We’ve entered the season of gift making and gift giving, so I thought that today I’d share some ideas for how to make clothing labels with you. Not only will tags help identify your gifts as handmade, if you’re sewing for kids (or heck, sometimes adults!) they can help kids identify the back of their clothes to avoid putting them on backwards. So today I’ve got 3 ways you can make handmade custom clothing tags.
Two of the methods I use rely on twill tape. I like to use it because it’s inexpensive and soft, but you can also use ribbon. While you can get small packs in the store, if you want to stock up cheaply, I got my rolls from Twill Tape.
1. Stamp Your Own
This method is probably the easiest and most customizable on the fly. Also, I sometimes let my kids personalize their own tags. Use an ink that says it’s for fabric. I bought the pad above in a big box store a few years ago, and as you can see the ink is fading. I need to grab some (affiliate link) VersaCraft pads because they are more readily available and are also well rated for fabric; just make sure to set the ink with an iron before washing. I grabbed the little box of alphabet stamps in the dollar section one day on a whim, and they’re fun to use for this but not the most sophisticated font.
2. Sew Your Own
If your sewing machine will do any fonts (many new machines do) or you’re comfortable with freehand stitching, you can sew your own labels. I recently made this one for myself, and instead of doing my blog name or handmade with love or any of those typical labels since I know I made my clothes, I decided to write “Thankful”. I like the idea of adding inspirational labels to my clothes; a secret message to myself. But of course if you have a letter stitch on your machine, you can write whatever you want. I typically don’t cut my twill tape off the roll until after I’ve stitched out the word when I do these kind of labels.
3. Custom Print Fabric Labels
This is how I make the labels I use most often – I make a graphic and then use it to have fabric printed. This is quilting cotton ordered from My Fabric Designs, which is a custom fabric printing service. I make my label 2 1/2 inches wide by 5/8 inches tall, then I add 3/8 inch of spacing all around each box, then turn that into a repeat. I use Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop to do mine, but you definitely don’t need to have those programs. You could just as easily draw something and take a photograph of it, or you could use a free program like Canva.
With the dimensions I used, when I uploaded my design, I got 450 labels on 1 yard of fabric. And it occurred to me later that I could have combined multiple designs into one photo to upload and printed a few designs, but oh well. One thing to watch – when you upload you’ll see a screen something like the one above, and you need to double/triple check the on screen ruler against your design to make sure that the labels are the size you want and not giant.
Once the printed fabric is shipped to me, I cut it into strips using a rotary cutter and ruler, and then I store most of the fabric in strips.
I take a few strips at a time and cut them into the individual labels. I store the labels like this in a tin in my sewing room; you can see I mod podged one of my old labels (that I’ve run out of) onto the cover.
Then when I need a tag for a project, I press the edges to the wrong side…
And then I sew it in!