Friday, May 13, 2011

How to Make your Own Product Labels

If you hand make products, you need to label them as your own. Instead of paying someone else to create your labels, you can create your own label design in Word or any word processing program that allows you to format labels – no need for a publisher or graphics program. Save money and spend a little time on your computer. Make sure your design is not wider than the label grid. I have Word so this tutorial is based off of that. Not everyone knows how to format labels, so I’m going step by step. I went to http://www.dafont.com/ and downloaded fonts I like to help with my design process. This is a pretty long tutorial, but if you are familiar with Word, you probably know how to do most of the steps.

1. Open your Word program. Find your Labels file = should be under Tools – Letters and Mailings – Envelopes and Labels:


2. Click on Labels tab then Options button:


3. Click on Avery Standard for Label Products, select 8460 - any address label format with 3 columns should work (all you’re after is the label setup), then select OK:


4. It will take you back to the Envelopes and Labels menu. Then select New Documents:


and you will get a new blank page:


5. Go to the Tables menu and select Show Grid:


You will now have a grid pattern on your blank page:


6. You can now design your label. Start in the upper left rectangle and create something that fits within the gridlines. Think about how big you want your label to be (mine is 2” long x 5/8” wide). Use different fonts in various sizes and/or any clipart to create an interesting design. Putting a frame around your design makes it professional looking and makes it easier to cut apart.


7. You create your design in that one rectangle and copy and paste it to the other rectangles.
                         
8. Get your self some of this - HeatnBond Lite Iron Adhesive (sheet of glue) to iron on to back of fabric. Any fabric/craft store should carry it. Cut an 8 ½” x 11 piece:


b. Cut some light colored cotton fabric of your choice to 8 ½” x 11 (I use muslin).

c. Follow the instructions and iron on fabric to adhesive.

d. For added insurance, tape the top and sides about 1/8" from the edges & wrap the rest of the tape to the backside so nothing will jam in your printer. BE SURE TO TURN OFF “SHOW GRID LINES” IN THE TABLES MENU SO IT WON’T SHOW IN PRINTING. Stick your ironed on fabric paper in your printer and print.

e. This is what a whole sheet should look like after printing (notice, gridlines gone):


f. Remove the backing of the fused fabric and cut – I cut about ¼” all around the frame:



g. Now you have a batch of labels to use as you need. Just iron on for each use, then zig zag the edges for a nice, finished look. You can use thread that matches the fabric or use beige thread so it blends in:

                                                                 
Here are things you may want on your label: Your business name, your name, your location, your website, care instructions. The care instructions should change if you make washable items and non washable items (you'll need to make different labels).

If you make paper crafts, print your tags onto paper with adhesive on the backside. I get mine from Jody's Soap & Creations. Cut it out as above, using an exacto knife, and you have labels for all your paper crafts - I leave out the care instructions.

Here is the first label I designed (the graphics are all fonts):


This is what happens if the fabric gets caught in your printer (not pretty and you won't be happy):

There are many tutorials out there for making your own labels. A common one uses iron on transfer on ribbon. I've tried that and it isn't very durable - it will disintegrate after a few washings. My method is very durable and so easy. There were concerns about the ink washing out, so I did an experiment where I soaked my label for an entire day with no smears or damage. Read reviews about it from Craftster.

So label all your handmade stuff with your own brand and save money - it does take some planning and time, BUT, you get exactly what YOU want and you will save money. Give my tutorial a try and let me know how it goes. If you have any questions or need help with my instructions, just email me.


9 comments:

erica marie said...

thanks for the tutorial, this will be so helpful :)

Product Labels said...

These insights are very helpful especially to the beginners or small business owners. When it comes to the printing of your product labels just don't forget to choose quality paper (or sticker paper) and ink. Have a ready budget though as they can be very pricey. Nonetheless, you will surely get your money's worth especially when you get excellent labels afterwards :)

Little Me said...

Thank you for pointing out the use of quality paper, it does make a difference and also the cost of the paper/label and computer ink should factor into your asking price. Thanks again! :)

Little Me said...

Thank you Erica.

Nena A said...

Hi there :) Great tutorial. Just wondering, is it not illegal to use microsoft fonts for commercial use? I want to make my own tags but I read somewhere that using tem is not legal.. I have been trying to find some specific information about this and haven't been able.. what are your thoughts?

Nena A said...

Ooops! I just re-read your tutorial and you download the fonts from dafont.com :)

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