Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I made me some labels

I already have labels that I use on things I make, but for some time I had been fancying one of those fold-up labels. The ones that can be tucked into a seam while sewing. I am in the process of crocheting something (wink wink!) that I especially wanted to put the fold-up on.

From previous research I knew I could print on fabric, so I went to work! This is what I wanted on my label, and the grey dotted line is where the lower half would fold up, so the long edges would meet at the top and would be sewn into a seam, get it?

(It is a square-ish image, I am sorry you can't see where it begins or ends! But if you click on the image to enlarge, you'll get a good idea.)

With some trial and error (this depends on the aspect (or length to width) ratio of your final jpg), I figured out how many of these squares would fit onto one letter size paper. I got 35 of these with landscape orientation.

I then simply copy-pasted this image in a folder 35 times (yeah!), and using Picasa, I created a photo collage with thin grey spacers. The grey spacers will later serve as guides when I cut my labels. This is what my collage came to be -

Now we print.
I chose pre-washed white cotton fabric. Not wanting to worry about the edges of my labels fraying, I cut a 8.5 x 11 inch piece on the bias.

To print on fabric using an inkjet printer, you need fabric (of course!) and an appropriately sized freezer paper. One side of the freezer paper is coated with some kind of plastic that will cling to fabric when they're ironed together. This adhesion is only so strong so as to allow you to print, and then easily peel the fabric off the paper.

Collect your supplies. (I did a test print of my collage as well.)

Since the fabric is bias cut, the corners were not all right angles. So I lay the piece of fabric on my test print to ensure that it covered all 35 labels completely -

Then I lay the freezer paper on the fabric, aligning it with the print out below, shiny/plastic side down. That way, I got the fabric sandwiched between the test print and the freezer paper, and in contact with the shiny side of the freezer paper.

With my iron on high and dry (LOL!) I pressed the sandwich for a few seconds all over. What I ended up with is paper backed fabric. Or fabric paper!!

Now, print.

Then peel off the fabric, it'll come off easy. To set the ink, iron it on high and dry (again!).

A note on permanence of inkjet inks on fabric - I know that pigment based inks don't fade as much as dye based inks. I also know that the black cartridge of my Canon is pigment based. But I have no idea of the other color cartridges. So I am taking a chance here. Worst case scenario - after a few washes, the black will stay and the magenta will disappear. I guess I'll come update this post when I have something to report on that front.

I then cut along those grey lines, folded those individual labels into half and ironed them, slowly building my label towers :)

I used a very light sprinkling of spray on starch on the back while ironing, it did help.

Here are all of my 35 pretty labels, living happily on a pin. About thirty minutes, a piece of fabric and freezer paper equals thirty five cute labels. In my book that is a good deal :)

See how the sides don't need folding because they are cut on the bias, so no fraying!! Now to make something to put these on!!

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