Saturday, November 7, 2009


The Wikipedia entry for 'lagniappe' (pronounced LAN-yap) defines it as such: "Lagniappe refers to a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th donut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, "something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure."

In other words, a little something extra.

I wanted to include a little lagniappe when I shipped out orders; something just a little more special than "thank you" written on the back of my business card. I also wanted something I could do with all of those fabric scraps that seemed too small to use, yet too big to just throw away. I needed something that wouldn't break the bank. Most of my merchandise is under $20, so it wouldn't make a lot of sense to give something away unless I could keep the cost down to about 25¢.

I decided on fabric-covered button magnets. I'd always known about the fabric covered buttons you can easily make yourself, but was delighted to discover that you could purchase "flat back" versions of these; perfect for gluing a magnet to the back.

All you need is fabric scraps slightly larger in diameter than the button size you'll be using. I used a 1 ⅛" diameter button, so I cut out the fabric circles about 2" in diameter. This task was made extra easy with the second-hand die cutting machine I purchased off of Ebay.

Making the buttons is pretty self-explanatory. Lay your fabric circle, right side down, in the button mold. Place the dome piece in the mold, tuck the fabric edges in, place the button back on top and then press it in. Then pop your button out of the mold.
Glue a magnet to the back and you're finished! I used rare earth magnets, which are surprisingly strong.

I then use some removable glue dots to affix the magnets to a little hang-tag, also made with my handy die cutting machine.
I add two hang-tags to the product itself; one with care instructions, and a larger blank tag so that my customer can use it as a gift tag to write their own message on. The magnet hang-tag is affixed to the outside of the bag, with a little note from me written on the back of the tag.