How to make personalized QR code gift tags

Customize a QR code gift tag that leads to a video message when your gift recipients scan it with their smartphone.

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Handwritten gift tags might be a thing of the past.

This holiday season, JC Penney is offering Santa Tags, a new option that allows gift-buyers to record voice messages for their recipients to play back upon unboxing their gifts. And it's all done with QR codes.

The voice message is attached to a QR code, which the recipient scans with a QR scanner on a mobile phone, and the voice note is instantly played back.

Pretty cool.

But you don't have to go to JC Penney to make this happen, because there's an even better DIY option you can tackle right now. With this tutorial, you can customize your own QR code gift tag that leads to a video message when your gift recipient scans it with a smartphone.

Step 1: Record your video message

There are many ways to get a video message online, but for this example, we'll use YouTube.

  1. Record your video on your cell phone, Webcam, or digital camera, and transfer it to your desktop.
  2. Then head to YouTube, sign in to your Google account, and click "Upload".
  3. Select the video file from your desktop. While it uploads, give the video a name and description. Also be sure to select "Unlisted" so that only the gift recipient will see the video.
  4. When the video is done uploading, copy its link to your clipboard.
Scan this QR code to see my holiday video!

Step 2: Set up the QR code tag

To make the QR code, head to http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/. From the drop-down menu, select "URL," and paste the link of the video. Then select the size of the bar code, and click "Generate."

Step 3: Make your gift tag

Once your QR code is generated, and you've tested it with a QR scanner on your phone, print it out (any regular printer will work).

Then, cut out the square QR code, and paste it into a greeting card, a traditional gift tag, or directly on the present.

About the author

Sharon Profis is a CNET How To expert who cooks up DIY projects, in-depth guides, and little-known tricks that help you get the most out of your tech. During her four years at CNET, she's covered social media, funky gadgets, and has shared her tech knowledge on CBS and other news outlets.

 

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