Sep 22, 2011

Making labels

Lots of my crafty friends ask me how I make the labels that I put on everything I make. It's actually pretty easy to make them yourself. So since I'm making more labels to continue making all of my stock for the Craft Carnival, I thought I'd show you how I do it.

I have a file already set up where I can print 36 labels on one sheet. I set it up in photoshop to make the labels about 1" x 2". My labels are just my company logo and my website address underneath it. This way if you lose the business card I include in most orders, you can see the site on your actual items.

I use pritable fabric to make the labels. This is the brand I use, you can find it at JoAnn's. I usually get it with a coupon, so I think it comes out to about $3-4 for a pack of 6 sheets (which comes out to like 1 cent per label). There are different types of fabric you can choose from, but I like to get the cotton poplin. Since I work with mostly cotton, I like that it's the same as what the rest of the material is. And the poplin isn't thick, so it doesn't create bulk where the label is sewn on.

Next all you have to do is put it in your printer and print. You don't have to change it to be the mirror image (like you do with iron on transfers). I don't even change the paper settings. The one thing you have to pay attention to, is to make sure you are printing on the fabric side of the sheet. There is one side of the sheet that is paper and the other side it fabric, so just make sure you are printing on the fabric side.

Now that they're printed, you can peel them off of the backing paper. (If you have a different brand, just follow the manufacturer's instructions). At this point my instructions have me rinse the fabric under water until it runs clear. This is just to get the extra ink off of the surface. I never have to rinse for too long. Then you have to dry the fabric sheet. I start my drying by placing the sheet between some towels, and then finish off the drying with an iron--cause I'm impatient like that.
After your label sheet is all dry you can start cutting them out. I like to use a ruler and rotary cutter, cause it makes it so easy to get the whole sheet cut out pretty fast. 

Now here's one of my secrets. Since the fabric is woven and will start to fray, I seal all of the edges with fray check. The fray check keeps the fraying at a minimum and dries clear, so you can't even tell it's there. This is the most time consuming part of the process, since you have to fray check all four sides of the label. But just sit back and watch some TV and you'll be done in no time. When I'm done applying the fray check, I also lay the labels out flat to dry. If you stack them all up when the fray check is still wet, the edges will dry together, and then you have to pull them apart. It won't take too long for the fray check to dry on these.

When you're all done, you'll have a little stack of your own labels ready to be sewn into everything you make. It really gives your handmade items a little polish to have your labels sewn into them. And making them yourself is way less expensive than having those custom labels printed.

I hope this helps all you crafty business people out there. And even if you are just making a gift, having your name in there lets the person know that you're the one that made it. I think it's a great little touch to include one on everything you make. Do you put labels in the things that you make?


  1. THAT was super useful! So well explained, too. I've always wondered how it was done - thanks!

  2. So glad you liked it. After many years of trial and error these labels seem to work best for me (at least until I discover something else!)