Introduction: Make Custom Clear Lables

It's easy to make clear labels and with a pack of clear address labels costing from $20 to $45 I think it's worth it to make my own since I don't use them very often. This is clearly more trouble than it's worth for bulk mail labels but for a project box or bin label they can be great!

You will need:
A computer - you have that already.
A laser printer or photo copier
Tape - regular "Scotch" tape or packing tape for larger labels
Scissors - if you plan to trim the label close.

Step 1: Make Up Your Label Design

Make up your label in your favorite editor. Black and white, no gray scale, it doesn't work very well.
Use your favorite font and make the label any size that will fit under your strp of tape.

If you're using a photo copier you will have to print the page with any printer (ink jet?) then follow the rest of the printer steps using the photo copier.

Print it or photo copy it. You may want to use the external sheet feeder and mark the paper to be sure it goes through the printer the same way next time.

Step 2: Print It Again

Put a single strip of tape over the label. Cover it liberally with lots of overlap. Rub it down tight with your fingers so it sticks well.

it probably actually helps at this point to get a little finger print oil on the tape so the second printing won't stick very tightly.

Run it through the printer again being sure to put the paper into the printer or photocopier the exact same way it went through the first time.

It usually comes out with the second printing slightly misaligned from the first but it should be close enough.

Step 3: Peel and Place

Put a second layer of tape over the printed area and rub it down tight. Then peel it up careflully. If you see a few voids in your label as you're pulling it up, you may be able to stick it down again and rub it again to get the "missing" segments.

Once it's up, you can trim it further if you like or place it as is.

Comments

author
kreeningsons (author)2007-06-25

Comic Sans is your favorite font? Classy. ;)

author

Of coarse it's my favorite! It's clear, informal and just the best all around font ever created 'nuf said! ;o) Besides I said Use your favorite font.

author

Damn right all this ban comic sans Whts this about its a nice clear easy to read Stylish font lol Lets start a petition to keep it Lolz

author
Peter3D (author)2007-09-20

Nice idea, however, can you imagine what happens if a piece of tape gets 'loose' in your (laser)printer and struggles its way to some unreachable place and sticks itself there ? Temperatures in a laserprinter can get pretty high, you know. And a piece of tape will know. . . Result: A rather expensive CLA on your printer.

author
stephenniall (author)Peter3D2009-04-11

Haha i can remember a few years back my dad spent about £200 ($400) on a nice good high quality laser printer i put a sheet of acetate (transparencies) and it burnt in the printer and got stuck in the rollers haha never printed without curling the sides of the sheet up again

author
BobsDogHouse (author)Peter3D2007-09-20

I do this all the time and have never had a problem with any of the many printers I have used, even with an office photocopier. You do have to be sure to rub the tape down tight (as stated in step 2), no loose ends. The only heat effects I've noticed was a small amount of shrinkage causing a minor warping of the paper. This can cause a paper jam but the couple of times that's happened it was a simple matter to remove the paper. No different than any other time. OTOH, I can't comment on every type of tape someone might choose to use and can't guarantee that every type of tape will work. There may be an adhesive that breaks down under the heat of a printer and ... Well, as they say, I assume no liability here. It has never caused any problems for me but your results may very - do this at your own risk!

author
Jake Morton (author)2009-03-23

does this work with ink jet

author
AT (author)2007-06-30

That is a nice trick. I am going to have to try that one out. We have a color copier at work. I am going to see how works with color! And Images! AND............

author
lemonie (author)2007-06-26

Yeah, that sums it up very nicely in a real example. Thanks L

author
lemonie (author)2007-06-25

Half the point about misuse of Comic Sans, is that we could write the same message on an object with a pen. Using it is not always bad, but just being there causes it to be used (mostly) innappropriately. (I don't care that much really, but it's important to share ideas and perspectives) L

author
lemonie (author)2007-06-25

Looks pretty good (apart from Comic Sans of course...) L

author
BobsDogHouse (author)lemonie2007-06-25

What's all this dissing Comic Sans anyway! ;o)

author
lemonie (author)BobsDogHouse2007-06-25

It's a nasty font.
e.g. http://bancomicsans.com/home.html

L

author
BobsDogHouse (author)lemonie2007-06-25

I'm convinced!

bcscolor121x144.jpg
author
PetervG (author)2007-06-25

So your basically printing on the tape? (actual question)

author
BobsDogHouse (author)PetervG2007-06-25

tiuk got it exactly right. I am printing on tape, but I "lift" the image off of the first tape with a second tape. The first tape would not be easily removed from the paper. Sometimes you can use the paper to print a second label, if the tape didn't shrunk very much and deformed the paper but packing tape shrinks too much for that.

author
tiuk (author)PetervG2007-06-25

Yeah, you print on the tape because the toner doesn't set properly on it. Then you apply the second piece of tape and peel it off, making the toner stick to it. The second piece of tape becomes your label, the paper with the first piece gets thrown out/recycled. Interesting idea, I'll have to remember it if I ever need to label something neatly.

author
zupHC (author)PetervG2007-06-25

no, he is printing under the second strip of tape zupHC

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