Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don't put a label on me (DIY label holders)

I've tried too many times to label myself. But nothing actually works, wholly. So just don't try...

Since I wasn't talking about myself when I titled this post, let's find something that may or may NOT want to be labeled...

Yes, I'm still stuck on this guy...

I got SO MANY great ideas from you AMAZING people on my post yesterday, and now I'm torn! The option to do stenciled numbers was thrown out there, and that got the most positive feedback. Let me just tell you that I love it, too! But I can just see irritation and anxiety (on my end) coming if they're taken out and moved around. I think I MAY have come up with a solution, but I'll share that in just a minute.

I had hardware options thrown my way, and a few creative ideas on how to do label holders.. I've also seen people make their own label holders (unfortunately, since I got a Pinterest account, I've erased all of my bookmarks and can't remember WHERE they came from!). I've seen people make them from cardboard and card stock. Some have even made them from zinc (or aluminum? It was an element! :-p). But none of them were 1.) findable (haha, i looked before I started my own! I really didn't want to try to come up with my own!) or 2.) what I needed.

So I had to wing it.

I went to Lowe's and found this galvanized pipe down an aisle I'm pretty sure I've never been in... It was where you would buy a new dryer vent tube... thingy... I was looking for a sheet of metal that I could cut with a pair of scissors, since we know I'm not about to go buy a special tool for ONE project.

This is what I ended up finding (it's not a complete cylinder, it's just a sheet that's bent to form a tube, kinda like you roll up a piece of paper and the ends aren't joined).

I brought this baby home and tried to theorize ways to create a label holder. Let me just say that nearly a quarter of this thing went to waste as I scrapped idea after idea. FINALLY I came up with an idea that worked, and drew up a template in Photoshop.

If you want to do this, too, click on the image

<----- save it to your computer, and print it out (choosing the option to "fit entire image" - or whatever's closest to that option). Then cut it out around the solid lines.

Flatten the pipe out and cut off the thick ends. It's SO MUCH EASIER if you cut out smaller rectangles and cut the label from there. I didn't figure this out until 2/3 of the way through, and I did NOT enjoy making these. After I cut out smaller pieces to trace my template onto, life became SO much easier.

After you cut them out, use a flat, firm object to help you bend where the dotted lines are. I found a popsicle stick to be the most helpful.

(I TRIED to take a picture of this, but, as you can tell, it was a complete fail!)

(the rulers worked, too! so do this AFTER you clean up your junk drawer like I did here, and you'll have these on-hand, already!)

For the bottom, I just wrapped it around my finger.

Doing 24 of these in a period of maybe 2 hours (total, I had to put it down and come back to it over the course of an afternoon) made me bitter. I can't tell you how frustrated I got when it came to finishing these (if you follow me on Facebook, you heard all of my complaints)

Actually, if you follow me on Facebook, you got to see this!

If you can't tell, I was REALLY excited to have finished these!

So what did I learn from all of this?

TAKE YOUR TIME! Do a few at a time, put it down, and come back to it. There really isn't a need to rush (unless you feel the need to blog about something at the beginning of the week, so you don't feel bad for ignoring your blog all week).

So.. should I use the 24 file holders that I just made, or should I turn the drawers around (and spray paint the crap out of them so that they're white), and stencil letters on 'em?!?!?!


  1. Very cool. Way over my head. You're quite the creative thinker!

  2. Aw, thanks Jodie - if you need label holders, these were easy... AFTER i figured out my cutting issue :-)