Tuesday, August 24, 2010

57 You Asked: Label Me!

One of the most popular questions I have ever gotten here at IHeart Organizing is.....

"How do you make all your labels?!?!!?!"

Everyone who knows me, knows I am a little label fanatic.  In fact, you have seen my label episodes pop up all over this blog, from our playroom to the kid's drawers to our garage to our snack bins....

Oofta, so sorry my friendly readers, I know this is SO overdue!  I was without my program of choice for a while, which had put me out of the "how to" option, but now I am back in business!

My secret weapon, Microsoft Excel!  It is SO user friendly, which is just what a gal with three kid's and little time for learning fancy editing programs needs!

So here is a quick step by step play of what I do to make a quick label, or 542 of them...

For this quick play by play, I am going to make a label for little girls play clothes, since it's a label I have never personally been able to make for my family of boys!

{Blogger shrinks down my images, however, at any time you can click on it and it should enlarge for you to get a better view if necessary.  Also, please note, I use Microsoft Office 2007, however, most versions of Microsoft Excel have similar options and verbiage}

1.  Open Microsoft Excel, and select "Insert" and then "Shape".  Select your favorite shape to use for labels.



2.  Once the shape appears on the screen, you can right click it.  A green button will appear that can be dragged around to free rotate the object.  You can also right click to see a menu and select "Size & Properties".  I do this to ensure the size selected is proportionate {height x width}.


I had chosen to rotate the label straight up and down, using the green button.  I also updated the size to be an exact 3 x 3 scale.


3.  Now is where the fun comes in.  Anything is possible when you right click and select, "Format Shape".  You can select the shape outline and fill. 


I chose to do a Picture fill and select a pre-saved pink floral background to fill in the label {I found a background image through Google, saved it to my computer and found the file to use as a label filler}.  Then I selected the "Line Color" to update the line color to pink and selected "Line Style" to update the line's weight and make it dotted vs. linear.



4.  Because I created a label with a fill, I need to add another shape to the top, that is of a solid color, to ensure that the actual label wording or pictures are visible.  I do this by repeating steps 1-3.


This time I went with a simple white circle, no line.


5.  There are times when I choose to add a picture to the label.  This is typically how I handle kiddo labels, since the younger munchkins can't read yet.  Since this label would be for a little gal's dress up clothes, a picture is in order!

I will just use Microsoft's embedded clip-art, however, more can be found here at Microsoft.com.


I just clicked "Insert: Clip Art" and searched for "ballerina".  I then sized the clip-art down and dragged it into my desired location.



6.  It's time to add some text!  This of course is also completely optional, but for the sake of the tutorial, I will do a quick play by play of how I add some font to the label.

I select, "Insert: WordArt"


Then, using the formatting option, I select the color, outline, font, etc... for the WordArt.


For this example, I went with a "BlackJack" font type and pink fill.


However, it didn't fit perfectly, so rather than shrinking down the font, making it harder to read, I decided to curve it instead...


Giving me the end result of an uber adorable girly "Play Clothes" label!


And there you have it!  A couple of easy peasy steps and you are ready for some life changing, room enhancing, extremely organized updates!!

Of course, the options are endless, and nothing is permanent, it's always easy to make changes within the program as the label is evolving.  All of the things I have learned is through playing with the program, reading help tutorials and seeing what the program can offer. 

I also use Microsoft Excel to make all of my spreadsheets and monograms, I just heart that program to pieces! 

Happy label making!!

57 comments:

  1. I'm a huge label fan - thanks for the tip!

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  2. Where did you find that background? Im confused when you say presaved.

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  3. Wow! I just love your blogs and everything on your site. Your ideas are so cute yet simple and functional. I love Ikea and Target. I could quit my job and spend all day labeling. Right now I just have a regular label printer. Nowhere near as fun and bright as yours.

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  4. Thanks so much! Can't wait to make labels!

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  5. I just made the cutest labels for my 10mth old daughter's room! That was pretty darn easy!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  6. First, so sorry about your flood. Thanks for the label tutorial! I would never have thought they were made in excel.

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  7. Hi Heidi!

    I found a background image through Google, saved it to my computer and found the file to use as a label filler. I hope that helps a little, thanks for the comment, I updated the blog to be more clear.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  8. OMG. I heart making labels. When I was a little kid I actually organized and labeled the books in my bookshelf according to my own personal version of the dewey decimal system (my mom worked at the library). How nerdy is that?

    Anyway, I love your blog. Like you, I also heart organizing. Thanks for the great posts!

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  9. Thanks for the tutorial. I didn't know you could do all of this in excel. I couldn't figure out how to move the text. When I edited it (after clicking insert word art) It was located on the side of my label. How do I move it? I know it has to be easy. Help!!

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  10. Wow, I got distracted yesterday and forgot to tell you how much I LOVE this tutorial!

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  11. Thanks for the tutorial! I also wanted to share with you my summer project.. reorganizing my craft area in my basement:

    http://lifeuncluttered.blogspot.com/2010/07/operation-organization-take-two-part-ii.html

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  12. Thanks so much for this excellent tutorial! I've been admiring your labels for awhile now. Love everything about your blog!!

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  13. Hi Kat!

    I just use my mouse to click it and drag it. Let me know if that doesn't work for you...

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  14. HI there!
    I just came upon your blog and LOVE it! I'm somewhat of an organized person but not very creative.
    Looks like you share TONS of great ideas. Can't wait to start following along.

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  15. Love love LOVE these easy labels!! Thanks so much!

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  16. Do you laminate these... or just tape them on?

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  17. Hi Cassie!

    It totally just depends on where I am using the label. I typically do laminate them, and then use velcro squares to attach them. However, a hole punch and ribbon is always great as well!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  18. Hi Jen,

    Great tutorial, What kind of printer are u using for your labels and other oraganizing projects.

    Regards,
    Sangeetha

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  19. Hi Sangeetha!

    I currently just use a HP Photosmart C5280. Nothing too fancy, but it still does a great job!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  20. I am so glad I found your blog! You have such creative and doable ideas. I love that your ideas are so pleasing to the eye and are all so inexpensive/crafty.

    A quick question: do you own a laminating machine? If so was it expensive? I have two small kids and think that might be a helpful tool to have around so that I can preserve some of their stuff, make wipe off lists, etc..

    Keep up the phenomenal work!

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    Replies
    1. Sue from VermontJune 24, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      I don't laminate things very often, so I just use 2 sheets of clear contact paper, with the card stock label sandwiched in between.

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  21. Hi Lisa!

    I am also glad you found the blog! ;)

    I do use a laminator, ALL THE TIME for the kiddos thigns. I found mine at Target for around $30 and it has been very worth the investment! And I also keep my eye open for sales on the laminating packs.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  22. OMG....Thank you so much for giving this tutorial! I had no idea you could use excel like that! My hubby is a spreadsheet making maniac but I didn't know it could do all that! I all ready made labels for my daughters dresser. Now I just need to get some more laminator sheets so I can get them on there! Thanks again for taking the time!!!

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  23. Hi Jen,

    Just to let you know I come back to this time after time. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

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  24. that is great idea!!! I know what Im going to do tonight!

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  25. Hi Jen,
    Thanks for a great blog - You have given me a lot of great inspiration.
    Do you have any info on what you use for laminating?
    Thanks!

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  26. I have a Mac :( (I think that's the first time I have ever frowned re: having a mac....)

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  27. Very cool!

    Michelle - they have Office for Mac too!

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  28. @Michelle, you should be able to do the same thing with Microsoft Excel for Mac! :) xoxo, Jen

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  29. LOVE this post Jen!! I can't wait to try it out and make some fun labels. I know I can find something else to label around here...

    :)

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  30. This is a great tutorial! I use Excel all the time at work but never even thought of using it for something so beautiful and creative!

    Question: WHAT shape is that?? Is it a circle, and you somehow stretched the corner into a point? Is there some kind of teardrop shape in Excel that I'm not seeing??

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  31. @Alyssa, my version of Excel {2007} has the teardrop shape in the shapes selection tool.

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  32. L O V E the tutorial - thanks! this post has been pinned on my 'projects' pinterest board for future reference - can't wait to try it out!! :)

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  33. I have very limited experience with Excel. After you make the label, how do you make it print all 542?

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  34. Hi Jen:
    I just wanted to thank you for such a great tutorial. I am a sort of a new reader to your blog but you have inspired me to new heights! I just went back and read your January Paper Project and it was such help because I am in the process of re-organizing all the overflow. Thank you again! Karina

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  35. I found you via Pinterest. This is brilliant! I had no idea you could use Excel for this. I am following this to make labels for the new toy shelves we got for my son! Thank you so much for the step-by-step instructions!

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  36. Thank you so much for this tutorial!! Yay I made a cute label for my basket of "library books". I will be posting it on my blog soon! :)

    Cath @ Home is Where my Heart is

    http://cathhasablog.blogspot.com/

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  37. Awesome tutorial! I shared it on my blog here: http://seedsthatyouplant.blogspot.com/2012/01/low-cost-organizing.html

    Thank you so much!

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  38. Hi Jen! I found your blog via Pinterest a few weeks ago and I'm in looooove! The first night I read your blog I had to force myself to go to bed because I could have stayed up all night reading all of your tips. I'd love to start doing some of the wonderful things I've seen you share here on your blog. I'd like to start making labels for items around my house and found this post. I've read it a few times, but I'm still not sure what I print the labels out on? I've always used sheets of Avery labels and was wondering if using this process on Excel will work with sheets of labels? Thanks for your help and inspiration!

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    1. These labels are typically printed on cardstock and cutout. Maybe even laminated. They are typically larger and more decorative.

      I do use Avery to print smaller labels, I just download the Avery templates and go from there.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  39. You smart cookie!! thanks for the tips...who knew that program that creates the most mundane data work for me, could also be so fun!!??

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  40. Who knew! Thanks so much for the tutorial, I love using Excel! Love your blog and all yoru fantastic ideas! I have been inspired daily since discovering it!

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  41. I LOVE your blog! I am going to start with a pantry overhall and I wanted to see if you have any ideas for labels that I could make that could get wet when I have to wash the containers.

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    1. Laminating them could work if you were careful with them, however, vinyl labels would probably work best. You could do either vinyl letters or vinyl chalkboard.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  42. Love this tutorial...how do u make multiple labels on one page without having to reformat the labels again?? I want to copy 6 labels on one page, but when I try to copy and paste I have to re add the text boxes again.

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    1. I hear you! That happens to me as well, sometimes copying and pasting doesn't work all that well. I think the trick is highlighting around the entire cell area that the text box is included in.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. Hi girls - I am trying this right now and found that you can select all components of the label {hold the shift key down while clicking on all 4 - one at a time} and then "Group" them. I use Microsoft Excel 2010; and "Group" is under Picture Tools >> Format >> Arrange >> Group. In the Arrange section, Group is in the right column. Once you group them, you can copy and paste the whole thing. The nice thing is that you can still edit each piece; so you can copy and paste a bunch of them, and then change the picture and the wording in each one. Hope this makes sense?

      BTW - I'm a HUGE fan of your blog Jen - I'm on it every day! Thank you for sharing everything with us!

      ~Julianne~

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  43. Love this! Thanks for the tutorial... Now I have a zillion things I want to label! Such an easy project that will literally cost me nothing but paper and ink I already have!! Now I just need a laminator!! :)

    @Julianne-thanks for the tip on grouping that helps when you have multiple labels you want to make!!

    Can't wait to get to labeling!!

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  44. Thank you so much for the step by step directions of creating labels!! I'm a huge fan of labels and absolutely love labels!!!

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  45. Thank you for this great tutorial! The link to the "monograms and spreadsheets" doesn't seem to be working . . . any chance you could let us know the date you posted about the process of making those so we could look for it that way? Thank you and LOVE your blog!

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  46. OH MY GOSH!!!!!!! This is such a wonderfuk post THANKYOU Jen! I have just made some of THE cutest labels using this info! My Children are going to br thrilled when I print them out :-) I found you via Pinterst and have had your blog open for the past 2 weeks telling everyone I know about it! You have me re thinking our whole house.....all 2 bedrooms of it. Small spaces require serious thinking and I cant wait to get started! We cleaned out our garage on the weekend.....and I FORGOT to take before photos to email ARGH. I know I will have plenty of projects to take on thanks to your inspirational blog - Thankyou

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  47. Hi Jen! Again, here I am finding more amazing ideas to LOVE! Thank you! Quick question: Why did you use Excel (as opposed to Word or something else)? Is there an advantage to using Excel? I know I could create the same thing in Word. Just wondering...

    :)

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  48. The main reason is because I have been using Excel for years, but I also find it offers more customization and formatting freedom than word does. But you should just use what you know and what is easiest for you. :)

    xo,
    Jen

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  49. I just found your blog while browsing around to find cute ways to organize my new homemade cleaning products, which I am ohhh so proud of :)

    You probably know that you have a graphic designer in you! I was wondering what font you used for the homemade cleaning products - I wanted to make one for my foaming cleaner to match the rest (just liquid castile soap and water in a spray bottle), hope you don't mind.. Thank you in advance, and congratulations on a wonderful blog and such a well rounded life!

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  50. Hi Jen! I've been exploring your blog for months, and somehow I only discovered this post today. As someone who uses Office for college assignments and work-related documents, I had never thought to use Word for any labels other than ones for mailing (HA!). This is great! I just whipped up some color-coordinated laundry basket labels for each of our three family members. Thanks so much for sharing your process!

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  51. Sorry to ask if this has already been answered, but how do you get them on sticky paper and how do you cut them out where they aren't all rough and ragged?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Whitney,

      I print them out on my printer, send them through a laminator and just cut them with a regular set of scissors. This has worked great for me for many years.

      xo!

      Delete

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