It is nearly time for the new school year and if you are anything like me, you are going to want to label all those lovely back-to-school items fast so that they don’t languish in the lost property cupboard.
There are so many pretty options – you can choose font, colour, even have a personalised image. BUT costs can soon rack up. How can you label effectively without spending a fortune?
Save time and money with these great tips!
# 1 – Buy labels suitable for now and the future
That pink label with the cute elephant might great for going into Reception. But think ahead. I doubt you will be able to use all the stickers in one summer holiday naming frenzy. Choose the design wisely, keep them safe and you can use the rest next year (and the next).
This sticker is from mynametags.com
#2 – Consider just a surname
It is annoying to have hundreds of stickers or labels with your elder child’s name on it, only to have to order all over again for a younger sibling. Consider ordering labels with just a surname so that they can be used for the whole family.
#3 – Put the label somewhere obvious
Let’s not kid ourselves – how much effort does someone make to identify an errant item of clothing? Make it really easy to identify the owner. Apply it to the first place that someone is going to look – you might not get another chance.
#4 – I’ll say it again - put the label somewhere obvious
Often the finder doesn’t realise that the item in their hands is YOUR lost property. Think of sports kit. It all looks the same. Maybe your child’s shorts have been mistakenly put in their friend’s sports bag. The only way you are going to get this back is if the owner of the bag (or the person who washes the kit) notices that it has the wrong name.
#5 – Consider a phone number
You can print what you like on a name label – so why not your phone number? It’s great for kit used in an out of school activity (think of things left in a sports centre) or items taken on a school trip (that get left on a coach).
#6 – Special stickers for shoes matter
Shoes are strangely easy to lose. And labels can easily rub off.
I have found that labels applied to the sole of the shoes and then covered with a transparent label protection sticker do actually work (note, some shoe labels have the protective part built in). There are no quick cheats for shoes. Just a recommendation that you buy the right label for the job. To get value for money, maybe just get your surname printed and then the whole family can use them.
#7 – Plan your hand me downs
If you plan to hand down an item to a younger sibling, consider how you name it. Sew on labels can be unpicked (but this is a demoralising task). Stick on labels can have another sticker applied over the top. Iron on labels are tricky to remove, and laundry pen is permanent.
#8 – Check lead times
Not all labels are equal. Don't get caught out, check out delivery times before you order
#9 – Get the right label for the job
Quick and easy. Great for applying in a last minute emergency as you dash out of the door. Not all fabrics can cope with iron on labels eg sports jackets and Teflon coated school wear. They are however great for small items like socks (don't get the wrong impression - I do not label socks. But you could). Make sure they are soft and flexible and not scratchy.
No sewing or ironing. What more could you ask? Just beware of the putting the clip in a place that could cause annoyance or rub – inside label of a blazer is not the same as the back of the neck on a shirt.
Dishwasher and Microwave safe/ Washing machine and drier safe
You can’t put just any old label on a lunch box or water bottle if you are planning to dishwasher it. But dishwasher and microwave stickers are easily available. Check that labels for clothes are suitable for the washing process.
Shrink tag for glasses
Need to label glasses? You simply use a hair drier to shrink wrap these labels around the arm of the glasses. See Wovenlabeluk
Very sticky labels for stationery
Yes, otherwise they will come off
This textile stamp is great for pale clothing - but black ink wont show up on darker clothing
#10 – The laundry marker. Save money and time
With a laundry marker you can side step the sticker experience (all those colour and font choices!)
It won’t wash out, so you can label clothes provided there is space on the care label. It it best not to write directly on the clothes as it may bleed through.
You can simply write on water bottles and lunch boxes too.
#11 Buy blank labels and write your own
Write the name of any child onto blank iron on-labels with a laundry pen or laundry stamp.
#12 Look out for a mixed bundle
If you haven’t been persuaded to grab a laundry pen and write your own labels, then save money with a mixed bundle containing a range of stickers and iron ons.
My personal favourite - for valuable items that I would really like to see again (like a blazer) I like woven labels as there is no risk that they will fall off. For the rest, I get handy with a permanent marker pen.