DIY Kitchen Canister Labels with a Silhouette (with free cut files)

Make your own kitchen canister labels with a silhouette. I love using my silhouette for home decor, like this monstera leaf vase, custom pennants, and stencil for my fireplace. 

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.

How to make kitchen 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. đŸ˜‰ 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.

blank canisters

Make Your Own Kitchen Canister Labels with a Silhouette

Supplies Needed

This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

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

  1. 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.
    Set up your page in silhouette studio
  2. Draw an oval. Draw out an oval that roughly covers that space.
    Draw an oval
  3. Draw out a rectangle that overlaps the oval, slightly smaller than the oval.
    Draw a rectangle
  4. Align shapes. Select both shapes and align then both horizontally and vertically. 
    align shapes
  5. 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.
    Weld shapes to make a label shape
  6. Type the first label. Click on the text tool and type out “Sugar.”
    Type your first label word
  7. 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.
    Choose your font
  8. Change the size of the text.  Use a dot at the corner to drag the size out until it fills the space better.
  9. Duplicate the label and text. Select the shape and text and click duplicate until you have 4 (or however many labels you want.)
  10. 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. 
    Edit your text
  11. 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. 
    Make font into shapes
  12. 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.
    fix letter spacing
  13. 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)
    Weld font together
  14. 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.

Cutting the Vinyl with the Silhouette

  1. Click Send in the top left corner.
  2. 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 cheat sheet for all silhouette projects. So far, so good.)
  3. In the action panel, make sure it is set to “Simple cut.
    Choose your silhouette cut settings
  4. 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. 
    Place vinyl on mat
  5. Turn on the machine and load the mat. 
    Load silhouette mat
  6. 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. 
    Send to cut
  7. When it’s finished, click unload mat. Your labels should be perfectly cut!
    Canister labels fresh out of the silhouette

Applying the Label to the Canister

  1. Remove the lettering from the center. It can be used for a 2nd set of canisters if desired.
    Weed you kitchen canister labels
  2. Cut around each label.
    Canister labels cut apart.
  3. Remove the excess vinyl around the edges.
  4. Cut pieces of transfer paper the same size as your labels.  You can use the same piece for all 4 labels. 
    Cut transfer paper
  5. Remove the white paper backing from the transfer paper.
    Transfer paper on vinyl decal
  6. 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. 
    Smooth out transfer paper
  7. 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.
  8. Now you have transfer paper with the vinyl stuck to it. The image should be backwards.
    Canister decal on transfer paper
  9. 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.
  10. Rub the vinyl against the glass to get it to stick.
    apply design with transfer paper
  11. 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.
    remove transfer paper
  12. If it needs to be adjusted as you go, you can unpeel from the glass and fix it.
  13. Smooth all of the air bubble to the closest edge. It’s kind of fun pushing them to the edges. 
    Sugar jar
  14. Ta-da, you now have lovely kitchen canister decals!
    Easy to make kitchen canister labels

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!

Canister Labels

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