Labeling 101: Label Maker!

Wanna know what is crazy?  Being an organizing crazed gal who writes a blog about her organizing obsessed ways and never once chats about her label maker.  Say what?

Sure, I have shared a photo here and there in which I used my label maker for various tasks, but have never gotten into the specifics... until today!  And I get asked frequently which label maker I use, and since I love it so much, it was deserving of a quickie post.

Hi!  My name is Jen and I am addicted to labeling.

Now that we have that confession out of the way... you may wonder why?  Why am I so obsessed?

I have found that labeling is that final and crucial step to most organizing tasks.  Once you have a place for everything, labeling ensures that things return to that happy place.

But above and beyond that, it also ensures that things are simple to find.  If you have a sea of file folders in a cabinet, without simple labels, you would be digging and searching for hours for a specific piece of paper.  Labels also ensure everyone is on the same page {hey there hubby, the bin labeled "Condiments" in the fridge is where the condiments go}.  I personally find benefit in labeling things for my kiddos, so there is no confusion over their personal belongings.  The benefits to labeling really are endless.

And there are a bajillion and one ways to label something.  That is why I started up this little series awhile back.  So we could chat about making fun and unique labels for different projects around the home.

I personally try my best to make my labels "blend" with my home.  That word will be a huge trend throughout these posts.  Blending the labels ensures that you can live in a pretty home, without it feeling like a sterile container store.  To blend my labels, I often find ways to adapt their shapes, colors and text to the container and surroundings. 

That is not always easy with a label maker, but it can be done!

Introducing my label maker: Epson LabelWorks LW-400.

A little over a year ago, I decided to upgrade to the Epson from my simple Dymo.  The Dymo was great and found at Target and lasted me years, but ultimately I was looking for a few extra features and the Dymo wasn't printing all that well after years of use and labeling abuse.  When I was looking at a label maker, I considered how I would be using it {more on that in a minute}, the options and functions and of course, the price.  At around $30, the Epson could ultimately cover all of those needs I was faced with, and over year later, I am still smitten with the investment.

For larger projects, like the pantry, bins, baskets, etc... I am a fan of using other forms of labels that are more decorative and easier for the family to read.  Labels created from stencils, chalk paint, printed from my computer {and even laminated} or cut from vinyl, are common favorites.  But there is a time and place for my label maker too!

The main advice I can give for those looking to achieve a nice clean look from their label maker, is to invest in the clear label tape.  It is all I ever use, and I lurve it like mad because you can label almost anything, and still maintain the original integrity of the item you are labeling.  When I purchased my label maker, I also purchased the clear cartridge.  It looked just like this white one here:

Over a year later and I still have plenty of clear tape from my original cartridge.  So, although the price is a little expensive for a single roll of label tape, a little goes a loooong way.  I have labeled so many items with this roll, and to know I still have a ways to go makes my heart sing happy tunes.

Here are a couple of my favorites and a closer look at why I love the clear label tape.

Binder tabs:

When putting together my blog planner, household binder and budget binder, I fall head over heals for color happy page dividers.  The clear label tape allows those pretty tabs to show through.  Once I type my labels into the label maker, I print them onto the clear tape, cut them down to size and stick them onto the tab.  It provides a professional look, almost like they were purchased pre-labeled.

File folders:

This is one of my favorite times to bust out my label maker.  Labeling files.  Same as above, I love that I can let the file folder tab shine.  And I create file folders for all sorts of things, and work from them throughout the week/month.

My favorite method is combining Washi tape with my clear labeling tape from my label maker.  First, I place the Washi tape in the folder tab, then print the label with my label maker onto the clear label tape.  Boom!  Such a pretty label!

See the great font above?  That is was something I was looking for within my label maker.  The Epson LabelWorks does have a variety of font types, sizes and customizing features.  The label above was done with a script font.

Tag labels:

Here is another example of labeling with Washi tape and clear tape.  Simply wrap Washi tape around a cord and add the clear label tape over the top.


I love to attach metal bookplate label holders to decorative boxes to label the contents.

Printing the perfect size label from my printer is far more time consuming than just printing a quick label from my label maker and slapping it inside the bookplate.  Anything that saves some time and still looks cute is a plus in my grade book!


I don't actually label my shelves.  Yet.  But if I did, I would use a label maker.  And I know many people love labeling shelves and I totally get why they do.  So, I thought I would use my label maker and give it a whirl on a shelf in my cabinet.

It's pretty spectacular and gives me happy hives.  The clear label tape not only tells the fam where to put all of our tomato products, but it also looks nice and seamless.  Clear tape for the win!

So there you have it.  The skinny on my label maker, some ways I use it around the house, and why I am clearly obsessed with clear tape!

Anyone else ready to join Labelers Anonymous with me?

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