A laser cutter is a great tool to make some sweet (Boom! Honey Pun!) labels. Without a laser cutter projects like this would require an expensive custom die-cut or an eternity of exacto knife hell. The laser cutter can cut a large quantity of labels quickly and use a more detailed design than a die-cut. I made my labels to use on little jars of honey from my first year of beekeeping. We sent them out as client gifts for our graphic design business. I think this type of label would be great for all kinds of homemade food products like jam, salsa, and canned goods. The cut labels allow you to highlight the georgous food inside the jar.
For this project you will need: a vector-based label design, paper for you label, access to a laser cutter, clean jars, a supply of scratch paper, and spray adhesive.
Step 1: Design
Use a vector graphics editor like Illustrator or Inkscape to create your design. Measure the jar you're using to get the right size. Make sure all the elements of your label are connected so you have a single piece once it is cut. You can get a good idea what different colors will look like on the computer. Print out your design, cut it out roughly, and wrap it around the jar to make sure the size and style are what you want. When your design is complete you'll ususally want to export it as a SVG or EPS. Check with your laser-cutter people to see what file setup they prefer. If you would like to use my design on your own honey, there is a pdf attached to this step. Just promise to tell everyone how fantastic I am.
Step 2: Cut
For my label I used a yellow text weight paper. You can use other materials, but make sure that they will wrap around your jar and that your laser shop will cut them. Materials with adhesives might get turned away because of bad fumes. I got my labels cut at Metrix Create:Space, here is their laser cutting info. The people at your shop should help you get going. If you're cutting a lot bring a book, lasers take longer than you'd think.
Step 3: Apply
For the application you will need: clean jars, a supply of scratch paper, and spray adhesive. It is best to do this step in a well-ventilated clean area. Your jars should be filled and clean to keep labels nice. Take one label and lay it upside-down on a piece of scratch paper. Spray a light even coat of adhesive on the label. Gently touch the label to pick it off the paper. Carefully apply the label to the jar keeping it as straight and centered as possible. Press firmly across the entire label to assure it is attached. Cover the used scratch paper with a new sheet and continue the process. Enjoy your custom laser-cut labels!
Blank Space LLC, Knowing is half the battle.