Custom Labels For Your Crafts
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about custom labels you can create for handmade crafts. There’s a very good reason for visiting this subject again. Not all types of homemade labels are the best choice for every surface. Some need to be sewed on, some glued, some ironed, depending on the material with which you’re working.
If my custom label articles seem to be an almost annual event it’s because each year I discover an easier way to make labels or a way to create them with more professional results. Craft Attitude film delivers both.
To me what’s really exciting about this product is the ability to create a label with any image or message you chose. Anything you see on your computer screen can be printed as a label. The words or image you create should be flipped horizontally before printing. The page-size film feeds into your inkjet printer so the image prints on the glossy side of the film. Adhesive is applied either to the printed side or to the surface of the label’s final destination. Once the film is adhered, the backing is peeled off and the label appears bright and clear. The label image will hold up indefinitely because there’s no toner on it. The printed toner is trapped between the label and the surface which explains why the image is flipped before printing. While you can wipe the surface of the label with a wet sponge, the image would not survive soaking in water. As I said, not all labels are going to be ideal for every surface and this is not a product for clothing you plan to wash. But you can sew it!
What Can You Do With Labels Printed On Film?
The Sweetheart Picnic Tote bag project I published last week was not much different than a label except for the size. I fed the Craft Attitude film into my ink jet and printed the poem and hearts image then applied the film to the outer pocket with spray adhesive. The pocket was then sewed into the seams of the bag. I like the fact that the pocket can be wiped clean without damaging all the hearts or the poem on the front. And if some wine should spill, clean up is easy.
The beauty of the printable film for labels is that images you create on your computer screen or copy off the internet, can be used as a label, so the possibilities are unlimited. If you have a computer program like Photoshop or even stencil cutting machine software, you have everything you need to create curved type as well as different shaped outlines for your labels. You also have a huge color palette at your finger tips, allowing you to create special shading and color effects.
Printable film is a clear surface but not “glass” clear. It has more of a matte finish. You can see through it perfectly but after being applied to a surface the colors will be just a little less bright. This is something to consider if you’re color matching or thinking of using subtle colors for labels. You can use them, but you will need to punch them up to get the desired finished effect.
The color of the surface to which you apply your label will affect your image because the film is clear. This is less important when you’re only using lettering. The images of Holly are good examples. The film in “A” was applied directly to the red surface which competes with the pale image. Interfacing was ironed onto the printed side of “B” then applied to the same surface. Don’t apply an iron to the film directly and only iron with a very quick pass on the dull side of the film. Experiment to see results before working on a project. The “C” image is Holly at her best. The film was sprayed with adhesive and applied to white vinyl.
Another background that works well is vellum. Adhere it to the film and cut out the label shape (try decorative edge scissors!). The vellum will keep the surface color from dominating the image.
The examples of Holly do not suggest that the only way to get a colorful image is to attach the film to a white surface. The colorful label “D” was created with a lot of the background color. You'll find a larger image at the top of this page. The colors are very vibrant with a metallic look because I glued the film to a strip of shiny silver ribbon. Ribbons of all kinds are good foundations with which to work when creating custom labels.
Even sheer ribbons that have a tendency to fray are not usually a problem. The adhesive holding the film to the ribbon (I use Super 77) prevents that. But I haven’t tried all the glues available. Other adhesive products may have negative results. White grosgrain ribbon was used in example “E”.
If you have a passion for creating purses or bags like I do, your label can be adhered to a scrap of the material used to make the bag then attached using decorative studs for a true designer look. Example “F” is vinyl.
Need labels for gifts? Strips of film with your continuous name or logo can be adhered to lengths of ribbon which can be used for wrapping or decorating packages “G”. The film is soft and pliable making it ideal for this purpose.
Craft Attitude offers a large collection of products. While each package has a different look and name, like Quilt Attitude, Shoe Attitude, etc. the packages contain the same product - 8 sheets of printable film. The difference between them is the instructions for applying the film to surfaces like fabric and shoes. And unlike the other products, Shoe Attitude comes with a special glue stick.
Craft Attitude film is available at various craft stores as well as online at Amazon and Craftattitude.com.