If you’re going to make your own wine, you might as well label it. And if you’re going to label it, why not get creative and do something original and eye-catching.
There are a number of wine label printing kits; pre-cut self-adhesive media with some software that helps “design” your label. A lot of these kits have cheesy borders and other adornments which I don’t like because the resulting labels are lame-looking and have a cookie cutter feel to them.
Besides, I’m cheap. As I have a creative streak, I like to make my own labels from scratch.
I like using Avery (or similar) shipping labels. I found that the 2″ x 4″ labels, positioned vertically, work well for my meads, nocino, rose vodka and limoncello which I bottle in clear Bordeaux-style 375 mL bottles. I use the 3.33″ x 4″ shipping labels for Bordeaux and Rhône-shaped 750 mL bottles. 3″x5″ can work as well.
Besides using the plain white paper labels, one can get creative with the clear labels. I plan to switch to those for my meads.
Try to use a decent graphics application like Photoshop so your images look crisp and the text has smooth lines. If all you have and know if MS Paint, make the original image three to four times the intended size and in the reduction you will loose the jagged edges like those on the letters in the image below.
You can insert any format image file into each cell of the label template and stretch and rotate to fit. You don’t have to fill the cell with the image, but you may have to play with cell alignment to get your image to print the best possible way.
I recommend using laser printing media and a laser printer. In the absence of those, you can let the labels dry and spray them with a thin, light coat of clear paint. This may help keep the ink from running. Test one label first to make sure the ink does not run.
When done, you can use a razor and a ruler to trim the labels – just remember to protect your work surface.
Whether you make your labels this way, or order a roll of professionally printed labels, applying them by hand can be made easier with the help of a simple contraption like this one:
Hopefully, when I build my version, it will keep my labels more consistently placed than this: