DIY clothing labels December 13, 2011 – Posted in: Sewing, Tutorials

For years I’ve been putting “tags” in the clothes I make. They’re nothing special, literally just loops of ribbon that tell the wearer (or the parent dressing them) which is the back side of the garment.

But I’ve wanted labels. I’ve researched, planned, and hunted everywhere for them, but nothing I found really pleased me. I don’t want to buy 500 labels at once. What if I change my mind? I also didn’t like the idea of not really knowing what they’d look like and feel like until I had them in my hand. So when I ran across this tutorial on Pinterest recently (find me here), I was stoked.

The idea is about all I took from the tutorial, though. I figured out a decently easy way to make these in Microsoft Word and went at it. I’m thrilled with the outcome!

The best part about making my own labels is that they’re DIRT CHEAP. Like 4 cents each!

I started by getting my image ready. I took a thumbnail my sister created for me and tweaked it. Instead of pink on black, I made it black on white. I then saved it and opened the image in Microsoft Word by going to Insert -> Image -> From File.

Then right click on your image and choose Edit Picture. Once the edit box is open, right click again and choose Format Picture. Choose the Size tab and change the size of your image to fit the ribbon. My ribbon is 7/8″ so I made the image a .75″ square.

Once it’s the right size, click on that little icon to Reset Picture Boundary (this may look different on Word for a PC).

Then go to View -> Formatting Palette

Choose the little arrow next to Free Rotate for a drop down menu. One of the options will be Flip Horizontal. Choose that one to flip your image.

Your image will now be reversed. Click on Close Picture and it will take you back to your document with a flipped image.

**I’m sorry some of these are blurry, I’m not sure why!

Then adjust your margins (I made mine all .5″) and go to Format -> Columns and make as many columns as your image will allow. I was able to make 7.

Then right click on your image and choose Copy.

Then paste away through the columns until you fill the page!

I printed on a regular piece of paper first to make sure I didn’t need to make any adjustments. Then I printed 1 sheet on my iron transfer paper and started cutting!

For my labels I used 1 spool of 7/8″ white satin ribbon and 1 sheet of iron-on transfer sheets. They yielded me 54 labels and I still have a few transfers left (because 1 sheet gave me 70)!

The ribbon was $1.97 at Walmart. The transfer paper I got at Michael’s. It’s normally $9.99 but I had a 40% coupon, making it $5.99, or $.60 per sheet. The ribbon is 18′ long, or 216 inches. I cut it in 4″ sections yielding me 54 labels total.

$1.97/54 = $.036
$.60/70 = $.008

.036 + .008 = $.044 cents each!! So to make 54 labels cost me $2.40 and took me about an hour!

To make the labels I took 1 piece of ribbon and 1 transfer.

I put the image down on the ribbon, lining the bottom of it up at the 2″ mark so it would be on the top of the label (in the tutorial I found, her images are on the bottom for how I use them).

Then using only the tip of the iron and focusing only on the transfer, I gently pressed and counted to 5. There’s no need to leave them longer than that.

I left the paper on the transfers and I’ll peel them off as I use them.

I’m so excited this worked! I haven’t tried washing them yet, so I don’t know how they’ll stand up in the wash. But even if the images eventually wear off, it’s a ribbon label which is what I was using anyway!