Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tutorial: How To Make Your Own Labels the Easy and Cheap Way!


***This tutorial has been upgraded! Check out my latest post HERE to save yourself a couple steps***

I reaaaaally want to order some labels for myself. Like badly. But, with such a small business I have to be reasonable about costs and blah blah blah. If you want to order some, there's a helpful blog post on MADE.

So I decided to make my own. I looked around for tutorials and did some reading but when it came down to it, I just winged it. Please forgive the terrible photos...my camera broke!

Materials:
Iron on Transfer Paper (I just used the t shirt kind)
Printer
Scissors
Iron
Ribbon, twill tape or whatever you like best. Just make sure it's iron safe!
Jars or containers for storing


1.) In Keynote or Powerpoint, arrange your logo in rows. I printed out a few test sheets to get my labels the right size. FLIP YOUR IMAGE! I may or may not have forgotten this step and wasted a sheet of transfer paper. If you're using a Mac, use keynote. Powerpoint for Mac has no 'flip' feature to make your logo a mirror image. Print onto transfer paper according to package directions.


2.) Cut ribbon lengths and cut out labels from transfer paper. My ribbon was about 1 inch wide by 3 inches long. Lots of room to fold over and stitch into seams.


3.) Turn on the iron and arrange labels on your ribbon. It should be placed just below the middle so that when you fold it in half it's on the front side. I started with one at a time and then realized I could easily do 5 across at once.


4.) Iron those suckers on. Like crazy. When you think you might be scorching the ribbon, wait another few seconds! Wait for them to cool completely and then peel off the paper backing. I've decided to leave them on and just peel them off as I use them. I store my extra labels and my extra iron on tags (I kept some separate so I could make horizontal labels as well) in a little jars.


I'm pleased with how they turned out and finally my products have proper labels!

101 comments:

  1. Thanks for this tutorial, very useful!!

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  2. AWESOME!!! I've done my own before using the same method, but I used twill. Ribbon looks a lot better though. I'll give this a whirl! Great job! and Mahalo for sharing.

    <3 Jaz

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  3. these look great. just one question - how do they hold up in the wash? thanks :)

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  4. This is wonderful! What brand of transfer paper did you use?

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  5. I used Wilton T-shirt transfers, since that's what I had on hand. They hold up ok in the wash. Most of the items I used them on don't need washing or I specify hand washing (like for my reusable sandwich bags). Turning inside out, washing in cold water, using natural detergent and hanging to dry will help anything last a lot longer.

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  6. I've always wondered how us DIYers could make these. Thanks for your efforts!

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  7. This is so neat! Love it! wish I made stuff that needed tags! :)

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  8. Brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing this. :)

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  9. I had been looking to order my own but they were SOOOO expensive for a small business crafter. This tutorial is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much. I'm so excited to make my own now.

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  10. Ahhh! I am SO excited about this... and can't believe I didn't think of this myself! DOP! Thanks for sharing :) (found you via pinterest)

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  11. quick question: did you design your label in some fancy program? or can I do it in word? Also, I am surprised you said to use powerpoint... couldn't I just do it in Word and flip it there?

    Oops...that was 3 questions! lazygreenmama at gmail dot com

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  12. Woooo Whoooo!! Thank you so much for this. I too have been in need of tags for my small business but couldn't bring myself to have them custom done. This is an awesome tutorial!

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  13. I think your decision to leave the paper back on and just peel them off as you need to use them is very important bcz otherwise they get kind of curly and virtually unusable. At least mine did..until i found yr post :))
    Thanks for sharing this.

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  14. those turned out so cute...quick question...could you really see the transfer paper? I know when I've done t-shirts, you can kinda see the paper...

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  15. Super idea, thanks for sharing!

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  16. I am so pleased that so many of you are finding this tutorial helpful! Here are a few answers to your questions:

    One and Only:
    I can't see the paper at all. Mine came out really nicely. They're not something I'd put on my teething rings to be chewed and abused, but they're great on lots of other things!

    J-ROK:
    I used just used my logo and Powerpoint. Word didn't work for me because I have a Mac and there is no "flip" option in Word for Mac. It was a bit tricky getting them sized, but I just printed out drafts and measured. I am no computer whiz, but I think any program with a "flip" option will work just fine!

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  17. that is so awesome!! great thinking!

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  18. I've done exactly this before (just found your tutorial today) and have put them in pj bottoms and on bibs, both of these things get washed frequently and the labels do not stay on in the wash and you are left with a blank tag. I've found that printable fabric and fray check do a much better job.

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  19. Great idea efran!

    I use mine for things that don't get washed, and they've been great so far. I have a few other ideas (maybe the tutorial will follow) for baby-safe and wash-safe labels!

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  20. This is a fantastic idea... thanks for sharing!

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  21. Has anyone tried skipping the transfer paper & printing to a color laser printer or copier? These output devices use tiny beads of polymer (plastic) to put the image on the paper, then the heat from the unit sets the image. I've used these prints to make iron-on transfers for t-shirts...it should work for the ribbon just fine.

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  22. Oh, I have two Etsy stores and this will be sooo helpful! Thanks so much! scrapguild.etsy and scrappincovers.etsy

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  23. Thanks a million. I ordered some labels, and the ribbon on them was so small, I did not like them. Thanks to you, I know how to make my own. You have saved some money for me.

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  24. Thank you so much...this is fantastic info...you are the best.♥

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  25. Oh! I love this! I, like you, want to have my own lables but refused to pay the expensive prices for them. I have seen other tutorials on how to make labels, but yours is the BEST. It sounds easy and simple and something I think I can do.Thank you

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  26. Very clever!!! Thank you for posting!!!

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  27. This is a great idea. A fix for your flip image might be to change your printer properties. When you go to print, click on printer properties, then layout, then click the box for "Print Mirror Image". This causes the printer to print the image backwards which should iron on correctly. Phyllis (sewok)

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  28. Perfect for the DIYer! Thanks for the info. Yours turned out looking very professional.

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  29. I did this 3-4 years ago, but in Illustrator, making a TON of labels in an afternoon. However, I have noticed that when the garments with those labels have been laundered a couple-dozen times the print on labels fade and the colors loose their luster. It's a minor complaint, but worth mentioning.

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  30. maybe i am not understanding, but why do i want to flip the image?

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  31. You flip the image because of how the transfer paper works. You iron it onto the ribbon face down, which means you have to flip your image.

    Check out the 3rd and 4th photo to see if you can figure it out. If your right click and choose 'view image' you'll be able to zoom in through your browser.

    If it doesn't make sense, just trust me on it!

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  32. AWESOME! I love it! Thanks so much for the idea!

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  33. Wieke, The NetherlandsNovember 10, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    This is SOOO great! I've always wanted to have my own labels, but could never really afford them. And when I could, they couldn't make the design I wanted. Now I can make them myself. Love it!
    Thanks so much!!

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  34. Wieke, The NetherlandsNovember 10, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    Just a small addition :)
    I just realized you could make on the other side of the label some washing instructions. You can easily find those small symbols when searching for 'washing instructions symbols'.
    Can't wait to try this out myself.
    Thanks again!

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  35. Thanks for the tutorial - I can't wait to try this! I recently looked into buying labels, but they are sooo expensive.

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  36. I have a mac but I don't know what Keynote is. I did a search but it seems my computer doesn't have this. Is it something I need to purchase?

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  37. Keynote is the Mac version of Powerpoint. The icon on my dashboard looks like a podium with a mic and paper on it. You could try it in any word processing document.

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  38. This is such a fabulous tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing. I just ordered some labels & never thought about trying to do it myself. Now I think I'll give it a try & see how it goes! Thanks again!

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  39. What a great idea! Thanks for showing us how:)
    Newest follower here.
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

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  40. Thanks for this wonderful idea! I make and sell sock monkeys and I have always wanted to put a "Label" on them but couldn't afford them....Once again thanks, I will make my own now!

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  41. What an excellent idea. I have bookmarked your page!! Thank you

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  42. Thanks for that awsome idea.What store can you find that iron on transfer paper? I want to try this asap.

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  43. Thank you for sharing this. I needed labels for my shop and now I can make them myself.

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  44. I tried this today and it works great! Thank you so much for this tutorial!

    Just a tip on a mistake I made. I flipped my images and then when printing, selected "t-shirt transfers" as the paper type and it automatically flipped my images again (now back to normal) when printing it. Totally wasted a whole sheet of the transfer paper. Be sure to print a taste page on normal paper first!

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    Replies
    1. YES, always do a test page. The type of printer makes a difference as well as what computer & program you have. For my printer, when I select T-shirt transfer paper it doesn't reverse the image! My old printer had a flip image option, my new one does not. :-)

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  45. AWESOME! Thank you! Your blog was referenced in an www.etsy.com discussion thread. To "flip" my text, I had to set my printer "properties" for "t-shirt/iron on transfer" paper (instead of the default "plain paper"). Worked like a charm! I love it! TY TY TY TY TY!!!

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  46. Just a thought, my Granny used to do some painting on fabrics and she always "set" the colors (this was decades ago" with vinegar. That might (or might not) help with these, but might be worth a try with some of the ones you "wasted" before you flipped them.

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    Replies
    1. How do you set it with vinegar? I just use my iron after it's painted to help set it.

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    2. Hi Brenda! Would you mind elaborating on how to set with vinegar? I would love to try out this additional step for items I plan to launder. Thanks!

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  47. That is awesome! It seems like people are "stealing" other people's designs lately and this is one way to say it is an original made by us. :) Love it!!!

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  48. Love this!I was struggling with labels of my own...xxooxxoo

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  49. Perfect! Just what I needed :) Thank you!

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  50. Great idea! Featured on my site today.
    www.craftingrebellion.com

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  51. Wow that's a great idea! Thanks!
    http://shanni77.blogspot.com/

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  52. Great tutorial thanks for posting :)

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  53. Wow! you are a genius!!!! Can't wait to try this!

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  54. Brenda, I dont think you could "set" this...its the ink in a thin layer of plastic that sticks to the fabric.
    I feel that the type of ribbon used may help alot!! I make t-shirts every year for a river party, and the one I have from three years ago is faded a little, but still visible. I wash it in hot water, bleach it, and dry on high heat...all of which you are NOT supposed to do to the transfers. FYI, I always used Avery brand.
    If you were having issues with it sticking to the satin ribbon, I would try either twill tape (cotton) or a grosgrain ribbon. I dont know how it would stick to the texture of the grosgrain tho:)

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  55. Avery has a free design program that downloads from their site. I've been using it for years for all kinds of labels including the cloth variety.

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  56. Can I ask what kind of ribbon you used? It looks like satin but I just wanted to make sure... all the ribbon I found was 100% polyester and the tshirt transfer paper says to use on 100% cotton... I just don't want my ribbon to melt!! haha

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  57. That's how i've always made mine... ;)

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  58. I used polyester! And I've done it on shiny, matte, grosgrain and just about anything else you can think of. They hold up well, but if you want something really tough, I'd recommend using cotton bias tape. You can stitch it along the fold to keep it from unraveling.

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  59. that just answered my question. . the material of the ribbon. . because I feel like if you could find a 100% natural material, you could just print directly on it. . after fusing the material to freezer paper . then it would run through your printer. . But if it's shiny. . you probably do'nt even notice the iron-on transfer "film" very much do you.

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  60. How do the labels wash? I'm thinking about the ink washing out.

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  61. The labels wash fairly well. They're t-short transfers, which means they're washable, just follow package directions.

    There is a way to choose either a matte or glossy finish, depending on if you peel it off hot or cold I think.

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  62. hi freya.. i want to make my own label too. but what did u use to draw your concept on pc/mac? photoshop or what?

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  63. Another "can't believe I didn't think of that moments" THANK YOU so much!! I have been struggling for awhile now coming up with something inexpensive! Love love love it!

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  64. After transferring, a little run in the sewing machine along the ribbon sides will keep the transfer from washing off, as someone complained earlier. xoxom

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  65. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing

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  66. Great tutorial!
    I have been making my own labels for a couple of years now, pretty much the same way, but on twill tape. I really like the tips on the comments, and yes, I read all of them. I will try cotton bias tape next, I think the smoother texture will hold the image better than the twill tape.

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  67. How great. I've been wanting to find labels and this is so helpful and love that you shared your idea.

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  68. what a fantastic idea! (found this via pintrest)

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  69. Now my little crochet business can finally afford labels! :D Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  70. For making tags for clothes, have you thought about just ironing the transfer right onto the item? Kind of like tag less T's?

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    1. oooohh great idea!! I know my son (now 12) hates tags in his clothing. I'm 4.5 months pregnant and working on my own line of baby/toddler dresses and tags are something I'll need.. I think I'll try both the tags, and tagless :)

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  71. Awesome idea!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I am your newest follower:)
    ~Debra xxx
    capers of the vintage vixens

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  72. This might make me sound like a noob (becaus I am) but how do you go about attaching these labels to your products? Sew them on?

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  73. I came across this wonderful post on Pinterest! I'm in LOVE!!! This is going to save me alot of money....I'm getting ready to open an Etsy store in hopes of raising money for our adoption. :)

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  74. Thank you so much for this post!! I have always wondered how to make my own labels. I will be doing this over the weekend for sure!!

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  75. What a great idea! I wish I would have come across this tutorial before I ordered 500 from basically China only to have someone else's labels delivered to my house then when I tried to return them they told me they weren't the incorrect labels. Needless to say that months later, I've received 2 batches of labels with incorrect colors/spelling and I'm still label less. Annoying! loved this tutorial though- thanks for sharing it! :) http://www.craftbaby.com

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  76. This is brilliant brilliant brilliant! Love it! I linked to this page from my blog this morning - had to share! http://bit.ly/N2AKPx

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  77. There is an option in powerpoint to show a ruler to help cut down on the "test" prints for sizing. Among with options to show grid lines.
    Also of you can't find a flip option try grabbing the dot in the corner of the image and dragging it to the opposite side and beyond. I found this trying to make some nail art transfer images.

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  78. Ohh Thanks so much for the Tutorial its so much help for me..Would really love to made my own soo...;)

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  79. I loved this! I did it tonight and it worked awesomely!!! Thanks a bunch! :)

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  80. Thanks so much for sharing. I have been wanting to order labels... too pricey for now. You gave me a fresh jump on things. Don't know why I didn't think of this I use the iron transfers to personlize t-shirts for events all the time..

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  81. Great tutorial, Freya! I've been wanting to make some of my own labels for some time now, and this is a super help!

    Check out my blogs too:
    http://jelenacreative.blogspot.com/
    http://krpenalutkica.blogspot.com/2013/01/haljina-grkinja.html#more

    All the best to you! :)

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  82. I looked into getting some made but cant beleive i never thought of this! Its unreal! I have everything I need already in my house! You have saved me so much money! Thank you!

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  83. Help! I am following the printing instructions on the iron-on paper but the ink keeps smearing the imagine! What am i doing wrong?

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  84. THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!!!

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  85. My family and I cut all tags out and off of clothing and merchandise. We hate them. The t-shirts with the label (brand) printed directly onto the fabric inside the back of the neck are the only thing that survives in my house. I understand why you want tags, but I know so many people who hate them and do what I do, if it were me I wouldn't put any money or time into any resourses to make tags. Just a different take for you to think about.

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  86. This is very interesting I'll share these tutorial on creating labels. Its very helpful, thanks for sharing.

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  87. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! You just saved me big bucks! I may skip the whole putting them on ribbon and just ironing onto the clothing itself making them tagless.

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  88. I love this idea... I've always wanted to have personalized labels... "Made just for _____ by Aunt Chris"... this will work perfectly!!!

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  89. Thanks for your great tutorial. I used it and it turned out great with one problem. The label comes out much to stiff. I tried not ironing it as long and that helped but the label is still too stiff. I plan to sew the labels onto blankets I am making but the label would stick straight out - it is so stiff. In your photo, your labels appear to be soft and pliable. I used Target brand transfer paper because I just wanted to try this and didn't want to spend a lot of money. Do you think the transfer paper could be causing it? Thanks.

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  90. Oh yes, thank you for sharing ....I am currently teaching my daughter to sew... I know she would enjoy this information...we have not problems with tags... I use to buy mine... my family and friends loved them...to them it was special

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  91. I was just in the process of looking for a company to order my labels from when I came across your blog. Thanks for your advice because I will be trying your way first.

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  92. There are sites where you can make labels. It is only a few dollars a month and they have tons of designs you can flip and rotate, enlarge and decrease the size of the design. Just print out on transfer paper unfortunately I can't remember the name of the site I used to make the labels UGH!!!! This is a great idea though.

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  93. Thank youy so very much for that great idea, hope you get to see this It's october 2013 (-:
    Thank you again and hugs out of the Netherlands

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