{Eco-Tutorials} Make Your Own Fabric Labels

As you all know, Karen, the fearless EcoEtsy team leader, was invited to speak at Martha Stewart’s annual event Dreamers into Doers Conference on March 6th (read all about it here).

Last weekend, Linda Eve wrote an awesome post where she shared how the EcoEtsy team put on their seamstress hats to create 100 eco-friendly lunch totes and 100 utensil holder using a very easy to follow pattern  she created (get the pattern here).

Our creations needed the EcoEtsy branding, so I volunteered to create 300 fabric labels that were attached to lunchbags and utensil holders.  In this post, I’ll be sharing two method I use to create these fancy shmancy labels.

Here we go:

Homemade Fabric Labels

Create Design

I created the fabric label design using Photoshop. In this case, I used a vector image of the EcoEtsy logo along with our font and colors. For this project, the finished label would be about 1″ wide by 3/4″ tall.  So I create a 2″ x 2″ template which would represent the fabric label laid out flat and unfolded. (see video tutorial below)

Once I was done with my design I printed a test print on white paper, to ensure the colors and the folds were correct.

PRINTABLE FABRIC SHEETS

Next I made fabric sheets.  Yes, I could have purchased the but at $8 for 3 sheets they are quite expensive.  Here’s what you need to make you own fabric sheets

Fabric Label Tools

The tools

  • an 8-1/2″ x 11 sheet of plain paper (the largest my printer will print),
  • freezer paper,
  • fabric (I used osenburg and muslin)
  • scissors & rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • ruler
  • iron

My fabric was 36″ wide, so I measured about 22″ of fabric in length off the bolt, this would give me about 4 sheets of fabric at a cost of about $1.10.  I cut a piece of freezer paper to the same size of the fabric and ironed it on.  Freezer paper is by far one of my favorite crafting tools because of its versatility;  It has a dull side and a shiny side, by placing the shiny side to the fabric and ironing it on to the fabric helps the fabric feed through you printer.

Ironing freezer paper onto fabric

Ironing freezer paper onto fabric

Once I ironed the freezer paper to my fabric, I placed the blank sheet of paper over the freezer paper’s dull side then traced it and cut the fabric out to the template size to create 8-1/2 x 11 sheets of fabric paper. You may have to press the sides once again after cutting.

Printing the Fabric Labels

After the sheets were ready, I popped the sheets into my printer and printed the image I created in photoshop on to the fabric paper.  I just feed it right through my printer. Easy-peasy. After printing you can spray some spray starch on the printed side of the paper to and iron it to set the ink.

printing fabric labels

printing fabric labels

Finally, I cut, folded and ironed the labels.  I folded the sides of the labels toward the enter of the label and then folded the labels in half, this created a label that would not fray.

cut fabric labels

cut fabric labels

 

Using Spoonflower to Print Labels

As awesome as it is to be able to print your own fabric labels at home, it can get expensive.  Printer ink is not cheap. There is a much cheaper alternative – Spoonflower. You create your design and upload it to Spoonflower.   Once your design is uploaded you can then order an 8″x8″ swatch for about $5 or an 18″ x 21″ sample for about $12. Each 18″ x 21″ sample will yield about 100+ flat labels and about 50 tag labels.

You have a few options when creating your design:

  • You can scan your design onto your computer and upload it to Spoonflower.
  • You can create your own design using a photo editing software such as Photoshop, Illustator, or free software such as Pixlr.com or Splashup.com.
  • You can upload a pre-made design you purchased

I like to create my Spoonflower labels so they will print on the diagonal which means my label cuts are on a bias, which results in zero fraying.  Here’s the technique I use to design my labels:

  • I start with canvas that matches the size of my finished label, usually 1.5″ x 1.5″ @ 300 dpi.  I leave .25″ around the entire design as a no-print (bleed) area and create my design.
  • Once I’m happy with my design, I define it as a Pattern by selecting:  Edit > Define Pattern
  • Next I create a new canvas that measures 36″ x 45″ @ 300 dpi.
  • Create a new layer. Then select, Edit > Fill Layer  from the fill layer pop up choose Pattern and then select the pattern you previously defined.
  • Then rotate the layer with your filled image 45 degrees.
  • Finally save your image an upload to Spoonflower and order your swatch or sample.
Labels printing via Spoonflower.com

Labels printing via Spoonflower.com

{BONUS TUT} HOMEMADE SPRAY STARCH

I was’t going to end without sharing my secret weapon.  Make your own spray starch:

  • 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pint cold water
  • 1 spray bottle
Mix the water and cornstarch together until the cornstarch is almost completely dissolved and transfer to the spray bottle. Shake rigorously before each use.
I’ve created an easy to follow tutorial for all you visual learners out there.

 

If you aren’t comfortable designing your own labels, check out my other Etsy shop StickersNStash. Happy Label Making!  Myra@ HerbanLuxe

This post was written by

Myra @ HerbanLuxe – who has written posts on Eco Etsy.
Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

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About Myra @ HerbanLuxe

Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

Comments

  1. Hey, there! I absolutely LOVED this tutorial! Especially the video at the end. Made my own tags and sent them off to Spoonflower. Can’t WAIT to see how they turn out!

    I was wondering if I could post this tutorial on my blog, http://www.sprysprout.com, with links and credits back to this blog? I would LOVE for my readers to know this info as well as take a look around your awesome site!

    Please let me know, thanks!
    Miranda

    P.S. If not, no biggie, I just wanted to say thanks for helping me out!

    • Hi Miranda;

      Thanks for reading. Please share away, be sure to share a link back to the post on the EcoEtsy blog and you can grab my video on Youtube.

      Myra

  2. This is a great tutorial! One question: Are you using an inkjet or a color laser printer? Thanks!

  3. Super Cool post! This project is definitely on my Adventure List…thanks Myra.