Instructables

Printing on plastic labels

I'd like to make some waterproof sticky labels.

There are special waterproof papers that work with some inkjets and some inks but I wondered if there might be an alternative.

Thoughts so far.

  • Use a fabric dye like Dylon (tm) in an inkjet cartridge to print onto the plastic label directly.
  • Or print as above onto paper and transfer the image onto plastic labels using chemicals and/or heat
  • Could laser toner be transferred onto plastic using similar methods ?

mikeasaurus5 years ago
What about using the those printers that cashiers use in grocery stores to print your receipts, the ones that print onto that weird shiny paper? Your waterproof labels might work instead . Then your design could be any images you could load into the printer, imagine the possibilities! You could check out an electronics surplus for a junk cashier's printer. I saw a mall get demolished the other day and wondered if all the cool stuff was taken out before the demo. Keep your eyes peeled. I guess this option depends on how many labels you want to print and how involved you want to get.
scubascooby (author) 5 years ago
I am currently evaluating some polyester labels that can be laser printed. They have survived several hours in and out of salt water. I only have a B&W laser but that will do for now. The same company also does some polyethylene inkjet labels but I haven't tested them yet.
8 bit dot matrix printer? my friend makes tags for the network cables on a very old one uses a thick paper that is coated zip ties them on. As the tags were useing would crumble / fade / or fall off .the network is a collage campus about 10,000 miles of cat cable
gmjhowe5 years ago
Use a fabric dye like Dylon (tm) in an inkjet cartridge to print onto the plastic label directly.
- Good idea, but you would have to make sure that the printer was old and ready to get thrown out, as it would most probably wreck the tubes

Or print as above onto paper and transfer the image onto plastic labels using chemicals and/or heat
- You could try using one of the t-shirt transfer kits, onto plastic, that might work.

Could laser toner be transferred onto plastic using similar methods ?
- I work at a print works, and im sure we have used some material that was laser printable but waterproof. Do not attempt putting plastic through the heat from the fuser will most probably melt the plastic.

Also, we have used some litho printable stickers before, that were used in a frozen storage area, this meant that had to be fine when condensation forms. They were both waterproof, an remained stuck when wet.
The downside is that the Ink we use on a litho machine is oil based.
Inkjet printers are water based, meaning that a normal inkjet may not work when printing on them.
scubascooby (author)  gmjhowe5 years ago
I did find some inkjet waterproof paper but it only worked with certain inks and certain printers. Typically, my Canon isn't one of them. I have an old BJ10 that uses a cartridge with it's own head so it wouldn't wreck the printer to use a dye in it. Still not sure it would print on plastic labels though. I want to produce some playing card sized labels that will survive sea water and quite a lot of sunlight. What are Dymo labels and inks ?
lemonie5 years ago
Depending upon what you want out of these at the end:

Print on non waterproof labels and laminate them between two sheets of self-adhesive film:

Lamination film topside-----------------------------
Lamination film stickyside--------------------------
Labels +++++ +++++ +++++ +++++ +++++
Lamination film topside-----------------------------
Lamination film stickyside--------------------------
Backing to peel off=====================

?

L