Shelley Made: Custom Labels with Spoonflower

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Custom Labels with Spoonflower

Here is an attempt at my first tutorial of sorts.  I recently found Spoonflower - a fantastic way of printing your own fabric.  My first thought was to try and get some labels made to sew into my kids clothes...  I make a lot of things for them, and getting my four year old to realise front from back will be a LOT easier with some labels!



Step 1 - Design
To start - I created a template in Photoshop.  I allowed a 1/4 inch all around each label for a seam allowance, and decided the finished (folded) size would be 1 3/4 x 1/2 inch.  So each "label" to print would be 2 1/4 wide by 1 1/2 long.  Make sense?  Here is what it looked like.  The little blue lines don't print - they are the guides I used to line everything up.

I did put some light grey lines in between each label to make it easier to cut - but note to self - next time use a DARKER grey.  They were so light they didn't print!




Step 2 - Order

I uploaded the file as a jpg to Spoonflower.  Very easy.  I chose to have it printed as a swatch which gave me 20 labels - which I thought was a good start, and a good test of my label designing skills!




Step 3 Wait!

Wait for your fabric to arrive, nicely wrapped in tissue with a cute little Spoonflower label.  That's the hard part!


Step 4 - Prepare the Fabric

This is what arrived...  I was very happy with how they looked!

I took the photo after washing, drying, and ironing.  A good thing to do with any fabric is to prewash before you use it...so I did!



Step 6 - Cut

Next I cut the fabric to size using a rotary cutter - but if you can cut a straight line with scissors - go for it!

This is where my cutting lines would have come in handy!  Next time - darker grey!  See how there is more space under the design - that is the back of the label...  It will be come clearer...



Step 7 - Sew and trim

Next, I fold each label in half - rights sides together, and sew a 1/4 inch seam down the two short sides...


I made sure I backstitched so they wouldn't unravel when turning.
Trim the seam allowance down by about half.  You could sew a smaller seam to skip this part - but I find it easier to work with 1/4 inch


Step 8 - Turn and Press

Turn your label out - and use something like a knitting needle to poke out the corners.  Give it a quick iron and you are done!  You have an open end complete with 1/4 inch blank fabric at the top - ready to sew into a waistband, neckband, etc.

So - the progression:



Now go and sew it into something nice :)


19 comments:

  1. How much did this cost you (if you don't mind my asking)!? I'm always looking for a good money-saving craft venture!! Thanks for this!

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    1. The swatch was $5. If you order more fabric - it gets exponentially cheaper :) Next time I'll order a fat quarter (which would give around 110 labels for $9.90, or a yard would give you around 440 labels for $16.20! Obviously depending on your chosen size of label :)

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    2. Super duper thanks!! That is A-Mazing!!!!!!!

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  2. Excellent idea! I've done some fun projects with Spoonflower, from knit robot-print shorts for my girls to a custom photo square for a retirement quilt. Plus their weekly fabric design contests always have some amazing designs.

    I do have a roll of super-boring labels with my name and email, but the fabric is obviously cheap and they don't look terribly professional. Maybe if enough of us order labels (and you send this post to the Powers That Be at Spoonflower) they'll start offering printable ribbon.

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    1. I would LOVE it if they offered printable ribbon! Maybe one day...

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  3. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing with all of us

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  4. I had never thunk of using Spoonflower for labels! Genius! Thanks!

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  5. Wonderful idea and tutorial! Just designed my labels and placed an order. Thanks again!!

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    1. Fantastic! I'm sure you will love them when they arrive :)

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  6. I used this tutorial. But instead of sewing the labels I just ironed in the sides. (The labels are for a craft swap.) I also used a printable fabric sheet as opposed to spoonflower (had the sheets on hand.) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v179/lilusa/Snapbucket/24AC5BE5-orig.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v179/lilusa/Snapbucket/739D3546-orig.jpg

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  7. Great idea - thanks for sharing!
    I'm just wondering how you found, and are able to use, the ladybug? I want to do some labels with a baby rattle to use on gifts for friends with babies but most clip art sites don't let you use their images for commercial reasons. I wouldn't be using them commercially but I'm not sure that would count as "personal" either.

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    1. I only ever use my own artwork for fabric, etc. Or free for commercial use fonts. The one exception is this little ladybug. It was drawn by my very clever sister for my daughter when she was born. She gave me permission to use it for my labels a long time ago. It always pays to check with the owner of the artwork. From what you wrote, I would consider that use to be personal, as you are not selling product, nor making any money from it. If you were to end up using the labels on items for sale, then that would be a different situation.

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  8. Nice tutorial, thanks for sharing! glad I found you and am now your newest follower! Love Katie x

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  9. Hi Shelley, thank you for this great tutorial. I was just thinking of giving all the members of my sewing club a little gift that they can use. These labels are the answer ! I'm sure they will like this and use the labels in all the handmade things ! i'm following your blog, I'm sure you will post more lovely ideas. Greetings from across the globe (Belgium, Europe) Rozemie.

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  10. What a great way to do labels...I have tried a few ways, but I think this might be the way I go...thank you for sharing this

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  11. This is a great use for Spoonflower. I love them and the quality is great. This way of making labels is so practical. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. Thank you for this tutorial about using Spoonflower for fabric labels. I'm working on mine right now. So excited!

    Which dpi did you use in photoshop?
    What dpi did you use in Spoonflower?

    I used dpi 300 and Spoonflower is pre-set to 150 in the preview window. Should I change the setting to 300 dpi in Spoonflower? I assume I do but I can't "zoom in" to confirm how it looks so I thought I would ask.

    Thanks! Holly

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    1. Hi Holly,

      Yes - you should change the dpi in Spoonflower to match. I used 150dpi for my labels, so didn't need to reduce the size in Spoonflower. Best way to check the end result is the size dimension they give. If your file is 8 inches by 8 inches - you want it to say that on your Spoonflower design too, at the relevant dpi. Hope that helps!

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