Jul 31, 2009

How To Make Ribbon/Fabric Labels: Tutorial

A special thank you to Silly Gilly for allowing me permission to post her tutorial for making fabric/ribbon labels on my blog. Below are some very simple instructions, but to see the fabulous, full color tutorial with photos, please see her blog at www.sillygillykids.blogspot.com

Ribbon label tutorial
I needed a cheaper alternative to having my product labels custom made in the form of woven labels. It just seemed that I was going through them at a rapid pace of knots, and working out at approx $34 for 50 labels, it was just not in my budget. I also wanted a graphic on my label and that would cost even more!

So ingenuity came to the fore and I realised I can make my own labels for less than $20. So here is the Silly Gilly tutorial on making your own custom ribbon labels.....

Materials required:
A4 plain paper
Iron-on T-Shirt Transfer paper
Ribbon (I use white 15mm wide double faced Satin ribbon)
Iron and ironing board
Printer (I use an ink jet printer)
Computer with graphics program

Step 1:
Decide on the image you want on your label. Get handy with your computer and, using an image manipulation program (I use Photoshop) create a whole page full of your logo. I adapted my Silly Gilly store logo. I have created it so that it will be a horizontal label which is folded in half.

Step 2:
Repeat it in rows to fit across the page and space them so that each row has a small amount of space around it to enable easy cutting out. Make sure your images are printed on the page reverse. This enables the image to come out the right way on the label. Do a trial run with a plain piece of paper to ensure it fits and that the images are spaced correctly.

Step 3:
Load your printer with your chosen T-Shirt Transfer paper and print your images. I print my images with the printer set on 'Standard' print and on plain paper. You may have a setting for your printer for Transfer paper.

Cut out each image individually, ensuring the height of each image will fit onto the ribbon you will be using.

Step 4:
Following the instructions particular to your T-Shirt Transfer paper, lay the cut out printed images on the ribbon and iron. I allow a small amount of ribbon between each image so that there is a seam allowance when you come to attach the label.

Step 5:
Cut out each individual label and it's ready to use on your next project!!

My pack of T-Shirt Transfer paper contained 5 x A4 sheets and I can fit approx 270 labels on those 5 sheets. Which makes the labels a lot more cost effective than buying custom made woven labels.

My example above is shown with a fold in the center as I use these on side seams as shown in the following pictures:
Hopefully this tutorial will help you if you want to save a little bit of money and have an entirely unique option for labeling your wares. Please feel free to ask any questions as this is my first attempt at writing a tutorial! Good luck and I'd love to see some examples of your efforts.


  1. It's very easy to do and would work well for crafts. With my experience a few years ago, I used this same process to make labels for cloth diapers (using satin ribbon) and the words washed off...But perhaps it would work better on grosgrain ribbon though? Has anyone else had to wash their tags with success?

  2. Oh and I'd say you could make the tags between 10 and 15 dollars--

    A small pack of transfer paper (3 to 6 sheets) is 7 to 10 dollars*.

    Plus the ribbon shouldn't be more than what...3 dollars a roll?
    So if you got just one roll, assuming you only need one:-)
    We're at just 10 to 13 dollars for paper and ribbon.
    *7 to 8 dollars using one coupon for 40 to 50% off the paper*

    Why am I doing calculations this late anyways? Well hope this description helps someone, lol;-))

    *There's a least one coupon in the Sunday paper for the Arts and Crafts Stores, (i.e. A.C.Moore or Michael's off one Regular priced item.
    If you get that, the pack would be like 4 or 5 dollars

  3. I have Adobe photo shop elements 11, I have designed my label. I need help as I can not find where I get the grid to add the art work to, also where do you go to reverse the type? Please someone help me!!!