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Old 07-01-2012, 01:41 PM
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BirdCrazyJill (Jill)
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Default How to Make your Very Own Personalized Labels!!

Hi all!! Here is a tutorial on how to make your very own personalized labels to attached to your craft items I know it's kind of long, but the basics of it are pretty simple!! You're really just ironing transfer paper onto ribbon I was looking into buying personalized labels for my crocheted items and it was about $30 for 100 labels and there were so many stipulations with the image and the color and blah blah... so guess what, I MADE MY OWN!! and they are pretty inexpensive to make And here's how you can do it...

(I also have this in written PDF form, if you would like me to send it to you just pm me with your email! )

Step 1: Buy Supplies – Ribbon and Transfer Paper
Ribbon – Color and size of your choice. I chose white satin in 5/8” for hats and 1-5/16” for afghans. You can find these ribbon spools at any craft store and also at Walmart, they will run anywhere from $2-4 each spool.

Transfer Paper – I use Avery Paper for Ink Jet printer in Light Fabric Transfers. You can also find this at Walmart and it costs about $9 for a 6 sheet pack.

Step 2: Create your design. I did this in Powerpoint (I think it’s easier to place images and text exactly where I want them, then just save it as an image to your computer). You can also do this in photobucket or any kind of image editing application. The key is to try to keep it simple and not make the writing too small or too light in color. The smaller one I use for hats and the large one I use for afghans.

Step 3: Open a Word document and “insert” the image into the document. You can make the image as long as you would like, but make sure the height is no larger than the width of the ribbon (either 5/8” or 1-5/16”). You can use grid lines and margins to help you measure within the document to make sure your image is the right size. Once you have the correct size, you need to FLIP the image so that it looks backwards to you (if you don’t flip it, you will get backwards images on your labels!!)

Step 4: Create a sheet. After your image is sized correctly and flipped, you can copy it and paste it a couple times to create a row. For mine I was able to fit about 4 images across. You can space in between the images to give them some room in between each other; you do not want them right on top of one another. You can also change the margins to give you the maximum page space. Once you have your row done, you can copy the entire row and paste it to form a whole page. For the smaller labels I was able to fit 11 rows on one sheet and for the larger labels I fit 8 rows. Yours might vary depending on the size of your ribbon. You want to make sure you have at least a half inch in between each image on all sides (top, right, bottom, left). Here is what one of my sheets looked like (sorry it's kind of dark)

Step 5: Print. I usually print a test sheet on regular paper to make sure it prints out alright. You may get a message that says “the images are outside of the printable guidelines” – just ignore it, it should print out fine as long as your images are not off of the page on your screen. As long as your test sheet comes out alright, you can print it on the transfer paper. I print it at “BEST” quality. Also, make sure you are inserting your transfer paper into your printer the correct way and only one at a time (I know, you're saying "DUH, JILL" but trust me, I've made the mistake and you will kick yourself for wasting a sheet of transfer paper!)

Step 6: Cut the sheet of paper into rows. DO NOT cut the images out individually. You should get strips of about 4 images (depending on how many you were able to fit across on your sheet). Cut as close as you can to the image in order to fit the width of the ribbon (without cutting in to the image, or course).

Step 7: Get the iron ready. In the tutorial I used, it said to put it on medium heat, but I put it up all the way. The important thing is to make sure the steam option is OFF (if you have a steam option on your iron). Steam equals bad.

Step 8: Get your ribbon ready. You do not need to cut the ribbon yet, just let out enough of it so that the ribbon can lay completely flat on the ironing board (or firm flat surface you are using to iron on). You want the ribbon to be FACE UP so that the shiny side is facing you.

Step 9: Take one strip of printed images and lay it flat on top of the ribbon. The strip should be FACE DOWN so that you are looking at the backside of the paper. Place the strip as close to the rough edge of the ribbon as you can (so you’re not wasting any of the ribbon). You can pin the paper strip to the ribbon, but I have found that it doesn’t adhere to the ribbon as well as it does if you don’t use pins.

Step 10: The most important part of this step is to NOT BURN YOUR FINGERS! You want to hold the paper strip firmly in place and work the iron over the area pressing firmly. I usually start in the middle and work in the opposite direction of the side I'm holding with my fingers, then as I work back towards my hand I move my fingers out of the way and then I can just let go completely. Once you have gone over the strip once or twice, you can remove your fingers. Keep working the iron directly over the strip making sure to keep pressing firmly for about 20-30 seconds (10-12 times back and forth). Remove the iron and let the ribbon cool.

Step 11: Once the ribbon has cooled (only takes about a minute) it’s times to peel. Start at one corner and gently peel the paper off of the ribbon. If you see that the transfer film is still pulling off of the ribbon, just flatten it out again and go over the strip area a few more times pressing firmly. If the image seems full transferred, just keep peeling back the paper slowly.

Step 12: Cut in between each image on the ribbon to create the individual labels. I suggest using fairly sharp scissors so that you get a clean cut and prevent the ribbon from fraying at the ends.

Step 13: Jump for joy and do and happy dance because you just made your very own AWESOME PERSONALIZED LABELS!!

I store my labels in a ziplock snack bag in a place where I know they won’t be tossed around and have the potential to bend.

When you’re ready to sew them onto a piece, just pin the label to the area of your choice and hand sew or machine sew it on (depending on what kind of material it is being attached to; I hand sew my labels on to crocheted items and machine sew them on to fabric items.) Here is what mine look like after they are sewn on.

They are machine washable and should last a very long time!! And the best part is, they are relatively inexpensive (compared to buying personalized labels) and YOU MAKE THEM YOURSELF!!

Last edited by BirdCrazyJill; 07-01-2012 at 03:18 PM.