chaos control · projects · tutorials

spicin’ up my life

I enjoy organizing.  I like to know where things are.  I like to group similar things together.  I like to have a system.  I like to control my chaos.  Trouble is, I am not so good on the follow -through, the staying organized.  I am a wannabe.  (see here)

As I unpacked our boxes, I found more baskets and boxes, containers and jars than even I could have imagined.  I decided a manageable place to start was with my spice jars.  I had lots of packages of spices just waiting to find a home in a sweet little, rotund jar.  Some had already moved in, been given a personalized shingle to tell the world who lived there.  Other spices, while nestled into their home, had no such identifier, only a hastily written tag on a scrap of tape.  They all snuggled in neat little rows inside my spice drawer, in tidy, alphabetical streets.  Alas, it somehow seemed incomplete.

I decided to look on Pinterest for some cute printable spice labels.  I searched and searched, but nothing seemed quite fitting.  I fixed to take matters into my own hands and make my own.  Now, I am definitely not an authority when it comes to digital design; but, I have played around with different programs with varying degrees of success–or lack thereof.  I determined to make them in Microsoft Word (we purchased the Mac version), since I had had more experience with it and it was straightforward in my haste to complete my project.  I thought it would also be a convenient time to try my hand at putting together a tutorial.  Please be patient…I’m a newbie.

Spice Jar Labels Tutorial

Open a new document in Microsoft Word.  Go to top right corner under “insert” and select “shapes,” then “basic shapes” and finally “oval.”

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Create your circle in the size you need by clicking on the page and dragging the crosshairs.  I made mine to fit the inside of my spice jar lid.

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Now it’s time to make the circle pretty.  I decided on a cork patterned background. Right click (or two finger click for mac users) on the circle, choose “format shape.”  Choose “picture or texture,” select “choose texture” and click on “cork” (or whatever you decide on).  You did it…you have one all ready to go!

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But before you get too excited and start labeling, right (two finger) click on your newly created shape and copy it. Then paste, paste and paste some more until you have as many labels as you require.  Arrange them on your page to optimize your space.

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Now you can start labeling.  (I forgot to document this step, so I just did a few to illustrate.) Go back up to the upper righthand corner, under “insert” again.  This time select “text box.”  Click on your first circle and adjust your text box to best fit your shape.

Next, go to the upper left-hand corner of your screen to choose your font and font size. I liked the scruffy, typewriter-style “Harting” font from  and I chose a font size of 24 to begin with, but adjusted it accordingly on each individual label.

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Here are my finished labels.  I made an extra blank label page so I can make others and be sure they match.

Finally, I cut out the labels by hand…unfortunately my circle cutter is not unpacked as of yet.  I used (homemade) modpodge** to adhere the labels to the lids of my jars. I didn’t even take the lids off.
**note:  I made the glue and water version, using less water than called for.

Once they were dry, I packed them into the drawer in neat little rows.  Sigh…it makes me very happy.

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