What do I always say is the last step in organizing anything?? Add a label!! I love adding handmade labels to every project because it helps keep things organized.
It is a rather important step to keeping up with whatever organizational system you create. Because you spent so much time going through your stuff, grouping it into categories, and carefully putting things away/donating unwanted items/trashing broken items. The last step is to label everything so you know where its “home” is. I believe that everything should have a “home”. In a drawer, bin, cubbie…it just needs to have a space so you can find it every time you need it.
Now, this step can get people hung up on creating rather elaborate labels, but I am all about finding the easiest way to create handmade label your organization projects so you will stick with your organizational system you created!
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I have used stickers as labels forever. When I was teaching, I labeled all my kiddos’ bins using stickers I purchased at a craft store. They make interesting and fun labels. You can practically get them in any color, size, and font you want, which makes them perfect for labeling anything in your home. I typically suggest that you use stickers to label bins that will remain permanent. I use sticker labels for a lot of bins in my craft room that aren’t/haven’t changed, such as my paper bin.
But, I did recently turn my paper bin so that the side is facing out, instead of the front, which is where my sticker labels are. I decided to create some new labels, using some bright, purple paper. I used my Silhouette cutting machine to cut out some letters. Then, using my Xyron three-inch sticker maker, I created sticker letters to label my paper bin.
I love using chalkboard labels or whiteboard labels for bins that change frequently, like bins that hold toys. You can buy some pre-made labels, or you can make your own. I love using chalkboard paper to create a label that is just the right size for my project. This chalkboard paper is perfect because you can use chalk or chalk pencil and just wipe off the chalk using a damp cloth when you need to change out what goes in the bin.
I will either use my Silhouette to cut out the shape of the label I want, or I will just cut out the shape myself. Then, I will either hang string to tie around the basket to use as a label, or I will make the label into a sticker using my Xyron sticker makers. I will label the chalkboard label using either chalk or the chalk pencil. The chalk pens tend to leave a residue on the paper, so I typically use those to label glass jars, by just writing directly on the jar! It wipes off easy with a wet towel.
If I want to make write-on labels that can easily change out, just like chalkboard labels, I follow a similar process to creating chalkboard labels. I will create the labels using any color paper, then I will laminate that paper. Make sure you cut out the shape of the labels first. Then, laminate each label second. I always recommend doing this so that the laminate can adhere to itself.
Once the paper is laminated, you can write on it with a dry erase marker. I love to add some fun ribbon to hold this type of label onto a bin or basket. It makes it rather easy for when you need to swap out labels. And, if you are concerned that someone might wipe off the label, you can always use a Sharpie pen to label on laminate. To remove the Sharpie, just use nail polish remover. (This is one of my favorite teacher hacks, as this is how I would keep things organized and labeled for an entire school year, and still be able to use it the following school year with new kiddos!)
Another quick and easy way to create labels is to print them off using some fun fonts and your printer. Make sure you leave enough space around each of the labels so you can cut them out. I love mounting the printed labels on fun cardstock. Laminate, create stickers, or just hang the newly created label!
I also use my Silhouette Cameo to write out labels. I use different pen colors to create labels, then I have the Silhouette cut out the labels. Sometimes I will mount the labels, sometimes I will laminate the labels, and sometimes I will make stickers out of the labels. It all depends on what I am using the labels for.
I will also use some decorative brad fasteners to attach a laminated label to some bins. It adds some sparkle and a way to hang the label on the bin.
All my kids’ toys are labeled using pictures. Since they are preschoolers, I thought it was a smart choice so they can help clean up based on pictures, instead of words. To make these labels, I took pictures of a few items in each bin. Then, I printed the pictures out. After mounting each picture, I laminated each picture and attached it to the bin using a single hole-punch and a binder ring clip. In the future, I might add some text, but for now, the pictures are really helping the kids be independent while they play and clean up around the playroom!
Vinyl labels might be my favorite labels, because they are removeable, but they look like a sticker, and I can make them in any color, size, and font! I use my Silhouette cutting machine to cut out the vinyl letters. There are a ton of tutorials on how to do this, but my favorite is from Melissa over at Silhouette School.
I use vinyl labels on bins, my fridge/freezer, drawers, kids bins…you name it, I’ve probably created a vinyl label for it, for either myself or a client!
So that’s my little list of ways to craft up some labels for your bins. You don’t have to be intimidated by making labels to create some fun and festive ways to label your bins. Not only will the labels help keep you organized, but they will help others find where things are and how to clean up once they have used that particular item!
For all my favorite handmade label materials, shop my post here!!