The Cottage Smallholder


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Design and print your own labels for jam and jelly

Photo of one of my own labels prited on our inkjet printer

Printing your own labels for preserves is easy and fun

I’ve wanted to print our own jar labels for ages. Ever since I saw a cupboard full of beautifully labelled preserves in a client’s house. It’s the old problem of finding the time to buy, design and print the labels.

A month or so ago I whizzed down to Newmarket to buy some labels for our chutney. I’ve been buying them from one of those shops that sells absolutely everything and consequently good fun to visit. They run out of these labels pretty fast so I was delighted when I spotted them on a rack.

But I was horrified to see that they were £2.49 for 25 labels. A few years ago when we made a handful of jellies and jams these labels would have been fine. Nowadays we make a lot of preserves it seemed crazy to spend 10 pence on each label. So I put them back. Danny would have been proud of me.

I decided it was time to print our own labels and had a nose around the stationary shops in town. Avery makes sheets of address labels that are printer friendly and W H Smith have their own version, slightly cheaper. At around £6.99 for 840 they’re a bargain. The labels look quite small but actually offer about the same amount of space as the pretty labels in the kitchen shop.

When I got home I trawled the Internet for label designing software. I discovered that Avery offer free software to design the layout of your labels. You create a Master and can print an entire sheet or just one or two labels. This is handy if you only have a few jars. The software also works well with the WH Smith labels. To download Avery Design Pro5 lite, click here http://www.avery.co.uk/uk1/downloads/designpro5_basic.jsp.

This version doesn’t have the clip art and features of the full version that costs £25 but it’s a good basic package. The label above is a screen shot from the Avery screen. The actual labels are sharper than this.

I wanted an old fashioned look for our labels so searched the internet for royalty free fonts. One of the best sites is here http://desktoppub.about.com/od/oldfonts/ It’s packed with unusual fonts, not really suitable for us unless we start putting something more ghoulish than jam in our jars. If you have children over six you might like to check the site out for great fonts for spooky Halloween messages.

Just before Christmas I noticed that the a great foodie blog has gorgeous Christmas pressie labels to download http://www.deliciousdays.com/archives/2006/12/13/tag-your-gifts/. The author of this blog also makes pretty tie on labels for her preserves.

Tricks and tips:

  • If you download fonts from the internet they are usually in a zip file format. Download the font to your desktop so it will be easy to find. Double click on the icon and this will automatically open up the zip programme. Move the file to your font folder which should be C:\ WINDOWS\fonts.
  • If you are going to put the sheets of labels through the printer several times, Avery labels are the beefier option.

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56 Comments

  1. thank you so much for this linky to labels. I have jars of chutney in my cupboard all set for gifting, but without labels! Today, this is my mission 😀

  2. What a great idea, Andy! I really like it, but I think I should tell you that it’s completely broken in Opera/Mac. When I type into any of the fields, each letter appears twice. So instead of “sweet pepper” on my label, I got sswweeeett ppeeppppeerr. I tried it in Firefox and it worked OK.

  3. That’s a pretty cool site, Andy. Your label designs look “tasty”. 🙂

    Thanks for letting us know about it.

  4. Andy Biggs

    Hi, I’ve been creating a little website that designs jam labels for you. They aren’t designed for Avery labels at this stage. But you can print them out on your home printer onto normal paper, then just paint the back with a little milk and stick them onto the glass jar. Try it out and let me know what you think.

    http://www.jamlabelizer.com

  5. Avery DP Lite is by far the best and most versatile label maker IMHO. Compared to the MS Word Label function it is so much more easy to do the fancy things that make your labels look professional (which to all intents they are)
    Picking up on a couple of points above, if using Avery DP Lite Martha should probably try to calibrate her printer, (File>Calibrate printer. But in any case, using 70gsm cheap paper as a test run is always less wasteful than trashing sheet after sheet of labels.
    We have used Photo glossy blank Labels (from stevestickers on ebay for wedding favours. (These are expensive, but give brilliant results) White glossy is good for labels on preserves.
    Just as a final boost for Avery pro, it is also possible to link your address list (convert from excel worksheet) and make all your own Christmas address labels.
    Don’t forget that if you press the option button on the Print driver page you can choose which label to start printing from – so you can use part sheets of labels.

    Apologies for the long post & no I don’t work for Avery. Seasons greetings to all – Love the site.

  6. bonbonz69

    I have downloaded and used really easy to use, down side my loved so clled family laughed at me for labelling my homemade produce so professionally, to which I answered I dont see any of you laughing when your shoving it your face!! which I then received huge hugs “only playing with you mum” mmmmmm panic that I would stop home making me thinks!!!!!

  7. œtools envelopes and labels option in word – the only problem is that you can’t import images to the label even though it says you can! any tips – also I have own brand labels so you have to enter all the sizes but that works too!

  8. This is the most amazing website I’ve ever come across, you have thought of everything! Thank you so so so much! (PS, your apple chutney recipe went down a treat!)

  9. Im not sure if it will work the same but i use baby oil to remove plaster residue from my kids skin so that may remove the labels too

  10. Hi all, it is much easier to use the “tools” envelopes and labels option in word, followed by new page, then it is really easy to type text and import images, you can select the avery code for your size of labels easily and you shouldn’t have any trouble at all!!

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