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label making 101

I had a couple February babies to sew for, so I went back to the Simple Sewing for Baby snugglers pattern – they come together so nicely, especially when you’re on your fourth one! This one’s for baby Sophia, who’s due to arrive sometime this week. I figured since she already has a name, I’d personalize it.

And since I’ve been on a labeling kick lately, I thought I’d share a little bit about how I make them (and drag out some past label and tag photos, too).

Here’s the rundown on the supplies I use for stamped labels: twill tape (available in many colors and widths, but here’s the kind I use), alphabet stamps, and a fabric stamp pad. I use StazOn ink – now that I look at the product description, it just says “multi-surface stamping”, but I’ve never had a problem using it on fabric. VersaCraft makes one especially for fabric, so you could try that, too.

There are also lots of options for letter stamps, but mine are made by Hero Arts. I have this lowercase set. I couldn’t find a link to my exact uppercase set (I’ve had both sets for 10+ years), but this one is close – it looks like they’ve swapped out the punctuation (mine came with ! and ? and &) for shapes, but the letters are exactly the same. The uppercase set includes numbers too, which is handy.

After stamping on the tape, press it with a hot iron to set the ink. Then sew on your label, either by hand or by machine. Easy! I like to pink the edges of my labels, but you can press the edges to the inside before sewing it on if you want a cleaner look.

I love being able to spell out names and make ridiculous little labels with the letter stamps. These were made with the same twill tape, just folded in half.

Of course you can use any old stamp to make a label…

And there are other options besides stamping, too. Here’s snuggler number four, with an embroidered name label. This one’s for baby Eleanor, who was born yesterday!

Embroidered labels are easy too, even if you don’t have much experience with hand stitching. I write the name with a water soluble pen, then use one strand of embroidery floss, doubled on the needle, to create a backstitch (here‘s a very simple explanation of this very simple stitch). The smaller your stitches are around the curves, the rounder your letters will look.

And more labels. You can also sew a fabric cut-out onto the tape or just machine stitch a design.

Or just use a piece of ribbon or fabric.

Tags are great for simple elastic waist pants and skirts, because it can be hard to tell the front from the back, especially for kids just learning to dress themselves. They’re also just a fun way to personalize the things you’ve made. And of course, they’re not just for clothing. You can pretty much slap a label on anything you make. Like Valentines or tea bags, for example.

By the way, thanks for all your kind comments about those tiny tea bags. They took some trial and error but really weren’t difficult to make. I was wondering – would anyone want to give it a try at home if I posted a tutorial?

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