Spice Jar Labels

Why I Made My Own

This project is very simple and practical. I had been searching for a modern set of spice jars with labeling options, but I wasn’t finding any I liked. Unfortunately all of the labels I found were kitschy, or didn’t go with the clean, modern look I was going for. Most of all, I hate the hand-drawn labels. So I decided to just make my own with my vinyl cutting machine.

How I Created the Labels

I first chose some simple, minimalistic jars that I found from Michaels. I like that these are air-tight because of the clamp latches and silicone gasket, so they're spill-proof and sealed tight for freshness. I gathered the existing spices that I had, and chose some new spices in a variety of colors. The colors were important because the glasses are obviously clear, and will be displayed in a row in my kitchen, so I wanted an assortment of colors. Once I had the jars and spices, I measured the jars to determine the size that the labels could be.

Then actually creating the labels is very simple. I first set up an Illustrator file with the text of each of the spices on separate artboards. I tried a few minimal-looking fonts, but decided on this one in all caps.

Step 1. Create labels in Illustrator

Step 1. Create labels in Illustrator

The next step was to cut the labels out on vinyl. I have a Silhouette Curio with which I can quickly cut different materials, so I used that. I chose white vinyl because it shows up well in contrast to the dark spices through the glass. Compared to a craft store, vinyl is relatively cheap on Amazon, so I purchased a roll there. To prepare the mat, I made sure it was sticky enough (wash with soap and water if it lost stickiness), cut up a piece of vinyl that covered only the area to be cut, and placed it on the mat with the backing side down (vinyl side up).

Step 2. Prepare the mat with vinyl

Step 2. Prepare the mat with vinyl

Because the letters are so tiny and vinyl is pretty thick, it took a few trials before I got clean cuts. I made sure to turn on the Line Segment feature, which doesn't cut all the way to the corners and turn, instead lifts up at the corners. This way the corners are sharper and don't get smooshed by the blade when it's turning.

Step 3. Cut labels out with Curio

Step 3. Cut labels out with Curio

In order to transfer the labels from the sticker paper to the jars with the exact kerning that they were cut out as, I used transfer paper to place them precisely. I cut off a piece of transfer paper (same as contact paper) that's about the same size as the label, then peel the transfer paper up with the vinyl attached. Once the whole label is attached to the transfer tape, it can be applied to the jars. I made sure to clean the jars before placing the labels on.

Step 4. Transfer labels to jars

Step 4. Transfer labels to jars

Final Result

You can actually borrow a Silhouette from the library if you don't have one, so this project could be completed with only the cost of the vinyl. Besides spice labels, there are tons of other possibilities utilizing vinyl and the Curio, like car decals, wall decals, etc. Vinyl can be placed on a ton of surfaces (wood, walls, glass, tumblers, plastic).  The finished product is below- simple and easy to make!

sideprojectsAndrea Hock