Sunday, August 9, 2009

How to make your own labels


A few months ago I read in the Etsy forums about the new labeling laws going into effect on August 15th. Immediately I started looking into ways to label my product and searched for label makers on Etsy. In the past I had labels on my dress-up-dolls. I ordered them from a label maker in Australia. They were the old-fashioned looking, really pretty, and high quality woven label. I remember when I first researched the market for labels I was very frustrated by the few options. Since I did not want to put a huge label on my doll, I was very limited in terms of how much information I could put on a label. Therefore my old doll labels only had my business name and my name on them.The new labeling law requires that a business put a lot more information on their product such as: Name of the Business, Address, Place Manufactured, Materials, Care Information
When I started to ask around on Etsy, I found that many label makers did not respond to my questions at all. The small label making businesses were either on vacation (due to exhaustion) or too busy with current label orders. Bigger outfits, located in Hongkong and Overseas did not respond to my questions in a serious manner. When presented with my problem they simply told me it was not possible to put all that information on a such a small label (0.5 inches by 2 inches).

Luckily I found the answer to my problem in discussions with my Etsy team. I love my Etsy team, the naturalkids team! One teammate, beccijo (http://www.theenchantedcupboard.etsy.com/), had found an alternative option. In order to solve the labeling problem for her wooden toys she contacted a stamp maker on Etsy: http://www.robertosand.etsy.com/. When I contacted Robert I found him super helpful and kind. It took about 4 convos to figure out what I needed. He managed to put ALL the information I asked for on my cool new wooden stamp. I had my stamp in hand about a week later. While waiting for my stamp, I ordered two 72 yard rolls of cotton twilltape online. I ordered two different colors: white and natural. I found the ink stood out much better on the white tape.

Next I had to figure out what ink to use. I needed something that was washable and non-toxic that would work on fabric! I found an inktype called VersaCraft. It works on fabric, wood and paper. The only drawback being that it needs to be heat-set. After stamping the twilltape with my new stamp I had to iron the tape. I washed the tape afterwards to make sure the ink did not bleed out. And voila it worked well!
I think my new labels look great. They may not be perfect since sometimes the stamping is not totally even. But why not have cool handmade labels on your cool hand made product? I think this is a great alternative to ordering expensive labels from a label maker. Do you know what they put in those labels? It may not be safe for children.
I compared prices and found that label sellers charged about 35-40 cents on average.
It cost me around $60 to buy my stamp, twill tape, and the ink pad. With these supplies I will be able to make hundreds of labels. If I want to change the information I can order a new stamp from Rob.
I hope this will encourage you to make your own label. I had a lot of fun on my first label making day!



22 comments:

Jenny said...

Ulla that is a great idea. I have been procrastinating about care labels for such a long time. Yours look so good I will have to investigate.
Jenny

The Handmaden said...

Thanks for all that info, your stamps look great.

BirchLeaf Designs said...

Thanks Ulla, for such a lovely post!

haddy2dogs said...

Thanks Ulla! I was so pleased to see your stamp vender lives in my area!
haddy

germandolls said...

Maybe you could take him a muffin or cupcake on my behalf, HaddyMel? =) Thanks my dear etsy team! You all rock!

Kati said...

thanks for sharing this info with the rest of us! it really is a great idea and your labels look great!

Lucky Pebble said...

Those are really great Ulla! How do you handle the DOM requirement? I am having problems with it, and it looks as though I will have to embroider the dates. (Ugh).

bethany said...

Thanks so much for this information-it was SO SO helpful!

germandolls said...

I thought about adding the DOM with a laundry pen. I cannot afford to buy a new stamp ever so often because of the Date. But maybe one could have a stamp made with the year on it and stamp that on?

Allisa Jacobs said...

This is very clever & helpful- thank you so much for sharing :) I think I might try this route!

oobbles said...

So you just put the stamp on the clothes? What about small felted dolls that don't have clothes?

woolies said...

This is pretty brilliant. So - do the labels have to be sewn into the item? Can you have them attached some other way?

germandolls said...

Yes, the labels have to be sewn into the item. It takes a couple of minutes. Not too bad though. I just think of it as advertising...

Knot By Gran'ma said...

This is a fantastic idea. Thank you for sharing.

Curtis Collectables :) said...

Wow, those are awesome. I was looking for a way to make my own labels. Thanks

aGibson said...

So versacraft ink is machine washable? I wanted to try something like this, but didn't want black ink all over my baby items when they went through the washing machine.

Lisa said...

I am new in the Etsy world and have set up shop but actually haven't put anything in the shop yet (need some time management skills). I love this post and learned so much from it! Thank you so much!

Lisa :)

germandolls said...

Yes, once you iron the stamped ribbon the black ink is heat set! I will not bleed out any more!

Cory said...

Thanks for sharing this information, the labels look great and I love the doll clothes you make.

BombusLane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BombusLane said...

(Just wanted to correct a spelling mistake...sorry.)

I also found a great tutorial just like yours that also mentions making your labels with a stamp when I was looking for help on making labels for my Plush toys.

I found this idea to be so great that I went out and bought a DIY stamp, so I can adjust what I want my stamp to say whenever I'd like to without having to buy another stamp. Even more savings!

Here is the one I bought, it works great!

http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?CatIds=&webid=20178&affixedcode=WW

germandolls said...

Thanks, BombusLane! I will definitely check out that option!