Labeling the Goods

Canning  may have taken over my life. No joke. I've been canning all week and watching the Olympics and decided that canning should be an olympic sport. Some days canning is relaxing and other days, it's an extreme sport. I usually have at least two pots of boiling water, knives strewn all over the counter, fruit juice remnants all over everything and everyone and of course, a toddler at my feet who is constantly trying to figure out what I'm doing (and oblivious to all the dangers around her)! I think balancing all of that and not giving my family botulism from improperly canning deserves a gold medal -- just saying. 

After all of my canning recipes that I've given you over the last few months and some labels, I realized that I've never shared how I make labels so that you can make your very own! It's really actually super easy... almost embarrassingly easy.

I create all of my labels in Word. No, I have no idea why I started doing it there, but it works so why switch? After opening a new Word document, I always move the margins to .5" all around and show the grid lines (look closely, they're there) so that it's easy to line everything up. 

For the most part I use regular mouth jars when I can so 2" circles are the perfect size labels. Because of this, I go over to basic shapes and make a 2" circle with no fill and the thinnest black line around it. This handy circle becomes the perfect outline for my label. Next up, a text box. I just add the text boxes to spell out whatever I want a label for. Since the text boxes are clear, you don't have to worry if they go over your little circle, no one will know! After you have all of your words just the way you want them, you can add dots or lines or any other graphic you want. 

The last thing I do when I'm making a label is grouping. I owe this one to Allen. He heard me muttering under my breath one day and hit a couple buttons and BAM, all of my boxes and graphics were grouped together so I could copy and paste them as one. Yeah, he's a genius sometimes. If you don't know how to group, let me explain. Hold down your shift key and then click on all of the items that make up your label. After they are all highlighted, right click and grouping will come up. Group away and you are set. Now you have one label that you can copy as many times as you want. I usually can fit 12 labels to a sheet. One of the things I love about making labels this way is that I don't have to do a full sheet the same. I can make as many or as few of the same label as I want. This brings me to my last point. Labels.

I use the Avery shipping labels so that I can print a whole sheet of labels out at once and use my handy dandy 2" punch to just punch out the labels in one quick shot. If you don't have a 2" punch, you can go old school with some scissors and cut them all out. 

Yup, this is a picture of some of my jars and their cute little labels and yup, I know I'm a huge dork that I think the labels make the jars that much better. After all of the work in getting that food into the jar, don't you think the jar deserves to be a little dressed up?? You'd dress your jars up if it were an Olympic sport, I know you would.

Go make some labels ... and if you don't want to be bothered, you can find some of the ones I already made here.