Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Make your own labels / tags for your sewing creations

Have you ever thought you came up with a great idea all on your own, only to find after doing some internet searching, that you're actually like the 300th person who thought of it??

I had the *brilliant* idea of making labels for my etsy shop sewing creations by using iron on transfer paper.
And p.s., just so you know, I'm not the only one who thought of it. Surprise!

Anywho, I still wanted to share what I did in case it helps, and in case you haven't already read about the other 299 people who also had the same brilliant idea.

Okay, I started by creating a label design in a Word document.
I decided to design 3 different labels that would work for a variety items:

Next, you must flip your design to a mirror image so once it's transferred, it's readable: *for tips, see How to Make A Mirror Image post.

Using the table feature in Word, I created a document that had rows and rows of mirror image labels, which I printed onto transfer paper.

At this point you can either cut long strips to iron on several labels at a time, or cut them up. I cut mine into pieces because I wanted to iron them onto folded ribbon for my pillows.

So I laid out my ribbon
(fyi - there is a large piece of glass under the green pillowcase. You have to use a hard surface for the iron-ons and it can't have any give, so you can't use an ironing board)

Laid out the labels (image face down, of course - you don't want transfer paper on your iron!)
And ironed. It only took about 30 seconds because the image is so small.

This is the fun part. I love the excitement of peeling off the paper to reveal the label.
And here they are, ready to be cut
With ribbon, you need to fray check the ends. Some have used twill tape, among other things, but I liked the look and feel of satin ribbon for my pillow cases.
See how the ribbon folds over nicely?
And just so you know, the iron on transfer does create a stiff texture to the ribbon, on the side with the image.
And here it is pinned to the inside of the pillow case.

And sewn in
And there it is all tucked in to its new home.
For other ways to create your own labels and tags, you might want to search for make your own labels. I'm fairly certain you'll have several ideas to choose from.

Like I said, although I do come up with some good ideas from time to time, there are often 299 people who thought of it too!

Linking to:


  1. Those are so so so so cute! Good idea!

  2. great way to do that! i've always wondered how to do it! thanks for sharing a great how-to!!

  3. Totally understand that happening!! It happens to me all. the. time. BUT, your tags turned out really well so kudos to you! ;)

  4. This adds such a personal and professional touch! Love it!

  5. I LOVE this idea, this is the first tutorial I have seen for making labels and I am going to try it - I crochet flowers for hair clips and I want to use a ribbon label to cover the bottom prong of an alligator clip, with my etsy shop name - Thanks for sharing your how to - I hope mine look as nice as yours

  6. What a wonderful idea! I have a question... I make children's clothing and I would like to know if you can wash in hot water and dry on med to high heat w/ these labels attached to an article of clothing? The same way I normally launder children's clothing?
    TIA & Blessings to you & yours :-)

  7. Hi Tia,
    Thanks for your question - it's a great one! To be honest, I haven't done a lot of washing and drying of the labels I print on ribbon since they go in pillow cases, but have washed the same iron-ons printed on cotton jersey.

    Take a look at the information found on the iron on transfer package. Mine seems to indicate (referring to an iron-on tshirt) they can be washed normally as long as you wait 24 hours before washing the first time.

    I'm sorry I can't be more help. You may also want to google some other "make your own labels" tutorials and see if there's something that works better for clothing. Best of luck to you! I'd love to hear what you find.

  8. Even if 299+ people had already thought of it, I wasn't one of them, so I am very grateful for your tutorial! Is that the same transfer paper I already have for t-shirts etc? Thanks for sharing. I found you on Pinterest.

    1. Oh, your previous response to another comment answered my question. In response to their question, since I am now sure what medium we are using, I am pretty sure, like 99 percent, the labels would be fine in the washer, especially since clothing labels are inside the clothing.I've never had problems with t-shirt transfers being washed, even in hot water, and I am not good at remembering to turn them inside out. Also, these days most households tend to wash in warm water to save energy, and because it's more gentle to clothing. I personally want any beautiful handmade clothing I have to last as long as possible, whether I made it or someone else did.have a great day! Fran

    2. Thanks so much for your comments Fran! I have found that iron-on transfers do wear gently after many washings, but my labels have lasted a good long time! Take care! :)


I'd love to hear what you have to say! Thanks so much for your comments! ♥


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