Lina and Vi: DIY Handmade Fabric Labels Tutorial

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

DIY Handmade Fabric Labels Tutorial

DIY Fabric Labels Using Iron On Transfer Paper -

Over the past weekend, I stepped away from sewing for a bit to play around with iron-on transfer paper. My first project using this paper was about a month ago, when I printed and ironed on a design for my nephew's "big brother" t-shirt that I gifted to him when his sister was born a little over two weeks ago. It was super easy to create that t-shirt, so I thought I'd experiment a bit more with it in order to create fabric tags for the Lina and Vi collections.

Back at the end of December, I mentioned in this post that I have set up goals for Lina and Vi this year. One of those goals is to improve branding so that the collections are more cohesive and professional. Adding fabric labels to the bags has been on my to-do list for many months, caught in a debate whether it was worth buying them or making them. As you can see, I decided to venture into DIY to make something to just get me moving in the right direction instead of sitting in limbo land. It was much simpler than I was expecting, and I am so happy with the end result. The labels feature the Lina and Vi logo, proudly subtitled with "Plymouth, Michigan" just underneath.

If you're interested in creating fabric labels for your handmade products, I highly recommend iron-on transfer paper to do the job. Here's how I created these handmade DIY fabric labels:



1. Design a logo or use an existing logo to create an image on your computer of the design you want for your fabric labels. For my labels, I copied my logo into a design program on my computer and added the "Plymouth, Michigan" subtitle just underneath. I then copied both the logo and the text into Word, copied it multiple times down one page to create two columns. You want to utilize all of the space on the page, while still having room to cut the images out.

2. Test print that page onto a regular piece of printer paper. Cut out the image and place it on your fabric or ribbon. Is it the size you had hoped it would be? If not, adjust it on the computer again and print another test page.

DIY Fabric Labels Using Iron On Transfer Paper -

3. Once you're happy with the size and the design, place a piece of the iron-on transfer paper into your printer. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer which will tell you which side of the paper needs to be facing up and whether you will need to mirror the image as part of the print settings before you print it out. Pay attention to the details! This paper is pricey, and you don't want to waste any. Hit print when you're ready to go.

4. Using scissors, cut out the images from the transfer paper carefully. Fire up the iron to get it warm. Put the iron on the setting as recommended by the iron-on transfer paper. You may need to wait 30 minutes for the images on the iron-on transfer paper to dry completely, but it will depend on the manufacturer.

DIY Fabric Labels Using Iron On Transfer Paper -

5. Once the iron is hot and the designs are dry on the transfer paper, begin placing the cut out designs onto your fabric or ribbon. Follow the instructions again on the transfer paper package to ensure you are placing the image the correct side up. The image should be facing up, so you can easily read it as normal.

DIY Fabric Labels Using Iron On Transfer Paper -

6. Press the iron down hard on the paper to melt the glue and adhere the image to your fabric or ribbon. Let it cool.

DIY Fabric Labels Using Iron On Transfer Paper -

7. Remove the transfer paper backing.  The image should stay on the material. It will look and feel like a screen-print on a t-shirt - a little glossy. Trim any excess dried glue.

8. Cut out the image from the material, or trim the ends if it's a ribbon as I did.

Now you can sew the label onto anything you choose by hand or by machine. You can decide if you want it to lay flush to your fabric or if it will stick out of a seam. If it's flush to a piece of fabric, you may want to turn under a bit of the edge of the label with an iron so that the raw edges aren't exposed.

I love the way these labels turned out; plus how easy they were to create! The final look is a polished, professional fabric label for the Lina and Vi burlap bags, totes, pillows, and more. It's a great, inexpensive way to add the finishing touch to handmade products, especially if you are a small operation that doesn't need 100+ labels, as many of the commercial label manufacturers are willing to offer.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful. Have you tried another way to make these? Leave a comment - I'd love to hear about it!



  1. wonderful and very professional looking! what a great idea! i'd love to use these for garments. are they washable and pressable?