How To Print Your Own Fabric Labels

August 22, 2009
Print Your Own Fabric Label is easy

Print Your Own Fabric Label is easy

I did some research recently on how to print your own fabric labels and came up with a pretty simple process. It wasn’t as time consuming as I first thought, and worked quite well.

Here are the supplies you need to print your own fabric labels:

Freezer paper cut into 8.5×11  sheets (use a sheet of printer paper as a guide to be sure you have square corners and straight edges)

100% cotton fabric, white, washed, dried and pressed to remove any sizing

Printer, computer

First design your label. I used a simple Lucinda Calligraphy Font, with the intent of printing my fabric labels in black. This was my first try of course. If you want to get more adventurous, you could go into graphic designer  mode and  design a three color logo and get fancy, but I figure, I’d save time on the learning curving by keeping it simple.

I loaded this design in a simple Publisher label format that makes 1 1/2×3″ mailing labels.  After centering and adding other pertinent information to the label, like stuff needed for CPSIA, I am ready to print my own fabric label.

Now, to get the fabric sheets ready to print. Simply iron the freezer paper onto the fabric, using cotton setting, pressing on the paper side to avoid scorching. Use gentle pressure, as you are not pressing wrinkles, but “ironing on the paper”. If you are pressing more than one sheet of freezer paper, leave 1/2 inch between each sheet to cut them apart. You might need to iron on the kitchen table with a bed sheet folded several times so as not to ruin your table. Most iron boards are too soft to do this. If you are a quilter, you most likely have a pressing board. I also find the cheapo table top iron boards work well for these. I have a closet full of them when my kids realized they really didn’t need these in the college dorm…who has time to iron?

Cut the excess fabric very carefully without raveling, using a very sharp fabric scissors.  Remember when your mother yelled at you to not use her “fabric” scissors for paper? Well, don’t cut the paper! Not only will it ruin your scissors, forever, she says, but you will not have even paper for the printer, duh!

Ok, now you are ready to print. Place one “fabric sheet” in the printer. Do the computer magic to print off a sheet of labels. I found I had to “guide” my fabric out of the printer, or it would get hung up on one edge.If you have difficulty with your printer, you could put masking tape on the starter edge to make it firmer.

Print Your Own Fabric Labels Easily

Print Your Own Fabric Labels Easily

When printing is done, gently remove freezer paper starting at one corner. Try not to pull your fabric all out of shape.

Fill your bathroom sink with cold water, enough to cover fabric. I added ice cubes to make it really cold. This is supposed to rid any stray ink from your fabric, and if printed too thick, help with that. I did see some flecks in the sink, but if your printer is like mine I am always just one page away from “empty ink cartridge” anyway, so maybe even with printing on “best” there was medium to light ink on the fabric.

Of course if you used a new cartridge, and the fancy fandango full graphic three color design, you really do need this step.

After about 5 minutes of letting this set in cold water, gently remove, fold twice and press between towel to get rid of excess water. DO NOT SQUEEZE OR WRING!

I patted mine almost dry, then with DRY iron on cotton setting, gently press ink side to set the ink into the fabric. Throwing this in the dryer for 40 minutes will do the same thing, but unless you are making 1,000 labels, and just did 75 sheets of paper, it’s not the brightest thing to throw one sheet in the dryer. Ironing will do just fine.

When dry, cut labels apart, and either sew them in, or use iron on stuff to glue them onto your product. I used a pinking shears to cut them apart, and they work just fine.

If you prefer to just stitch them in, and don’t want to turn under edges or worried about raveling in the washer, then using cotton jersey knit is the key. You can use fray check on the edges, but geesh, this was supposed to be simple. You choose.

Hope this helps. Go ahead and get fancy on the next set of labels you make.

If you wish to do the more faster method, you can buy the “Printable fabric sheets” from Joann Fabric store, or online and use those instead.  I live out in the back woods, and have no such store around. I also did not want to wait for shipment. I had freezer paper, and fabric, so this was the route I took.

I also use the “Iron On Fabric Transfer” from Walmart to make a fancier label with just my shop name. This I use on non CSPIA stuff to label my pretties.

Have fun, contact me if you got problems.