DIY Project: Dulcimer Bag Luggage Tags & Summer Camp Songs

Years ago, a friend from college mailed me a little note. It said, “This song has been nagging at me and I’m going bananas. It’s a 3-part song and I can only remember 2 of the parts.” I found the note while cleaning off my desk; it reminded me of summer camp and all those nonsense songs we used to sing. Summer camps were lots of fun while growing up as kids but getting ready was an ordeal. We labeled everything using iron-on labels, sewn labels, permanent magic markers. When I lost my dulcimer recently after a performance, I realized it was not labeled. Why I was so negligent with my own dulcimer? Back to summer camp memories and those songs — I tabbed them out for the dulcimer for you to enjoy. And now all of my dulcimers and bags are labeled with my “DIY Dulcimer Labeling Project.”

DIY Dulcimer Luggage Labels

It is important to label dulcimers and dulcimer bags, especially because so many dulcimer bags are identical. It’s easy to pick up the wrong dulcimer bag. Sometimes, inadvertently, dulcimers get misplaced. Having your phone number or E-mail address attached to the bag makes it much simpler to track down the dulcimer and retrieve it.

The easiest way to label a dulcimer bag is probably to use the free airline luggage tags found at airline counters in airports. Another way is simply to purchase luggage tags. Both those methods are way too easy for a “Do It Yourself” person like myself and I have so, so many dulcimers. I remember those years when my daughter went to summer high school music camp at Interlochen, Michigan. The camp administration recommended making laminated labels which included the camper’s name, address and cabin number and attaching the tags to musical instruments as well as luggage. They even send label templates. I typed my daughter’s information on the templates, took them to a commercial copier business and laminated the labels. Simple and sturdy.

I used the same idea to make luggage tags for all my dulcimers and bags. This time I searched on-line and found instructions in a “Martha Stewart” project about making luggage tags. She included a template which I adapted for the dulcimer. On one side I put a little art work to identify that the bag contained a musical instrument — dulcimer. On the other side I printed my name, address, phone and E-mail address.

I even went to the extreme of purchasing an inexpensive thermal laminator. Plastic 2.5″ x 3.5″ thermal pouches are readily available at craft stores (such as Hobby Lobby) and office supply stores (such as Office Depot). My little printed luggage tags fit in the pouches perfectly. Here’s my template, in case you want to use it yourself. (Also a PDF file for you to download — You may need to use a converter program to change it to a word or similar file formal to type in your name and address.) Maybe someone you know has a thermal laminator. The template makes 4 luggage tags — cut crosswise and then fold in half for a two-sided tag.

And the PDF file:   DIY Dulcimer Luggage Template

Camp Songs – Quodibet

The camp three songs my friend was trying to recall were:

  1. One Bottle of Pop,
  2. Don’t Put your Dust in My Dustpan,
  3. Fish and Chips and Vinegar.

When three songs consisting of different melodies are sung or played together it is called a “quodibet.” It is not a round; these songs are sung simultaneously. The melodies somehow fit together. At summer camp this was lots of fun as different groups sang or shouted out the songs.

I’ve included dulcimer tab for the three songs and also a bass part for “One Bottle of Pop.” Play the bass part for this song first as an introduction, then start in with all the three songs plus the bass part.

Camp Songs – I –  page 1. “One Bottle Pop” Here’s the intro to the song played on bass string:

Camp Songs I – page 2. Here is melody to the first song, “One Bottle Pop” as well as the bass part:

Here are Camp Songs II. These are the 2nd and 3rd songs: “My Dustpan’s Full” and “Fish & Chips”:

Here are the PDF Files:

Camp Songs – I  (Intro, One Bottle Pop and Bass Accompaniment)   Camp Songs I

Camp Songs – II  (My Dust’pan’s Full and Fish & Chips)   Camp Songs II

These songs bring back memories of summer fun. Great to have some “nonsense” songs to play on the dulcimer.




  1. Thank you for sharing the DIY bag labels, will definitely use your suggestions.

    The songs will be fun for my little group to try out! “Sounds” like fun


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