Antique Luggage Tags

It feels like it's been forever since I wrote about a project in the woodshop, but that doesn't mean we haven't been working.  We certainly haven't been as busy as we were last fall, but we've still cranked out a project or two. Today's post is about a quick project my mom and I threw together a couple of weeks ago.  It started with these really cute antique luggage tags that she found.

Not the best picture, but you get the idea.  She found them at a gift shop and bought all the letters for her last name.  I was uber jealous when she brought them home, and couldn't believe she didn't get me any!  The joke was on her, though, because we finally made it back to that store and I was able to snag mine for 50% off.  Booyah!  She paid $1 for each tag and I paid only 50 cents.  (Not that $1 each was all that expensive, but still...)  I'm pretty sure they're reproduction luggage tags (the brand new "Made in China" stickers on the back may have tipped me off), but I still think they're pretty cool.

Of course, both of our husbands scoffed at them and said "whaddaya gonna do with those?"  Pfft.  Guys have no vision!

Mom and I got to work.  We each cut a piece of 1x4 about the length of our last names (in luggage tags, that is).  Both boards got the same treatment: a coat of gold-ish paint, a coat of black, and then a good pass-over with the electric sander.

In between coats of paint, we also spray painted some tiny hooks.  The only ones we could find at Home Depot or Lowe's were shiny, shiny gold, and we didn't want that.  A quick coat of black spray paint fixed 'em right up.  The one in the center of this picture is pre-paint.  Kinda bright, isn't it?

Once our boards were sanded, we gave them a quick coat of water-based polyurethane.  Next came my least favorite part of all woodworking projects: measuring.  I hate figuring out all the spacing!  Then it was just a matter of tapping starter holes (using a hammer and nails) and then screwing in our freshly painted hooks.

Twisting in those little suckers killed my fingers!

Hey, nice spacing.

After that, it was just a matter of hanging the antique luggage tags from the hooks.  In keeping things slightly anonymous around here, we combined all of our letters to make up a new last name instead of photographing ours.  Here's to the Kitten family!

These things were impossible to get a good photo of.  If I used my flash, the light bounced off the tags all crazy-like, and if I turned the flash off, the picture looked blah.  But you can get the idea, right?

Of course, my dad suggest we just screw the tags onto the board, but I really like the way they hang.  Gives it more of a three-dimensional effect, I think.

Now, if I can just find the perfect spot to hang it...