Homemade Dog Tags

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Dog tag memorial
Dog tag memorial

Dog tags are metal identification tags worn by soldiers in the military. The dog-tag design has also become a popular style of necklace. Dog tags are sold in a variety of retail stores in many different designs. If you want to make your own personalized dog tags, inexpensive, lightweight dog tags can be created out of a standard aluminum pie plate.

Supplies

The body of your dog tag will be created out of a disposable aluminum pie plate, and you will need a few tools to mold your dog tags into shape. The necessary tools to create your dog tags are scissors, a paper clip, a hole punch, a pencil or pen, a ruler and needle-nose pliers. You will also need a chain to put your dog tags on. While tags can be placed on any type of chain you want, ball chains are the style of chain that military dog tags are placed on. Ball chains can be purchased in the jewelry-making section of many craft stores or in hardware stores.

Make the Tags

Draw two 1 1/2-inch by 2 1/4-inch rectangles on the bottom part of the pie plate. Cut out these two rectangular pieces of aluminum. Be careful---aluminum edges are sharp when cut. Once you have the rectangles cut out, cut off the corners of each rectangle just enough to remove the point of the corner. Fold the edges of the tag back with the pliers, about 1/8 inch. Start with the corners of each tag, then do the top and bottom, and finally fold in the sides. You will end up with a small ledge all around the tag on one side. The other side of the tag should be flat and smooth.

Customize the Tags

Once you have created your dog tags, you can add any design you want. Aluminum is easy to scratch, which makes it easy to add initials or simple drawings to the tags. Before you scratch on your design, place the tags on a soft surface, like a towel or carpet, so that the smooth, flat side is up. This will keep the tags from bending as you scratch your design into the aluminum. Unbend the paper clip and use one end to scratch your name, initials or design onto the tags. Press lightly to avoid poking through the aluminum. Once you have completed your design, use the hole punch to make a hole at the top of each tag and string them back to back onto the ball chain.

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