Summer swim league is a big deal around here.  (“Here” being my house.)  We plan our summer around summer swim league.  MM doesn’t see the appeal of spending 6 hours every Tuesday night at the pool watching children swim 25 yards, but after 6 years, summer swim league is a staple of my summer.  I have watched Frog progress from a kid who struggled to make it down the length of the pool on his back to a child to earns lots of point for his team.  I am the ultimate swim mom!

My Mom Made That: Swim Bag Tag

Frog swims year round, and the swimming that he does from September to May is technically competitive and monitored by US Swimming, etc.  It is strict and official and trains him to swim in bigger and more important events.  I’ll let you in on a little secret though– he only swims because of summer swim league.  He likes to win at the summer swim meets!

My Mom Made That: Summer Swim Leauge Button
Since Summer Swim League is such a special time of year for our family, I decided to work on Summer Swim League fan gear and swag.  At first I wasn’t sure I had a long enough list, but believe it or not, my list grew and grew.  So for the next 3 weeks, I’ll be running my line-up of “Summer Swim League Swag” projects to help get Frog and our family ready for his great 6-week racing season.

As of right now, I’ll be sharing with you eight different project to help the swimmer in your life get ready for their meets.  (I have a couple of possible projects that may or may not make an appearance, so the list may extend past 8 projects.)

Today I’m sharing the first project with you, a Swim Bag Tag:

Please be forewarned.  This is my first jewelry project, but I’ve seen a lot of flattened bottle cap art on Etsy, including some zipper pulls.  I even have a cute necklace from a Diet Dr. Pepper bottle cap.  I thought that having a Bag Tag for Frog’s swim bag would be a spiffy addition to his swim gear.  A bag tag is very much like a zipper pull, but is just a little longer and with a bit more bling.

To start with, I took a large clasp, a large split ring and a bit of chain.  I attached the split ring and the chain to the clasp.  (I had never tried to open this type of split ring before, and it turned my fingers black and blue!)  I determined how much chain by thinking about how many beads and charms I wanted to add to the bag tag.  It looked like the picture below before I added the flattened bottlecap and beads.

My Mom Made That: Swim Team Bag Tag

Frog’s team colors are red and black with white accents, so I used acrylic red, black and white beads.  I was worried that he’d break and crack glass or stone beads.  I wrapped the beads, following this tutorial that I found at One Artsy Mama.  (I used head pins with acrylic beads, but the wire wrapping idea is the same.)  I ended up with a collection of wrapped and prepared beads in various shades of red, black and white.  I forgot to take a picture at this stage, but since I am working on another bag tag, I had a few wrapped beads in yellow and green:

My Mom Made That: Swim Bag Tag

After I had gotten all of the charms, beads, and jump rings ready, I attached them to the bit of chain.  I also added one bigger bead to the large split ring.  I then switched my attention to the flattened bottle cap.  I printed out the team mascot on some thick white cardstock.  When preparing the clipart for printing, I made the mascot fit into a 1 inch circle, as that’s the diameter of the flattened bottlecap.  After printing the symbol on thicker, higher quality paper, I used a 1″ circle punch to cut out the mascot.  Using a tiny bit of adhesive, such as E3000, I adhered the punched cardstock mascot to the center of the flattened bottlecap.  I covered it with an expoxy dome.  (I purchased this bottle cap punched and with a small split ring attached, but if I hadn’t, I would need to do that step now.)  I attached the bottle cap to the large split ring on the bag tag.  It ended up looking like this, on Frog’s swim bag:

bag tag on bag

I wasn’t sure if it had too much bling, but Frog really seemed to like it.  He attached it to the belt loop of his shorts and wore it out and about, showing it off to family and friends.  I hope it’s a hit at our swim meets too!

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