About 6 months ago, when my blog was still quite new, I posted a tutorial on how to make labels in Microsoft Excel. Which is how I came to receive this email a couple of weeks ago:
"Hi! I'm new to your blog and have just spent three hours going through all your old posts. I really like the tutorial you did on making labels in Excel. You make it look easy but Excel scares me! Can you make labels with Word too (I'm alright with that!)?? Would you do a tutorial on it pretty please??"
Yes, you can absolutely make all sorts of labels with Microsoft Word. It's easy once you know what you're doing, too!
How to make labels with Word
First of all you will need to create a blank document. Then go to 'Insert' and select 'Shapes' to start creating your label. There are loads to choose from - in this tutorial I've used a shape called "plaque".
Generally, I need my labels to be roughly a certain size so the first thing I'll do is alter the dimensions so the label is the right size when I print it out. To do this, right click on the shape and scroll down to the bottom of the options to select 'Format AutoShape'. 'Size' is on the second tab.
Before I click OK I'll also make changes to the line style. This is on the first tab under 'Colors and Lines'. You can pick any colour you want and determine the thickness of the line. If you look under 'Dashed' you can also choose between a solid or dashed outline. I've kept the outline black, solid and selected a weight of 3pt.
If you want to change the background of the label, go to 'Format' and select 'Shape Fill' (the bucket icon). Pick a colour from the colour for a solid background, choose a gradient style, use a picture or select a pattern or texture you love. Rather than use a texture from the library I've added a custom chalkboard background (you can add your texture by going to Texture/More Textures and then uploading your file to the Other Texture box).
Next you will probably want to layer another shape on top. Just follow all the same steps you did for the first shape (select the shape, make it an appropriate size, adjust line style, pick a background... whatever). The majority of the time when I make labels this way I will add a white shape on top to make the text easy to read, but since I'm going with a chalkboard vibe I added a chalkboard texture again. The only different between the second and first shape - other than the obvious difference in size - is that I used a dashed line in white, with a weight of 6pt.
If you're happy with how your label looks then it is time to add your text. To do this, select 'Insert' from the top menu, click on the 'Text Box' icon and select 'Draw Text Box'. Click and drag your mouse over the top of your shape to create your text box.
If your text is against a white background you can skip straight to add the text. But if, like me, you're using a coloured or textured background you'll want to make your text box background transparent. To do this, go to 'Format', click the 'Shape Fill' icon and select 'No Fill'. To make the outline of the text box transparent too, select 'Shape Outline' and then 'No Outline' (I left the outline black in this tutorial).
Nearly done! Type in your text and edit it the same as you would any other text in Word. On the 'Home' tab pick the font, text size, colour, style and alignment. I used a font called chalkboard in white, with a size of 36.
At this point feel free to declare yourself done and print out your fabulous new label. I like to do one final thing; grouping the layers. This just means that you can move the label around on the page as a complete image, rather than having to click and drag each layer individually. You can also re-size the image as a whole, if you need to. If you want to do this you will need to click on each separate layer and press the CTRL key. This is easiest if you work from the inside out (so text/smallest shape/largest shape).
Once all layers are selected right click on the image and select 'Grouping' and then 'Group'.
And now you really are finished! Go nuts and experiment with your new found label making skills.