DIY Printable Fabric Labels | Easy Iron-On Method

diy printable fabric labels

Making your own DIY printable fabric labels is a simple project that can save you a lot of money and give your homemade projects some character and charm!

Whether you sell your goods, give them away as gifts, or create things for yourself, adding a cute label makes them look professional and authentic.

I add labels to everything!

When I decided years ago to make tags for the items I sold in my Etsy shop, (buying them can be quite costly) I did a lot of research and through trial and error, found this technique to be the best.

Using transfer paper and fabric or ribbon made the labels more durable and looked a lot nicer. 

I have been getting a lot of inquiries as to how I make my labels, so I thought I would show you how.

You can watch my YouTube here. 

There are so many ways that you can add a label, and it’s really easy to make your own. In this tutorial, I will show you how to

  • print your labels 
  • iron them onto a piece of fabric, ribbon or twill tape 
  • show you several ideas of how you can apply them to your homemade projects 

Items & Materials Needed


You can design your labels on any computer program, which is quite easy to do. Or I have a set of EDITABLE LABELS that you can download and print.


Make sure you have the correct type of transfer paper for your printer. The most common transfer paper is for inkjet printers, but they also have it for laser printers.

Follow the transfer paper printing instructions. 

When you go to print your labels, you must change the settings to print backward.

Note that every printer queue is different and you may have to look for this setting.

You may have to go to the advanced settings and choose “flip image” or “mirror image”. 

If you don’t change this setting, when you apply the iron-on label, the text will be backward.

I recommend printing them out on regular paper first to make sure it is how you want it. (You don’t want to waste transfer paper)!


Here is a tutorial showing a workaround that works great.



There are several types of materials you can use to make your labels. Depending on what look you want will determine what type of material you use. Here are some suggestions:

  • Ribbon of all types (I use a white 5/8 inch ribbon for my “J” labels). The ribbon is nice to use because two of the four sides are finished and won’t fray. 
  • Cotton twill tape works well for a wide horizontal label. 
  • Woven fabric (If using fabric, you may want to stabilize it so it doesn’t fray by applying iron-on interfacing to the back before ironing on the transfer paper).


Once you have printed out the labels, and have decided what to iron them to, it’s time to cut them out.

If you are going to use fabric and want to make a whole sheet of labels, just iron on the whole sheet and cut afterward.

If you are using ribbon, cut the transfer paper into strips the same size as the ribbon. (Anything wider than the ribbon will stick to your ironing board). 


  • Follow the transfer paper instruction. Most likely it will tell you to turn OFF STEAM and use the highest heat setting. 
  • Place the transfer paper with the lettering facing down onto the ribbon. Press in place, making sure to cover the whole label.
  • Let the label cool before peeling off the back paper. You will notice that there is a plasticky like coating now on the label. This makes it more durable and washable. 


There are several ways to apply the label to your project.

  • Sew the label into the seam of the project. Fold the label strip in half and with the raw edges of the ribbon facing out past the seam allowance as shown in the picture above.

Topstitch around the edge of the label using a small zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

If using a fabric label, you can fold the edges under and either topstitch with a sewing machine or sew by hand using a slip stitch.

*Note: If using ribbon, to keep the cut edges from fraying add a dab of “fray check” to the cut edges. This works well.

Pretty simple, right?

Such a fun way to add a little character and charm to your beloved handmade items.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Have fun sewing!





  1. If you use ribbon or fabric that is made from synthetic materials, you can melt the edges over a flame, like a match. This also works with synthetic yarns.

    • Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Jan, is your editable labels compatible with Open office writer? and will it come out as mirrored already coz i’ve been trying to make my own label and i cannot find a flip or mirror button. thanks so much for sharing your knowledge

    • Hi Shalany, Thanks for reaching out. It really doesn’t matter what program you open the file in. It’s whether or not your printer has the capability to flip or mirror image. You may need to go into the advanced settings on your computer to find it. If not, I have a great workaround. You can read and watch the video tutorial here.
      Let me know if you have any further questions.

  3. Thanks Jan! I figured out how to do this years ago with my ink jet printer but have moved on to a laser and didn’t know how to do it with that. Your instructions are fantastic.

  4. That was a great video and very helpful, now I just have to ensure I make my lables.

    • Glad it was helpful. Reach out if you have any questions.

  5. I’m looking forward to making personalized labels to sew into my projects. I enjoy watching your YouTube Channel as well. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • You are so welcome. Let me know how it goes.

  6. Do you offer a coupon code for ordering your label download from Esty? It asks for a coupon code at checkout. Thanks!

  7. Hi Jan,

    Thank you so much for this method I’m excited to try this. I was just wondering when using this method for ribbon or fabric are the labels permanent and durable even with multiple washes?

    Best Wishes


    • Yes, I have had t-shirts that are five years old with a label that still looks brand new. As far as the ribbon labels, I haven’t washed those as much, but they do hold up well.

  8. Thank you so much!!!

    Best Wishes


    • You are so welcome.

  9. I downloaded your labels PDF document/template several months ago. The page with small boxes for initials is what I want to print, but the black background with white text fills the entire page. I would rather that just be on half the page and white background with black text be on half the page. Please advise.

    • Hi Betsy, I’ve been wanting to do this very thing for a while now. Thanks for reaching out and motivating me to make those changes. I will email you the new updated file now. I hope this is what you were looking for.

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Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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