Make your own custom Spice Jar Labels with vinyl!
I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I really do like to cook (food pun totally intended). Ok, well not always. Like maybe not on those super busy weekdays when I don’t even think about dinner until it’s already 5:30 and all I want to do is sit down. But most of the time I enjoy it. And Aa likes it too although he doesn’t have the chance to do it as often because he’s so busy. But as a result, we have a larger than average spice collection. I like to have a wide selection of basics and Aa is into trying the more unusual spices like saffron and grains of paradise. And for years we kept trying different solutions for spice storage. At first we kept them in one of those skinny cabinets next to the stove. Then we tried a drawer. Neither of those was great and things were always getting lost in the back. And while I used them enough to know the garlic powder was usually on the second shelf, poor Aa could (understandably) never find anything. So a few years ago I invested in some magnetic spice containers. In our old condo, the fridge was right next to the stove so I could stick them to that and it was super convenient. That’s the system we’re using at the new house too. Although the fridge isn’t immediately next to the stove anymore, it’s pretty close so it works.
But the problem was, despite the clear lids, you couldn’t always tell what was inside. I mean, star anise was pretty obvious, but everytime I needed cinnamon, I found myself opening two or three other containers and sniffing them all because it was pretty much the same color as the garam masala and the nutmeg. Same for dried leafy herbs like oregano. So labels went to the top of my project list! I love how they turned out, here’s how I made them!
DIY Vinyl Spice Jar Labels
1. First lay out your spice labels in the Silhouette Studio software. And a note, the first time I did this, I picked a font that was too skinny and my vinyl just tore. So pick a thicker font and make the words big enough. First I drew circles the size of the jar lids and arranged the labels inside them to make sure they fit (first pic), then I deleted the circles and moved all the labels closer together so I wouldn’t waste material (second pic).
2. Load your vinyl into your cutting machine and start cutting. I used the standard vinyl settings for the Silhouette Cameo except that I turned the speed all the way down to 1. If I had to do it again, I might do a double cut because of all the tiny details in these labels. 3. Then to make it easier to deal with, used an exacto knife to cut the labels apart. 4. Then with each label, peel off the negative space until only the label is left. I’m not going to lie, this was a pain the butt. And like I said, I think if I were to do this again, I would do a double cut because some of the small pieces were a little stuck at the corners which made peeling off the backgrounds without peeling up letters etc. more difficult.
ALSO! I started off peeling the background away left to right like you would if you were reading but discovered halfway through that it worked a thousand times better to peel from the bottom up. So try it more than one way if you get frustrated. Those little decorative circles were almost the death of me! They did not want to stay put!
5. To transfer the vinyl, I always use clear contact paper from the dollar store instead of the pricey transfer tape you can buy. It works just fine. If it’s too sticky in the beginning, stick it to your clothes for a second.
Lay it over the vinyl design and rub all over with a burnishing tool or something like a credit card. All the vinyl should come away when you lift up the contact paper. 6. Make sure the tops of your spice jars are clean and dry (if they’re not brand new). Stick the design to your spice jars and burnish again. Then slowly and gently peel off the contact paper. The vinyl should stick to the spice jars. If there are any parts that don’t, put them back down and rub over it some more. And let me tell you, the awesome thing about round spice jars is that you can’t really put the labels on crooked! If you’ve got square ones, you’re probably going to need more patience than I have. ha! And that’s it! Repeat for the rest of your jars! But remember, vinyl, while it sticks well, is not permanent. So I wouldn’t put these in the dishwasher or anything.
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