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Spruce Up Dad’s Gift with a Custom Label

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I love gifts that are personal and homemade.  But making a gift for my husband is always a challenge for me.  Anything too cutsy is just not him.  Every once in a while I hit it just right… like the year I made him a reading/TV quilt.  He uses that a lot.

This year I have been thinking for weeks about what I could make for him and I finally had an idea…

My husband loves to shoot Trap with his buddies… so I thought I could make him a ammo bag.

But then I found out they cost $14.99 at Cabelas and I wasn’t sure I could save a lot of money by making one… once I bought the fabric and the belt and clasp.  But the Cabela’s bag isn’t that great looking.  Maybe I could spruce it up with a custom label.

I’ve been wanting to try a technique for making labels for a while now.  The kids and I headed to Cabelas to pick up an ammo bag.  And then I set to work to make a label.

To complete this project you need:

  • Muslin fabric (or similar fabric that you want to print on.)
  • Freezer paper (available in the grocery store near the wax paper)
  • a printer (both ink jet or laser)
  • a fabric for the backing if desired

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1.  Cut your fabric into a rectangle approximately 9 1/2 inches by 12 inches.

2.  Cut a piece of freezer paper slightly smaller… approximately 9 inches by 11 1/2 inches.

3.  Place together the wrong side of fabric to the waxy side of the freezer paper.  The fabric should be centered over the freezer paper.

4.  With the fabric side up, iron the fabric and freezer paper together.  The wax of the freezer paper will melt and fuse the fabric to the paper.

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5.  Cut your fabric down to 8 1/2 by 11 inches (a standard sheet of paper.)  I used a piece of paper as a guide.

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6.  Create the document you want to print.  You can get fancy and create it in Photoshop or do what I did and create something simple in word.

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7.  Set your printer settings to the high resolution.  Feed your fabric into your printer making sure the fabric is on the side that will print.  If you are not sure what side your printer prints on, make a mark on a piece of scrap paper and then feed it through.  This will show you which way to feed the fabric in.

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8.  Once printed, I ironed the fabric on high to heat set the lettering.  You can also peel the freezer paper off the back at this point.  I choose to keep it on to give stability to the label.

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9.  Cut your label to desired size.

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10.  Cut your backing fabric to desired size.  I ironed on some Wonder Under to the back of my backing fabric to give it stability and to make it easier to adhere to bag.

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11.  Stitch the label to the backing fabric.  I used a small blanket stitch.  You can stitch it by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine.

12.  Now iron your label to the bag if you used Wonder Under.  Then stitch your label to the bag with a blind stitch to secure.  (If it fits on your machine, you could machine stitch it on using a decorative stitch.)

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This technique can be used for all sorts of projects… making labels for luggage, for a backpack or lunch box, or any sewing project like an apron or clothing.

The ammo bag turned out great… much better than saying “Cabelas”.  And I know my husband will get a kick out the label… the guys have a long running joke about whether “Real men like Parfaits.”  My husband is in the loving breakfast parfaits camp…

I just heard on the news that today is “Man Day.”  So you better go out and eat a parfait.

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