Essentials By Ellen

How to Make Gift Card Valentines

Looking for a fun way to give a gift card to your Valentine? Design Ambassador Ardyth has photo instructions of how she created a couple of cool, graphic tag designs that can be adapted for anyone and any occasion!


Good morning! My kids are at the age where they prefer gift cards (or cash!) as gifts, so I’m always on the look-out for ways to make the presentation special. I love it when I can adapt the dies I have already to create unique designs!

Step 1: Create strips from the cardstock you want to use. I used Ebony and white here, along with one of the Color Me Strips Dies.

Pro Tip: Sentiment or strip dies create perfectly straight strips, but you can cut your own with a trimmer if you don’t have these dies. For my blue tag, I used the Rainbow Slider dies which has a strip die included.

Step 2: Colour your strips however you prefer. I used Catherine Pooler inks in various shades of pink.

Step 3: I wanted the stripes to be ‘inlaid’ into my tag, so I used a piece of computer paper as a backer. I put glue all over the computer paper, and then adhered white cardstock and my colourful stripes to it.

Step 4: I used the largest tag die from Tag Trio to create my tag front with the strips in it. Before I chose it, I made sure that the tag was big enough to cover a gift tag, plus had space for the tape I would use to create the pocket.

Step 5: I cut a second tag which I attached to the back to give more stability to my inlaid stripe tag.

Step 6: I cut 3 each of my LO(V)E YOU letters, using the Classic Block Alphabet dies, as well as 2 of the smallest Folk Heart dies, from black cardstock. The black heart will take the place of the V in love.

Step 7: I used liquid adhesive to layer up the letters and the hearts.

Pro Tip: Liquid glue gives you ‘wiggle’ room to get your layered die cuts perfectly positioned before the glue dries.

Step 8: I coloured the letters with the same inks I had used for the stripes.

Pro Tip: to keep this job from getting too messy, I used a loop of 1″ Post-it Tape around my finger to press the letters into the ink pads.

Step 9: I spritzed my layered-up letters with Avery Elle Clear Shimmer Spray for a subtle sparkle.

Step 10: I coated the layered-up heart with Nuvo Crystal Glaze and then added some glitter for more dramatic sparkle.

Step 11: I glued the letters onto the tag, and put a little 2-layer piece of black cardstock where the heart will go. The heart is bigger than the letter space available, so I needed it to be higher than the O and the E so it could overlap a bit.

Pro Tip: I used my mini Make Art Staytion to help me line up the letters as I glued them.

Step 12: I stamped a partial sentiment from Totally Random Sayings Volume 2 below my letters, using my MISTI and Versafine Onyx ink for a crisp, deep black image.

Step 13: I cut one more tag for the pocket. You can colour it how you wish. I used Catherine Pooler Pucker Up ink, direct to paper (see how it smooths out as it dries?)

Pro Tip: If you like to use your ink pads for blending or direct-to-paper techniques, consider getting ink refills so you never run out of your favourite colour!

Step 14: I put 1/8″ strong tape along the two sides and bottom edge of the ‘wrong side’ of the tag.

Pro Tip: Doing this before the next step means that the tape will come right up to the edge of the pocket.

Step 15: I trimmed the tag with a large Essential Circles die, and also cut that small heart out for some visual interest.

Step 16: Remove the release paper from the tape and line up the back and front of the tag. Press down and then put a gift card in your pocket!

For the second tag, I followed a lot of the same steps. I created a larger heart from black cardstock ‘inlaid’ with Rainbow Slider strips coloured with Cummerbund and Serenade ink.

I blended Cummerbund ink over the front of my tag, and put the Drive-In pocket on the front of the tag, with the heart popped up (Pro Tip: make sure however you glue the heart to the pocket, that the glue doesn’t go above the pocket edge or you won’t be able to get the gift card in!)

This time I stamped my sentiment (also from Totally Random Sayings Vol 2) so that it’s only visible once the gift card is removed.

To finish the tags off, I simply added some ribbon through the top hole.

I hope you’re inspired to give this a try – take a look at the dies you have and by adding a little tape, some colour and design elements, you can make your own Gift Card Valentines!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Julie S January 18, 2021 at 7:43 am

    These are really cute; what a great idea!

  • Reply Jeanne Beam January 18, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Love the gift card tags… so creative!
    Thanks for sharing.

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