I've always been someone who loves personalizing their items. Back in middle school, I mod-podged all my binders with cutesy quotes and pictures...but now that I have graduated with a degree in Visual Communications (ahhh finally!), I had to upgrade to more professional-looking labels to adorn all the jars in my new home. During my last spring semester, I learned and applied this little trick for the Myriad recipe book packaging design display. It's so easy that I knew I'd be using it forever.
Step 1: Design labels. I created these using InDesign, and designed them all similarly since I knew the items would all be sitting together.
Step 2: Laserjet print labels onto regular, white copy paper. It's imperative here that you use a laserjet printer because of the differences in ink. If you're not sure which your printer is, laserjet printers use toner, whereas inkjet printers use ink cartridges (often magenta, yellow, cyan, and black). There is no need to reverse your image at this stage. If you don't have a laserjet printer, you can take your file to a place like FedEx or Kinko's; they'll have a laserjet printer you can use.
Step 3: Apply clear packing tape to the front of the paper, on the printed side. (I used Gorilla packing tape.) Burnish by rubbing the back of a spoon or bone folder. Trim the paper with tape to the desired size.
Step 4: Soak labels in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
Step 5: Once labels have been soaking, you can begin to take them out one by one to remove the paper. To do this, lay the label with the tape side down on a flat, clean surface. Hold firmly with one hand while gently rubbing the paper off the back with your index finger on the other hand. Be careful not to rub too vigorously to rub the toner ink off of the tape; you just want the paper to come off.
Step 6: Allow to dry on paper towel with sticky side facing up. When the tape is wet, it will seem to not be sticky - but it will be sticky again once it has dried.
Step 7: Examine your labels. Often times, there will be small patches of paper left on the label that you missed before because it was damp. Re-wet the label and remove any remaining paper. Allow to dry again.
Step 8: Once your labels are fully clear and dried, carefully stick them to your clean and dry surface. Press from the center of the label to the outside, removing bubbles along the way.
That's it! I made labels for all the jars in my kitchen, as well as my Abhyanga oil jar! The best part is, they were cheap to make and come off cleanly so I can switch them out whenever I feel like it!