Back to School ~ Hand-Stamped Clothing Labels

on August 24 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 55 Comments

Wynona from Ivy Designs sells lovely handmade items and modern-vintage boutique PDF sewing patterns. Today she shows you how to make hand-stamped clothing labels for every Back to School item in your home! It’s easy, fun and it will save you time and money.

From Wynona: The lost and found department at our pre-school contains boxes full stray clothing, hats and socks. Some of the pieces will never be reunited with their little owners. But you can avoid losing your child’s items by labeling everything. What better fun than to make your own hand stamped fabric labels?!


  • Cotton Tape for stamping (I purchased mine from Karaku)
    If possible, find tape that has a smooth weave. This tape comes in various widths from 1.5cm to 3cm. Commonly-found twill tape does not work as well with stamping as the raised diagonal lines can distort the image. Alternatively, you can use 100% cotton fabric such as calico and cut out strips with pinking shears; the edges, however, will fray a little over time.
  • Acrylic or rubber stamps:
    Use alphabet letters to spell out names-– Make sure the letters are small enough to fit onto the tape. Add cute little characters for a bit of fun. You can even get custom made stamps from various stores on Etsy.
  • Stamp inkpad:
    You will need fabric ink such as Versacraft that can be washed.
  • Iron-on double-sided fusible web:
    If you don’t wish to attach the label by sewing (which can be seen on the outside), you can use double-sided fusible web instead. Choose the permanent variety such as Heatnbond Ultra or Steam-a-Seam2 that adheres with ironing.
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine:
    To attach the label to the garment
  • Scissors:
    Standard scissors or pinking shears for a decorative edge that does not fray as much.
  • Stamp cleaner (optional)

How to Start:

1. Have all of your supplies on hand.

2. Choose your stamps and cut your cotton tape or fabric to the required measurements. Make sure you leave enough room at the ends to fold under and sew down.

3 & 4. Stamp away!

5. Seal the fabric ink by using a hot iron (follow the manufacturers instructions for best results).

6. If you wish to sew your labels down, fold under the ends approx 5mm. Sew the labels down at both ends or all the way around the edges.

7. An alternative way to attach the labels without sewing is to use double-sided fusible web, which comes backed with paper. Cut the fusible web the same size as the label.

8. With the backing paper side up, iron on the fusible web to the wrong side of the label.

9. Peel the backing paper off the fusible web, which should now be fixed to the label.

10. Adhere the label on the item of clothing with a hot iron, being careful not to burn the fabric.

Other Tips:

  • To attach the labels to the inside of shoes, use fabric glue.
  • If making items of clothing, sew the labels into the seams as you go.

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55 Responses to Back to School ~ Hand-Stamped Clothing Labels

  1. Sandi says:

    I’m wondering how much this ink fades after multiple washes? I keep thinking I want to make my own labels but worry they won’t last.

  2. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial, gotta try this.

  3. Kimberly says:

    What a great tip! It adds a lovely detail to a handmade item. And the little boy superhero stamp is over-the-top cute.

  4. Suzan dixon says:

    thanks for the tute!
    great idea

  5. Absolutely sweet!


  6. carmel says:

    love this tutorial!

  7. Fran says:

    What a great idea ! I’ve used the
    fabric ink stamp pads & they are
    very good. This would be a nice
    gift for a busy mom !

  8. Megan says:

    I’ve done this with Stayz-on ink as well but now I want to go and get some Versacraft to compare. Thanks for the info. Putting personal tags on projects is so much fun!

  9. Sheralynn says:

    Perfect timing! I’d been looking to make my own clothing labels about 2 days ago.

    Thanks for this tutorial!!

  10. Great idea

  11. Bee says:

    That is such a fantastic idea! Thank you!

  12. rhoda agerbak says:

    Thank you so much for this…now to get the kids to make their own!

  13. Jacqui says:

    This is great – I’ve been trying to print out labels on inkjet printer fabric and while its ok they’re not as colourfast or as sturdy as I’d like. These tapes look so wonderful and I love the Karaku site.

  14. Lisabee says:

    This is VERY cute. I may need to make some of these…

  15. amy craven says:

    Love this idea! I might even have time to do this one. Thank you!

  16. Kadybug says:

    This is wonderful! Sure beats the different colored dots of fabric paint my mom use to put on our clothes and socks to label who it belonged to.

  17. Kristin says:

    wow i love them!

  18. Heidi says:

    I like the vintage feel

  19. ~Helena~ says:

    Awesome. Thanks for sharing

  20. Lauren says:

    Brilliant! So cute and easy.

  21. Margaret says:

    I have wanted to do exactly this for about two years now — and haven’t had any luck figuring out how to do it on my own. Perfect! Thank you so much!

  22. Cammy says:

    This is a fantastic idea. I will be purchasing some fabric ink on my next outing!

  23. Wynona says:

    Stephanie, the trick is to not push the stamp too hard on the ink pad so that it doesn’t touch the edges. Alternatively, carefully rub the ink pad on top of the stamp. You don’t need much ink on the stamp, just a light coat. Then you need a really flat surface and your label also needs to sit as flat as possible. Again, don’t push too hard. Hope this helps!

  24. Wynona says:

    Hello all, I am loving the enthusiastic comments. Thanks so much 🙂

    In answer to some questions…

    The stamps were purchased from the same place as the cotton tape – Karaku on Etsy.

    Stazon is not recommended for fabric as the solvents are harsh and will eventually detroy the fibers in fabric.

  25. Sima says:

    Oooh great tute!Ive been wanting to order custom labels but think ill do this instead

  26. Rebecca says:

    Love this idea!

  27. Christine says:

    Great tutorial! These would be good for quilts.

  28. radiya says:

    thanks for this simple tutorial!

  29. Katrina says:

    Thank you for giving us the link to the tape!

  30. Shannon H says:

    What an awesome tutorial!! Thank you for sharing! I am going to ue this for all three of my little ones!

  31. Melanie says:

    Great idea! You could always remove it later if you wanted, unlike most permanent ink markers!

  32. Kate says:

    Those are adorable! I may have to start using this idea for my little girl’s clothing.

  33. Susie says:

    Wonderful! Thank you for the smooth tape source! I tried this a while ago with twill tape and you’re right – it gets distorted. Off to make some new and improved ones!

  34. Marcia W. says:

    Unique “doable” idea!

  35. I wonder if StazOn ink would work too? Any ideas?

  36. Oh my goodness, that little superhero stamp is the cutest thing ever!! Great ideas:) I should do this for my little one who is leaving the nest to go to preschool this year.

  37. Gray says:

    As a kindergarten teacher I WOULD LOVE THIS to appear in my kids clothing. How many times I have had a pair of trousers in my hands and had to hackle the kids to find out who it belongs to only to send someone home in the wrong clothes…. Please parents, its pretty and it will work!!!

    Love it.

  38. So clever! I love the addition of the decorative stamps too.

  39. Thank you so much for the tutorial. This is a fabulous idea.

  40. Alyssa says:

    What a great idea! I’m going to have to get some fabric ink!!

  41. Kathryn says:

    Dinky! I’m still using up the labels that my mother-in-law had for my husband, which gives me time to hunt up the supplies for these.

  42. Kristin says:

    super cute! I’m curious who you bought your stamps from. 🙂

  43. Stephanie says:

    OK, I tried that a while ago but I never learned how to stamp properly. What is the trick to not have ink on the edges of the stamp so you print only the letter and not an ugly square around it?

  44. bruinbr says:

    this is so cute! I love the little stamps you used!

  45. Lisa L. says:

    Love this tutorial! Thanks!

  46. jana says:

    Great ideas!

  47. Tammy says:

    Adorable! I didn’t know it was so easy!

  48. Alyson says:

    Great tutorial!

  49. pia says:

    This is fabulous!My kids school has a huge box full of clothes, forever lost their connection with their owners…

  50. Kelli says:

    So simple, so easy, and yet, i never thought of it myself! Great tips for easily marking clothing. You could also use it as a special made with love for you tag!!

  51. Kris Goorsky says:

    THANK YOU thank you THANK YOU!!!!! I need to do labels for my little man’s clothing and was admiring some of the custom order ones, but i like making my own things so much more!! You just made my rainy day thank you so much!!!

  52. Michele says:

    Great info!

  53. DebbieKL says:

    Great idea! Thanks for the tutorial.

  54. Becky says:

    For hand-carved stamps I HIGHLY RECOMMEND I’ve done tons of work with Melissa and she is FANTASTIC!!!!

  55. Keri says:

    So cute!

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