Frontier Label

DIY Custom Labels

There is a growing movement with websites like and to create and hand-make all sorts of products that you would normally purchase from a big box store or shopping mall.

If you are looking to make a small amount of toys, or a hand full of a certain project, then hand-making your labels makes sense. It can add to the value of your product and show the genuineness of your goal of making something by hand. If you want to make your own labels or stickers, here are some things to consider or procure before starting:

1. How many will you be needing? What size will the finished label be? This will determine the amount of material needed to produce the labels.

2. What is the method that you will employ to attach the labels to your product or project? There are several methods, only a few will be listed here: material with existing adhesive, wet glue, sprayed adhesive, string or ribbon tie, rubber cement, or hot glue. You can use any of these methods to attach a label, or hang tag in the case of tying.

3. What supplies will you need to attach the label? For any of the adhesives, you will need the adhesive itself plus a utensil to spread wet or hot glues evenly. You will need a pair of scissors. If you are making a hang tag, you will need the string or ribbon.

4. Next, you will need to figure out what kind of material upon which you would like to print or produce your label. For refrigerated or bath environments, try a plastic or vinyl material. For outdoor use, we recommend a vinyl. For other indoor uses, go with a paper. With papers, the thicker the paper, the more upscale the label will appear. A texture can further improve the handcrafted sense.

5. If you plan to print using an inkjet or laserjet printer, make sure that the material stock is designed with your printer in mind. If you are going to draw or write upon the label, test out your handwriting with different writing utensils to see the different effects and how they interact with the material. Tip: draw outlines for text and images lightly in pencil first, then fill in with pen or marker, finishing by erasing any visible pencil marks.

6. If you are planning to make several of the same thing, you may consider producing one handmade label on plain white stock and scanning it into your computer so that you can print out copies for easier reproduction. Tip: If you are going to make only one original copy and reproduce the rest, make it at least twice as large as necessary so that you can scale it down on the computer to help hide mistakes or uneven lines.

7. If you are applying an adhesive label, you will want to put it onto the product consistently. Find a method that is easy to repeat, won’t wear you out and places the label consistently in the same spot. You may want to practice with blank material before applying finished labels.

8. Apply all labels, then sit back with a glass of sweet tea (we are from South Carolina) and admire your handiwork.

Good luck!

If you are making a large quantity of handmade products, you may want to consider using a company like Frontier Label to help you with your labels. Because we are a digital printer, we can handle any artwork you send in. We have helped a customer by printing a hand-painted label that was scanned in to help their wine have a handcrafted feel even though it was printed by us.

We would love to help you make your own labels in any way that we can. Feel free to give us a call at 877-277-4682 or click the “Live Chat” link at the bottom of this page if you have any questions or comments.