waldorf Doll. She kicked my butt making her so I will absolutely be making a necklace.

  2. *kalilas*kloset* says

    Awesome idea!! I made some for our 6 dolls using those ID tag machines for your animals- typed in what i wanted & then took some leather and beaded it. Soo cute & a cheap way to have som comfort ur expensive OOAK dollys make it home! Im going to try ur method tomorrow if i get time'

  3. The Sewing Dork says

    That is simply adorable. My eldest lost her favorite doll once and was devastated for an entire summer. I'm off to make one of these!

  4. Nadia@FunWithMama says

    what a great idea! i'm sure your daughter must have felt so comforted knowing that she couldn't really get lost now

  5. Vanessa says

    That's great! My daughter almost left her dolly behind at the library yesterday. She would have been heart-broken (and my wallet would have been too). Such a great idea! Thanks Ashley.

  6. CraftCrave says

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [06 Jul 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  7. Mom of three says

    Oh this is so much cuter than our metal pet tag from Petsmart. I shudder to think of ever losing her lovey "Shu Shu".

  8. says

    That is such a great idea! I lost my Letty Etty when I was little and I still think about her. =( And id tag is genius. I'll be linking to this.

  9. blueberrymoon says

    Such a fabulous idea!!!! My son lost his piggy at the airport. Took us 2 hours to find him. Needless to say…..I wish he would have had a tag!!
    I will be linking

  10. Suzanne says

    Finally a tutorial to make tags that uses a laser printer! It seems like all the transfer things I see use inkjet which we obviously do not have. I have wandered through your site this morning and found lots of eye candy and plenty of great ideas. Thanks for the tips.