Thursday, April 18, 2013

DIY fabric labels

I've been wanting to purchase labels to see in my items for a while and there are two options: buy or DIY.
The Etsy route was pretty pricey,  and a bit overwhelming to sift through options and handling times. The DIY route was certainly going to be it for me.

I found several tutorials that involved iron on transfers and twill tape and that was the route that I was prepared to go. The downside to this was that although it didn't seem over complicated, it seemed fairly labor intensive in that you had to make the transfer, cut them out, iron them to the tape, cut out the labels then fray check the edges. You were also limited to the size of the twill tape you purchased.

While at the store to buy the iron on transfer paper, I stumbled upon this:

Then the light bulb went off, why not just print them directly on fabric and cut them out, vs going to the trouble to print turn iron them on the twill tape? That would totally cut out a couple of the steps!

The catch?
I don't even have office on my computer, I have the generic free version: Open office. Now, for all of my purposes this has suited me just fine but I had to find a way to get these labels onto this sheet in a way that I could customize (which I couldn't do with the address label template). And fill as much of the sheet as I could, so to maximize my labels per sheet. I used my logo,  shrank it and added it next to the font, then just copied and pasted it into the columns I formatted.

After a few tries and some tweaks, I ended up with this:

Printed on regular paper for the rough draft

That's a total of 36 labels per sheet, and there were 3 sheets per pack.  I was able to use a 40% off coupon for the 9.99 they cost, bringing it down to 6.00. Doing the math that's about 5 cents a label. The cheapest labels I found on Etsy were about 15 cents each and were not customizable.

The whole process took under and hour and you can print with colored ink if you choose. All you have to do is let the ink dry for about 10 mins ( I was too impatient for this, I just took a hair dryer for a few minutes), then the directions say to press it carefully for 1-2 minutes to set the ink. It advises a cold water bath to make them completely colorfast.

You could totally use colored ink, or change the sizes of the labels and since they don't require fray-check, you could make fold over labels too!

I'm considering trying to dye the labels once they come out of the printer. This brand comes in both an off white and white, as well as am iron on version as well that the manufacturer claims is sew able.

Eek! I love how they came out! The are .75"h x 2.5" Long. no fraying and no apparent color transfer! 6.00 for 108 fully custom labels in less than one hour?! Yes, please :)


amyrdh said...

That's wonderful. Another project to add to my list.

Kelly G said...

oooooo - I even have some of that in my stash already - hence no cost!!!!!
Oh thankyou sew much for sharing this tip. Hmmm, now where did I put that printable fabric paper.

Goldogmom said...

I too have wanted to make some labels for my projects. You mention they will not fray.. does it say that on the package? Just wondering how you know they won't fray as I'd love to try this for myself. I sure appreciate your wisdom.


Cyndi Farfsing said...

Update: I got an ink stain on one of the bags and I had to wash it no less than 5 times in HOT water with lots of detergents and heavy wash cycles. And there was a SLIGHT fading of the printed ink but there was NO fraying!!!! Ordinarily you wouldn't wash an item so harshly but I was desperate and it still held up.