I tend to be cheap when it comes to items I WANT but might not NEED. Personal Labels have been on my 'want' list for a while now. They tend to be a little expensive to special order and I don't own a nice embroidery machine to zip a few up on a whim. What I do own is a computer, a printer and a few other items to make easy labels.
I've seen packages of Printable fabric paper available pretty much everywhere now. Bleh. That is still out of my price range. I did mention I'm cheap didn't I? You can try using pre-packaged printable fabric, this project doesn't use it. This project was posted on a forum I'm a member of, I didn't think it up I'm just passing it on. I have added my commentary in (( double brackets)).
Total Cost for project depends on how many labels you are looking to make. I spent $7 in total for a roll of freezer paper and 12" of cotton fabric. Freezer paper was just about $6 of that budget. Its a huge roll so I know I'll be using it for several other projects as well. It will get used!!
* Microsoft Word, Open Office or Adobe Photoshop ((I own a MAC so I don't have 'Word', I used a free program from http://www.avery.com that has free templates))
* B/W or Color Printer ((I used a color printer))
* good quality, thin, evenweave cotton ((Zippedshut used 100% cotton from the fabric department of wal-mart))
*freezer paper (it's paper on one side and plastic on the other. Reynold's makes a nice one)
1. Create a document template with rows and columns which are the size of clothing label you would like. Be sure to include seam allowances on whatever side you'll be attaching your label with. ((If you've downloaded the free Avery templates this goes faster plus you can add images if you'd like))
2. Using the font of your choice, clip art, etc., create your labels within the template.
3. Prepare your fabric. Wash (do NOT use fabric softener) and rinse with a vinegar solution to be sure that all sizing/soap residue is removed. Tumble dry for 15 minutes (NO dryer sheet) and then iron while slightly damp (NO startch) . Be careful that the fabric remains on the grain and doesn't stretch or twist.
((I skipped this step. lol. You can do it or skip it. I can say from experience that it won't make a difference))
4. With the plastic side facing the fabric, apply the freezer paper to the fabric with a hot, dry iron. It might bubble a bit. Don't worry about that.
5. Using a piece of paper from you printer as a template, cut out sections of your paper/fabric.
Note: You can either cut on the grain or the bias. I cut mine on the bias so that I could leave the edges raw and they wouldn't fray.
6. Print your label document on the paper/fabric pieces. Be sure that the edges lay flat when you insert them into the printer or it might not feed properly.
7. Remove paper backing and allow ink to dry completely.
((once I let the ink dry I went ahead and ran the iron back over the labels before stripping off the paper backing. Heat sets the ink nicely even if you have already peeled the backing off))
8. Fill a baking sheet with vinegar. Soak your sheet of labels for about five minutes (this sets the ink, further). Remove, and rinse with cool water.
Note: Some colors will bleed or fade when placed in the vinegar bath, hence my suggestion to use black.
(( I did a set with half black and half green. The black stayed thru vigorous washing by hand. The green faded after a few times in the sink. I suggest making a test page of all colors and seeing what does what. I'm going to attempt a rainbow test page today.))
9. Tumble dry on high heat until only slightly damp, and then iron with a hot iron. This finishes setting the ink.
10. Cut your labels to size.
And you're done! You'll be surprised how easy it is and how good they look. I've been sewing for so long, it's a lot of fun to finally have my own labels. :)
I found this to be a quick and helpful project. Hopefully it helps you as well.