28 August 2010

Label Making Tutorial, Pickup style

I have found that if you want to be organized, you have to play the part...even if you aren't to begin with.  What am I referring to?  Labels, my friends.  If you label baskets and bins, then items have a home.  And magically, they start to find their way back to that said home.  Another plus, it gives the illusion of organization when necessary (like in staging your home for sale, for instance!) 

Now if you are like me, one of those expensive label makers is not an option.  I also have a stack of scrapbook paper my mom snatched up for me for free (have I mentioned how great my mom is lately?)  So I came up with a way to make labels that was really cheap, meaning I made them with stuff I had on-hand, with the exception of the laminating plastic.

You'll need:
  • your computer and printer
  • white cardstock
  • decorative paper in a pattern you love
  • paper glue or glue dots
  • hole punch
  • scrapbooking paper cutter, if possible
  • paper scissors
  • skinny zip ties
  • a roll of self-laminating plastic

I looked at purchasing a packet of expensive self laminating plastic in the office supplies aisle at wally world...and then I cruised down the closet organizing aisle and found this:

I got a huge roll of this fun stuff for half the price of the spendy stuff...and got about 3 times the laminating power.  So, try the shelf liner area, and you should find some there. 

I also tend to add little illustrations with pen and colored paper, but those are completely optional.  I do it mostly for my little kids who can't read yet.  I also did it for my color-challenged family when it comes to sorting laundry.

Step one.  Determine what needs to be labeled.  I emptied my kids' closets.  We sorted through all their junk stuff, and decided what was staying and going.  Then we grouped things into categories.

Step two.  Make some labels on your computer.  I am no expert, but I found that if I used a two column format, with enough space in the middle, that I could cut them out and everything looked even.  I have uploaded a basic example HERE.  You just have to cut and paste for your own label needs.  I used my favorite font, Quicksand.  Print the documents on white cardstock. 

Step three.  Cut out the labels so you have equal distance from the lettering on all four sides.  I also left room for illustrations.  The key is to keep them all about the same size.  Glue the cardstock label onto your pretty paper, and repeat cutting an equal distance so you have a fun boarder all around.

Step four.  Punch out holes for your zip ties.  You can skip this if you are adhering your labels in another fashion. 

Step five.  Laminate your labels.  I did this by carefully removing the paper backing from the plastic, and then laying out my labels with enough space in between.

Now, CAREFULLY apply plastic to the other side of the labels, making sure to minimize any air bubbles or wrinkles.

Step six.  Cut out your labels, leaving a thin strip of plastic on all sides. 

Step seven.  Use your scissors to open a small place for the zip ties to go through, and then use zip ties to attach labels to baskets.  (Or in the case of my laundry  labels, I used poster gum to adhere them to the wall.)

There you have it, a fun way to label your stuff and get more organized, or at least pretend that you are! 

Here are the laundry sorting labels:

Close up:

These labels have helped a lot...if only for my mental health. What do you do to attempt organization at your house?

Featured on One Pretty Thing.  

Linking up to Be Different...Act Normal, Creative Jewish MomUnder the Table and DreamingThe Girl Creative, Sew Can Do, Skip to My LouToday's Creative Blog, and Shannon Makes Stuff.

12 happy thoughts:

Celeste B. said...

I'm glad other people label a lot of things as well! I'm a little OCD so I like things in order. Where did you get the laundry basket? I'm teaching my little ones about separating the clothes to wash and I love that basket! Thanks for the cute ideas!

Lorie said...

What a great idea! And such a great way to teach kids! Thanks for linking it up to Show and Tell Saturday!

Tasha said...

I seriously need a few more organization skills right now. Things have gotten a little out of hand. This week I have started to slowly start back into reorganizing things. I think I need to look into more labeling.

The Paisley Abbey said...

Thank you for this tutorial. I am going to make some of these!

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

This is awesome! I can never seem to stay organized, though I love it when I am. Thanks for the great idea -- super cute. Also, great pictures of how to take advantage of storage spaces... I can't wait to have closets again! :)


Mariska said...

I love labels too. I recently did something similar for my kids' toys, using pictures of their toys. It works very well!

You can check it out at

Anonymous said...

Great post! I'm your newest follower.

Catch A Falling Star said...

Great tutorial!
I've not a huge labeler but, I do label certain things.
Thanks for sharing!

Denise said...

I like to label, I just forget how useful it can be. Thanks for sharing I love the Show and Tell!

Natalie said...

Yours are so cute! Love them. I am a label addict. i did a post a while ago about my closet- I am in love my with my closet. It's one of the few places I can open in our house and know exactly where I can find things. Here's a link: http://crafting-crazy.com/2010/07/31/operation-organization/

creativejewishmom/Sara said...

Thanks so much for sharing this really helpful idea! Love the laundry ones with the colored dots! Great to see you again on Craft Schooling Sunday, and hope to see you again soon!

Madigan at madiganmade said...

I love labels and I love that font. Gonna need to grab that one. I am hosting a link party on my blog this weekend about words/quotes (The Weekend Word Search). Please consider stopping by! Your project would be a great addition.

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