Monday, May 14, 2012

Make Your Own Handmade Fabric Labels...

I know we are all "Do It Yourselfers", so when we make things for others as gifts or to sell, why not have your own fabric label to add to what ever you make.

Here's a quick tutorial on how to make your own fabric labels, but you can certainly add your own special touch to them too.

You will need:
  • fabric...I used 100% cotton muslin
  • Freezer paper...found in the grocery store in the aluminum foil section
  • computer and printer

Here is my attempt at a "Sew Many Ways" label.

Here's where the idea first started over 3 years ago. Remember my daughter Courtney's high school senior project? It was a Underground Railroad quilt. If you look in the lower right corner, I showed her how to make a label describing all the blocks in the quilt. This is the same process.

Here is a picture of freezer paper. Dull on one side, shiny on the other. You will use this to stabilize the fabric as it goes through the printer. The shiny side is perfect for ironing on fabric and it is re-usable over and over. I also use freezer paper for English Paper Piecing my hexagons.

Iron the shiny side down on the wrong side of the fabric. Don't let the iron touch the shiny side!!!

Trim paper/fabric to 8 1/2 inches x 11 inches.

Fabric on one side, paper on the other.

I used Mircrosoft word to print what I wanted...experiment with your own computer.

I printed towards the bottom of the label, so I can fold it over...see below.

Iron the whole sheet to "set" the ink.

Cut out and just peel off the paper.

I folded over the side edges.

and then folded in half.

Perfect little label ready to sew into a seam.

If you want a flat label that can be permanently ironed on, instead of folding like I did, just iron the label to permanent fusible web, like Heat and Bond. Then the label can be ironed onto your item.

Have fun experimenting,

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  1. Thanks for this tip Karen. These would be great for putting sizes in clothes too and much more cost effective. I also like to put washing instructions in garments, and these would be great for that as well.

  2. Thank you sew much! This is a great idea and much cheaper than purchasing labels. Does the ink wash off in the washer?


  3. FABULOUS! I love these labels! I had not thought of making these tiny ones.

    Thank you!


  4. I found that the ink washes out after a while and even had ink running onto my front fabric unless the fabric is pre-treated first.

  5. Oh, this is wonderful. I was wondering how to make these, and wanted them smaller! Thank you for posting this.

  6. Thank you sew much!!! I've been wondering how to make your own fabric labels but haven't gotten around to looking it up yet.

  7. Thank you for sharing. I'm going to try this.

  8. Thank you Karen, I'll definitely give this labeling method a try...Happy Monday!!

  9. Thanks for sharing this, I've seen similar, but love the way you folded it!

  10. NIce, nice, nice. Thanks for these great tips!

  11. Thank you for the great tutorial!! I am about to finish a project for my nephew and I want him to always know I made it for him. TFS!!
    Have a wonderful day!!


  12. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I have been wanting some labels but didn't know how to make them.

  13. Have you washed these yet? Regular address labels that I print run when they get moisture on them. My son lived in Hawaii for two years so I know this! Anyway, do you use a laser printer? I just wondered if the ink held when the labels were washed. Great idea for labels!

  14. Thank you so much! I will be trying these today. :)

  15. Thanks Karen great tut and so easy to do. Always wonderful ideas from you, you're the best!

  16. What a great idea - I'm going to try these, Karen! Thanks!

  17. This is so helpful-- thank you! Having fabric labels printed is ridiculously expensive so I've been thinking I need to figure out a way to do this on my own.


  18. Very cool.....must try!
    thanks AGAIN!!!!x

  19. Thanks so much for this post...aa wonderful way to make affordable labels!

  20. I like your idea and I am going to try it soon.

  21. I just love these! I need to get cracking and make some soon. I used to buy the expensive computer fabric sheets, but I can see that I won't be doing that anymore. I heard of people making their own, I just didn't know the steps to make it. Thanks!

  22. I tried this once and it didn't work! A thread of muslin got caught in the printer, rolled around the roller, and permanently ruined the printer. We had to buy a new one. I've been threatened within an inch of my life if I even THINK about putting freezer paper and muslin through a printer!

  23. This is brilliant, Karen! I’ll definitely try that on my own, making fabric labels for my kid’s clothes. I’m sure they’ll love their own shirt labels. My sister is into arts and crafts too, I’ll recommend this technique to her. =) Thanks!

    Jessie Henn

  24. Your idea looks like an easy thing to do, Karen! This one’s really useful not just for people who run a small business, but also for those who are fond of creating specially made items. I, for an instance, love giving my friends personalized items because they love being offered with something exceptional. Plus, they appreciate it even more because they know that you put a lot of effort in making it. You guys should really try this! Without a doubt, making your own fabric labels adds your own personal touch to it! ;)

    Granville Lochrico

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  26. Great ideas-I really need to get some of those name badges. The quote at the top just cracked me up-they are really awesome.

  27. Love it. Just started designing my own clothes and was looking at the prices for labels.. Very expensive. Great tip.. Awesome and thankyou from Scotland

  28. I had been using a different process to make my own labels but I was not happy with it. I came back online and started searching again and I came across your directions for labels. It was late, but our Walmarts are open 24 hours, so I rushed out to buy the muslin and the freezer paper and I came home and made my first "page" of labels that night. I started using them the next day, the idea was so easy and so much better than what I had been doing.

    Even my 23 year old son comments on the label when i show him my newest pouch pocket with the label sewn into the side seam. I have made and used several more pages since then. KUDOS for the directions.

    When you get a moment you can look at the pouches and see the labels at

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  30. Thank you so, so much for sharing. Just bought the paper, and I can't wait to try it!!!

  31. I tried this but the wax just seeped into the fabric - I was having trouble finding freezer paper and my mom had some she gave me so I'm wondering if perhaps it was too old? I did end up getting the sheet to print in my printer in the end since the wax stiffened the fabric enough to print them but I was wondering if anyone else had a similar problem?

    1. Okay so here was the problem - the freezer paper my mom gave me was old and so was waxed. I bought new stuff which was plastic coated and that worked better, except that the material and fp ke[t jamming in my printer - did get a couple of nice labels though. So whatever you do, do not use freezer paper that is waxed and use a rotary cutter to cut the material to size so as not to have frayed edges on the material. By the way for my fellow Canadians, I found my freezer paper in Home Hardware.for approx. $5.


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