Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday and Move Update! (Make sew-in labels!)

How many firemen does it take to unscrew a light bulb get a couch into a 2nd story apartment?

and you guys thought i was over exaggerating in my previous blog post huh? ;)

Also? I didn't need to be drugged up on a valium xanax cocktail for this feet--so that is an instant win.

Awright, the move continues, I'm off to put pretty little throw pillows on the couch that I'm sure bub will dissaprove of.

Hey, if he can hang model airplanes from his ceiling I can put girly pillows everywhere--ok?

While I'm gone here is April to show you loves some awe-sum tutorials for tutorial tuesday! Homegirl rocks the sewing needle like a vandal (you're welcome for now officially having Vanilla Ice stuck in your head) (ice ice baby)

hello hello new friends!! i'm april from marine parents & i am so excited to be hijacking leonora's pretty blog for the day!! i have a really easy & totally useful tutorial for all you crafty pants readers.  i originally told leonora i'd write up a cute little zip pouch tutorial, but, um.... there's only like a zillion already done.  plus, i had a project that needed to get done for MY shop.... so why not?

a little backstory about this tutorial.... 

i've been ordering sew-in tags for my products that i sell in my etsy shop for the past several months.  the lady that i order from makes BOMB labels, they are seriously awesome, buttttt...... it just takes too long for her to ship them to me!  so this last time i wanted an order, it took the shop owner two weeks to contact me regarding a custom listing {keep in mind, no work has been done on the order, she just didn't write back about my request for the order for two weeks.  yeah....}  so i got it in my head that i could make my own tags.  and i did.  and now you can, too.  :]

first, let's gather up some materials....
  • twill tape {i got mine from twilltape.com -- cheap & very fast shipping!}
  • t-shirt transfer paper {go to joann's or michael's, use a 40% off coupon}
  • iron, scissors/rotary cutter, fray check

first, the not so crafty part {unless you are super talented in design like my girl, leonora!}.  use whatever platform you have {photoshop or a freebie like picnik!}.  create a label using graphics, text, pictures, etc & adjust it to the size label you want to use for your products {i use a label that is one inch high and one and a half inches wide}.  now you want to mirror your image.

if you are using photoshop, check your toolbar along the top, and select "image" --> "rotate" --> "flip horizontal" //  and that's it!  you need to do this so that when you transfer your label from the transfer paper to the twill tape it will read correctly.

now create a new document in photoshop, make it the same height as your labels will be, but 8.5 inches wide {like a piece of computer paper}.  drag, drop & properly align as many label graphics that will fit in that document.... like this::

now, creating one last document to make a full sheet of these bad boys, you'll want to make your document 8.5 x 11 -- then drag, drop & align your document that you just made {the one that was 8.5 wide by however tall your labels are} into this new document.  did that sound confusing? take a look....

fill up the entire document, print on a regular piece of paper to make sure you are happy with the size & cutting allowance between each label, then print on to your transfer paper according to the package directions.  i let mine set & cool for 30 minutes before i moved on to the next step.

using a rotary cutter & straight edge {or scissors, but the rotary cutter makes it sooo nice & easy!}, cut your paper into strips.  make sure you cut slow because the transfer paper is super slick & moves easily.  set up your ironing station.  you'll need a strong work surface, like a wood cutting board.  don't use your ironing board, it's not firm enough!  you'll also need to cover your board with a pillowcase.  i used a random piece of wood we have laying around to cut things on.

now is the real tedious, but totally satisfying, part of the project!! unroll some of your twill tape & line up a strip of printed transfer paper with it.  i fold my tags in half, so i made sure to have a quarter inch allowance along the top and bottom for sewing.

now iron!  following the directions of the transfer paper, use the highest setting, no steam & press for 20-30 seconds.  peel the paper off immediately. {and by immediately i mean about 10 seconds after you pull the iron so that you don't burn your fingers!}

i found that pulling the paper quickly rather than slowly gave me less of the shiny "just transferred -- ironed on" look.  so, cool ten seconds, pull quickly, be happy.  now do more....

at this point you may be so giddy with your new tags that you will want to cut them up & sew them into something.  remain calm.  do not cut.... yet.  unless you are sewing the tag to a product that will never.ever.ever be washed or ironed.  ever.

if you ARE sewing these cutesy tags into something washable, you'll need to wash the tags first so that they won't bleed later.  i stuck the entire length of printed twill tape in the pillowcase & washed on a cold cycle with a mild soap, then tumbled dry on LOW.  don't get antsy here -- you've worked hard, and you want your hard work to pay off!!

pull your tape out of the dryer & every so lightly, press it flat & smooth again with your iron.  now we can cut {yippee!!!}

just keep cutting & cutting & cutting.... from one piece of transfer paper & about two yards of twill tape, i was able to cut 79 tags with a few that didn't make quite make the cut.  that's about $2 worth of materials and an hour or so of work for tons of sew in labels!!

you can leave your tags as is, or if you are like me & don't like fraying -- you can lay them all out on a flat surface & fray check 'em!  it only takes a few seconds to run the bottle of fray check down the tags & they dry in about 10 minutes.

and now you are D-O-N-E!!! you have lots of sew in labels ready & you never have an excuse to run out {especially when you are sewing holiday orders all.night.long!!}  these little tags would be a great gift for a crafty friend, or perfect to stitch onto your kids' belongings {coat, backpack, lunchbox, superhero cape}.  the possibilities are endless.... so go sew something!


i hope you learned something new that will make your life easier & save you some cash!! i'd love to connect with you again, let's be best friends!


  1. whoa - the labels are amazing. the firemen (minus the hot sauce), soooo awesome! ;) YEAH for men that save the world!

  2. um, this is so totally beyond me but so totally awesome at the same time. she is a whiz at making labels!

  3. Reminds me of the time I moved in to an apartment in Boston and we had to use rope to hoist the couch up to the second story-- eek! Getting it out was even worse (I couldn't watch). I think the fire dept. method is much better :)
    Love the label tutorial too-- so awesome!

  4. O. M. G.

    *note to self for next move* - Firemen (nuff said)


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