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Ah, insomnia: Oftentimes my enemy, but some times, it provides me some much-needed crafting inspiration.

Thankfully, this time it was the latter. One sleepless night, I was racking my brains for a good “Christmas group gift” for my high school friends (Sidebar: I’ve been giving them personalized, small group gifts for Christmas since 2006, I think) and bag tags suddenly came to mind. I then made a mental note to look out for inexpensive bag tag kits, and as if on cue, I found some on sale at a Sleepcare store.

Now how do I elevate its style factor and personalize them? The internet to the rescue. I researched on monogram cross stitch patterns and found one that looks good and timeless. I decided to use a cream cloth, gold thread for the letters and black thread for the border for an elegant look. Time to get stitching!

Four days (or should that be “insomnia-ridden nights” instead) later, I finished cross-stitching all 6 and proceeded to fill in the information cards that came with the bag tag-making kits using a 1.0 disposable calligraphy pen. After I sealed all the cards inside the plastic cases, I used super glue to stick mini gold crowns on top of the monograms (because I treat my friends like royalty. Ha!), bonded the cross-stitch to the plastic cases, attached the rings and carabiners to the holes, and voila—personalized bag tags!