Raise your hand if you love a good label. I have dreams of the perfect Martha Stewart pantry with perfectly decanted food, beautifully labeled.
No open bags of cereal spilling on the ground, no bags of chips left open to get stale. Maybe in this dream, my kids are grown…
One day the pantry of my dreams will be true, but for now, I’ll settle for perfectly labeled canisters on the counter.
Today, I’m sharing how to make your own DIY canister labels with a silhouette.
That’s right folks, I completed another silhouette project! And guess what! This one was even easier than the first one.
Now I get why people love vinyl so much. Watch out house, you’re going to be covered in decals. 😉 I’m working my way through Silhouette projects because I’m afraid of my machine. Follow along if you’re afraid too.
My old canisters have been bugging me for a while. They were red because red used to be the main color in my kitchen, but I’m phasing it out.
Maybe my pantry dream can come true. These babies just need some snazzy labels.
Make Your Own Kitchen Canister Labels with a Silhouette
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OR (see alternative way at bottom of post)
I’ve broken this tutorial down into several steps. If you don’t want to design your own labels, skip to the 2nd step for cutting the labels. There’s a link to both cut files and printable label files at the bottom of the post.
Designing the Canister Labels in the Silhouette Software
- Set up your page. I set mine to 12×12 and turned on a grid so I could clearly see how large to make my labels. My labels are about 3″ high x 5″ long.
- Draw an oval. Draw out an oval that roughly covers that space.
- Draw out a rectangle that overlaps the oval, slightly smaller than the oval.
- Align shapes. Select both shapes and align then both horizontally and vertically.
- Combine the shapes. Select both shapes with the arrow tool and choose the WELD option in the modify panel. This makes a cool label shape.
- Type the first label. Click on the text tool and type out “Sugar.”
- Choose your font. I wanted to share these cut files with you, so I had to be careful about which fonts I choose. For personal use, the sky is the limit. I really like Creative Market and Design Cuts for fonts. DaFont is good for free fonts and is a trusted source. For this project, I went with Pacifico, one of my favorites.
- Change the size of the text. Use a dot at the corner to drag the size out until it fills the space better.
- Duplicate the label and text. Select the shape and text and click duplicate until you have 4 (or however many labels you want.)
- Change the text for each label to read what you want. I wrote “Sugar, flour, coffee and tea” because most canister sets are for these items.
- Make the text into shapes. For each word, click on WELD in the modify panel. This makes the text into an image and is no longer editable as text. If you skip this part, your text will be cut into lots of tiny cuts.
- Fix the kerning (letter spacing) for words that look weird. The “T” in “Tea” was too far away, so I moved it over. Same with the S in sugar. For Sugar, I moved the s over and welded the letters again to make one shape. Play with it until you like how it looks.
- Align the text to each shape using the align vertical and horizontal button. If your letters are separated, like in Tea, you will need to group them first (CNTL+G or CMND+G)
- Group the text and shape for each label. Then position the labels better on the page. It was my first time using vinyl, so I wanted to give enough space between the edge of the mat and the label, but I didn’t want to waste an excessive amount of vinyl either.
Want to learn more about how to use your Silhouette? This affordable ebook taught me everything I know! Plus, it comes with a handy settings cheat sheet that gives you perfect cuts every time!
Cutting the Vinyl with the Silhouette
- Click Send in the top left corner.
- Select the material. I chose vinyl, matte. Then I changed the settings to 2, 8, 9 in the bottom panel. (I bought this book and I use her settings cheat sheet for all silhouette projects. So far, so good.)
- In the action panel, make sure it is set to “Simple cut.“
- Place the vinyl on the mat. Cut a piece of vinyl slightly larger than you need and press it firmly to a sticky mat. (Now, I only use as much vinyl as I need. Use the grid view to see how many inches your design takes up and cut that amount to waste less precious vinyl.
- Turn on the machine and load the mat.
- Click on Send in the silhouette software and hit start. The machine will start cutting. It makes lots of clicking noises and then lots of grinding noises. This is pretty normal. My dog is always *very concerned* during this process.
- When it’s finished, click unload mat. Your labels should be perfectly cut!
Applying the Label to the Canister
- Remove the lettering from the center. It can be used for a 2nd set of canisters if desired.
- Cut around each label.
- Remove the excess vinyl around the edges.
- Cut pieces of transfer paper the same size as your labels. You can use the same piece for all 4 labels.
- Remove the white paper backing from the transfer paper.
- Apply the transfer paper to the top of the vinyl label. Rub well to ensure that it sticks. My vinyl came with a popsicle stick, but you can use an old gift card.
- Remove the white paper backing from the vinyl. Go slowly to avoid removing too much. I found that pulling if off straight helped. Pulling at an angle removed all of the tiny pieces.
- Now you have transfer paper with the vinyl stuck to it. The image should be backwards.
- Figure out your placement on the canister and stick the vinyl and transfer paper to it. You can measure it out and use painters tape if you want absolute perfection. I eyeballed it, because that’s how I roll.
- Rub the vinyl against the glass to get it to stick.
- Slowly start removing the transfer paper, leaving the label in place. As before, pull it straight and be careful of the tiny cut our pieces.
- If it needs to be adjusted as you go, you can unpeel from the glass and fix it.
- Smooth all of the air bubble to the closest edge. It’s kind of fun pushing them to the edges.
- Ta-da, you now have lovely kitchen canister decals!
Alternative Way to Make DIY Kitchen Canister Labels
Since not everyone has a silhouette or even wants one (gasp!), there’s an alternative way to do decals as well.
- Download the files and print them on clear sticker paper, then cut around the shapes and apply it to the canisters.
- Print them out and decoupage them on or use clear contact paper to affix them.
- Make labels for other jars like your spices. No more mistaking curry for cumin!!
- You’re not just limited to the kitchen. You can label the bottles in your bathroom or your bar cart. You can label anything with decals!
Get your cut files or printable labels today!
All downloads are for personal use only. Please do not redistribute or sell files.
The cut files contain .studio files to use with Silhouette. Download the PDF to print and cut by hand.
You might also like:
- How to cut planner stickers with a silhouette (Print and Cut tutorial)
- DIY Decal Plates
- DIY Art from Nature (Sun prints)
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