It’s almost that time again! The time of year when students, teachers, and staff head back to school and we send them off with a Blessing of the Backpacks, a time where they can bring their backpacks and/or laptops to church and receive a blessing for the upcoming school year, along with a tag or sticker. In the past, I have purchased tags from various suppliers. This year, I created my own so that I could customize it to better fit my parish’s needs.
Designing a Backpack Tags & Stickers
Including a Pride flag was important to me. I am hearing more and more from the LBGTQ+ community that they feel affirmed and loved when they see their flag shared. So what better place than the church to share that love and affirmation. God loves you! So do I! And who doesn’t love rainbows?
Enter this year’s design, which I created on Canva. Your design can be anything; just make sure you size it to the dimensions of a business card. I use the blessing “Grace + Peace” frequently, which makes it something I want my students and teachers to carry with them every day. You can use any short saying that is appropriate in your context, but the shorter and sweeter you make it, the better it will read on the front of your blessing tag.
On the back, I chose a verse that I feel my students and teachers would find meaningful to carry with them every day. Our verse this year is: “Let all that you do be done in love.”- 1 Corinthians 16:14. Our church logo is on the back just under the verse so that folks can remember they carry this love into the world with their community of faith behind them. We are not alone.
To access the template I created on Canva, click here!
Printing Tags & Stickers
After designing the tags, I downloaded the design as a .png file and headed to the Avery website to make a template for printing the tags. You need to create an account and click on templates. Then choose your template. I find the 8371 Template to be best for my purposes, as it’s super-easy to print, then just punch out the perforated cards. But you could just use the template and print to cardstock and cut them out on your own.
Once you finalize your template, download it and print using your preferred cardstock or Avery labels. After printing and cutting the cards, I laminated and hole-punched them so I could add a ring, which my students and teachers can use to attach their card to their backpacks or travel bags. Voila!
For stickers, choose a vinyl sticker printer (I like to use local folks) and send them the front of your design. Or if you’re fancy, you can use a Cricut. If using a printer, plan ahead, as stickers take time to print and ship. Stickers are a great option for laptops and water bottles; I find my youth prefer them, so I make sure to have both available and allow them to choose. You may even choose to add your Parish name to the bottom of the sticker design.
I pray your Back-to-School Blessing tags are a blessing to your students and teachers.
Grace + Peace!