Monday, March 1, 2010

Tutorial : Making Labels

I am often asked how I make the labels I put on the baby stuff I make, so I thought I would make a tutorial. You won't believe how easy it is!

You will need:
T-shirt transfer paper
An inkjet printer
An iron and a hard surface to iron on (I use an old wooden chopping board)
Cotton tape
A piece of cotton material (I use an old hanky)

  1. First you need to decide what you want to put on you labels. I make a number of different types, but my favourite is the 'boehm baby' label which I put on my baby bibs and burp cloths. To create your labels, open up MS Word and design away.

  2. Once done, print the page onto a piece of transfer paper making sure that you print the image in reverse (most printers have an option in the 'advanced settings' to do this for you). Note: This will only work on an ink jet printer and will not work if done on a laser printer.

  3. Once you have printed off your labels, you will end up with something that looks like this (the picture below is of a 1/2 sheet of labels):

  4. Iron your cotton tape flat as sometimes it has kinks in it which will hinder your ability to adhere the labels to the cotton tape easily. There are many different widths of cotton tape, so you will need to ensure that the one you get is wide enough for your design to fit on to:

  5. I always cut my labels up, to make it easier to put them onto the cotton tape. Once cut up, position the label right side down onto the cotton tape as shown below (the label is a little hard to see, but it is right at the very end of the cotton tape). Make sure you place your cotton tape on a hard surface as an ironing board is too soft to enable the label to adhere to the tape:

  6. Next, take a damp piece of cloth and carefully place it over the label and cotton tape. Follow the directions on the back of your transfer paper pack to find out how long the iron needs to be applied before the design will set and also to determine the settings your iron needs to be on (ie. you need to ensure the 'steam' function is off):

  7. Once done, carefully peel the backing off the label. You will then have successfully completed your first label:

Once you have mastered how to do this, you might like to try making a roll of labels if you plan on using a lot of them:

When sewing the labels on, I simply use the machine to do a straight stitch along all four sides, making sure that I turn the short ends of the label under to avoid fraying.

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