Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How to Make Labels

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A couple of weeks ago I posted about organising our playroom and storing Lego, and I promised I would do a feature on how to make labels. So here, a little overdue, is a tutorial on how to do it – and don’t worry, you don’t need a fancy paint programme! All you need is Microsoft Excel. It is incredibly user friendly and even though I’m relatively proficient in the Paint Shop Pro software I’ve had for years I still tend to favour Excel for label making!

Label Making Tutorial

1) Go to Insert/Shapes and select whatever shape you want. Then hold down the left mouse button and drag to create the shape.

2) I generally measure beforehand to see roughly how big I need the label to be, so after creating the shape I’ll right click on it, select ‘Size and Properties’ and input the height and width measurements.

3) Now you probably don’t want a boring blue label, so this is the point where you start making the shape look pretty! To do this you need to right click on the shape again, but this time select “Format Shape”. You can change the colour of both the shape (“Fill”) and the outline (“Line Color”).

My favourite thing to do is to go to Fill/Picture or Texture Fill and then add a picture or pattern by clicking on “insert from: File” (check the "tile picture as texture" box). I tend to make my own background picture in Paint Shop Pro, but you can also just find something you like from Google Images. 

4) Most of the time I like to have the label text against a white background, so I’ll add a new shape over the top of the first and follow steps 1 to 3 again. But if you want your text against a pattern just ignore this step.

5) To add the text go to Insert/Text Box, click on the top shape and start typing! You can change how the text looks by highlighting it and right clicking. This will bring up the options for font, size, colour, alignment, etc.

6) One last optional step is to add clipart – Excel comes with a huge range of free images! You can add a picture by going to insert clipart and typing what you are looking for in the search box. Here I just typed in “toy car”.

And that is it! Here is the finished label:

Labelling isn't restricted to organising; here is a label I was playing around with to add to a festive jar of Santa cookie mix:

 Hope this post inspires someone to get labelling!