At some point in the past decade or so, I finally got fed up with the amount of packaging in my pantry. I was up to my eyes in unsightly boxes and bags that were taking up space and making me crazy! So I started collecting cute reusable containers, so I could store my pantry foods and ingredients in those and get rid of all the bulky packaging. My pantry started looking a million times better, and I was content.
That contentment lasted for a few days, until I realized I had inadvertently created another issue – my cute reusable containers didn’t have labels to tell me what was inside! I thought about buying some of those label sheets that you can find at office supply stores, but they’re definitely not cheap! And of course, if I suspect that I can find a cheaper way to do something, it’s hard to stop myself from figuring it out! :-)
After some internet research, I came across this method for making homemade labels using packing tape. I was skeptical, to say the least! I was sure the ink wouldn’t transfer right, or that the tape wouldn’t stay sticky after soaking, but it turns out that all my skepticism was for naught. It all worked just like it was supposed to, and I ended up with homemade labels that were cute, functional, and didn’t cost me a penny to make (since I already had all the supplies on hand). Here’s how you can do it, too!
DIY Custom Labels
- Heavy-duty packing tape
- Copy paper
- Inkjet printer
- Craft stick or other sturdy object with a flat edge
Step 1 – Print
Start by printing your label design onto a sheet of copy paper. You can choose images, text, or anything else you want to make a label of! Printing in black or grayscale makes the best label, but you can do it in color if you’d like (but color just doesn’t transfer as well for some reason.)
Step 2 – Tape
Carefully cover the printed area with a piece (or pieces) of the heavy-duty packing tape.
Step 3 – Trim
Use your scissors to cut your labels down to whatever size you want them to be.
Then take your craft stick, or something sturdy with a flat edge, and slide it across the tape to help the ink make contact with tape. Use a lot of pressure, because more pressure will help make a clearer label!
Step 4 – Soak
Next, fill a wide, shallow bowl with warm water. Place your label(s) into the water, and let them soak for 20 minutes to an hour, or until the paper will separate easily from the tape.
Step 5 – Dry
Remove the labels from the water and carefully peel the paper away from the tape. Set the tape onto a towel, sticky side up, and allow it to dry for a few minutes. When the tape dries out, the adhesive will turn sticky again!
Step 6 – Place
The final step is to place your label wherever you want it to go. They look great on glass, but you can also apply them to wood and plastic.
We made a few labels for a few big glass jars in the kitchen at our studio, and I love how they turned out! And since we already had all the necessary supplies on hand, it didn’t cost us a thing to make them. Now that’s some frugal organization! :-)