You guys!! I’m so excited about this super fun and simple DIY project! If you have ever made your own oil concoctions in a roller bottle or spray bottle then you know the label battle. Essential oils are wonderful sticker removers! Truly wonderful. In fact, I keep a bottle of lemon oil in my cabinet that is specifically dedicated to sticker removal. This is great until you don’t want a sticker to come off.
You can purchase waterproof, oil proof labels on Amazon but if they’re printable I’ve found that the ink is easily removed by oil drips too. 🙁 Such a sad thing for a label loving person such as myself. I love making vinyl labels on my Cricut but not everyone has a Cricut or Cameo and I really wanted to find a solution that anyone could try – no special equipment required. So I began to search for a simple solution that I (or anyone) could do at home with basic supplies.
And I found it!! Pinterest – the land of answers! I found several pins on how to transfer printed images to glass candles and jars so I gave it a shot. And I was so, so pleased with the results. Here is a detailed tutorial on how I made dozens and dozens of labels for my favorite blends. I found this tutorial from The Graphics Fairy to be most helpful and gave the best results when trying various methods.
So, here’s what I did!
Heavy duty packing tape
Image printed on a laser printer or copied at an office supply store (See more below on this topic.)
Glass roller or spray bottle
Bowl of hot water
First, create your label on the computer. I found that the width of the packing tape is perfect for a 10ml roller bottle. You can create a label that is long enough to wrap around the bottle or a shorter one that just curves around a small section. I made both and was happy with both results. For the longer label that wrapped around the bottle, I discovered that a total length of 2.25 inches was perfect.
Print your images. I read several tutorials by other people (found through Pinterest) and some said that you can create image transfers using an inkjet printer. That’s what I have at home so I tried it. It’s true, you can. BUT your image transfer will be really, really faint compared to one printed on a laser or commercial copy machine. So if you don’t have a laser printer at home, you can either print it and go copy it at the store or save the file and have it printed at Staples or Office Max or where ever you usually get copies or prints made. Or go with the faint image and love it! You have options, my friends. Here is a side-by-side comparison of laser vs. inkjet labels.
I found that on a laser printer, the colored labels I made were just as good as the black ones. On the inkjet printer, the one I made in color was barely visible. You can compare the AromaGirl logos in this picture to see the difference. If you do use an inkjet, stick with black and choose a chunky font for best results.
So after you print out your images, you will want to cover the printed part with heavy-duty packing tape and trim to desired size. (I’ll be honest, I did not actually try light packing tape. I didn’t have any at all so I went ahead and bought the heavy-duty as suggested in the tutorial I followed. If you try regular packing tape, let me know how it turns out!)
Once the tape is on, use something to burnish the image into the tape. The back of a spoon, a plastic scraper, a popsicle stick – anything that you can press and rub pretty hard without it breaking (or cutting your tape). I did find that rubbing pretty uniformly over the entire image worked best when removing the paper. At first I was only rubbing the printed part but it left a weird haze around my image so I rubbed the whole label and it worked much better.
Next, soak your taped labels in a bowl of hot water. The tutorial I followed said to let them soak for an hour but I did not soak any of mine that long and they all separated beautifully. You want to let them sit long enough to let the paper get totally soaked and soggy. When you begin to peel the paper off, it should roll right off with only a little residue left behind. Keep dipping in the water and rubbing until all the paper residue is off. You can be a perfectionist or leave a little but make sure you try to get the edges clean so they won’t lift up after the label is put on the bottle. Here’s a short video of me peeling the paper off. I sped it up 2x just to shave some time off but it really is fast and so easy!
Once it’s clean, shake it off and lay it sticky side up on a towel to dry. And when it’s dry, the sticky will be back and you can apply directly to your bottle.
So fun, right?? This might be my new favorite DIY. Mainly because it works, it’s cheap and easy, and super practical! Have fun and let me see your gorgeous labels!
Happy label making!