Thursday, June 18, 2009

Labels and Packaging, oh my

I am by no means an expert label maker...nor do I have a fancy program...I use good old-fashioned MS Word...and I must say, after much tweaking (to the very point of frustration and many lost hairs on my head!), I have finalized (well, at least for now ;-) my labels and packaging.

I came up two different packaging ideas for my bar soap (they look like little books!) and haven't decided which one to use...perhaps I'll use both. The boxes would be great for shows, etc. as the boxes really protect the soap. But I just love my soap wraps that tie...perhaps I'll use those for mailed orders and boxed gift sets.

A few tips (after tons of trial and error) on my labeling process:

Like I said, I use MS Word. The backgrounds are scanned endpapers from antique books (makes it more authentic, no?). One of my favorite parts of this process is scouring old used bookstores hunting through the stacks & tracking down those lovely (pre-copyright!) endpapers. I clean them up using my photo editing program, then copy/paste them into my document. You can adjust your margins to get more labels on a sheet. I then add boxes, lines, text, etc. using the Formatting Palette until I'm satisfied and then they are saved.

As for the lip balm, I use these full size white gloss sheets . I also use these for the soap box labels.

You can buy labels specifically sized for lip balms but my printer never wants to cooperate and they never line up quite right. But here's my secret: Use the lip balm label template (it's the 1.9 x 2.5 label template) but remember, you're using the full sheet size. I then design my labels (again in Word) and once ready to print, I remove the black guidelines (because they never line up right either!), then print, cut and label. Oh and one more tip to further prevent smudging: Change your printer settings to: gloss photo paper and on a Normal ink setting. **** Ta-Da!

I hope this helps some of you with your labeling needs. It may not be the most professional but I'm very happy with it.