One of my daughters received a set of large square glass canisters as a gift and brought them to me because she wanted kitchen canister labels. We looked for a font she liked and she chose a matte black vinyl for the labels. The finished result is this set of four kitchen canisters that will help her keep her most-used kitchen baking staples within easy reach and able to easily tell them apart when rushing through making baked goods in her busy life. The matte black vinyl is one of the ones in my stash of vinyls that I get for free. I made a total of 20 different ingredient labels that you can have for free in my resource library.
The 20 ingredients cover the usual ones but also include some of the common ingredients for those on low carb diets. I made them available as free cut files (formats: .svg, .dxf, and .png in my Resource Library) for today’s craft machines such as the Cricut.
These are the labels included in the cut files:
- Powdered Sugar
- Plain Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Almond Flour
- Bread Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Rice Flour
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Powdered Swerve
- Granulated Swerve
- Oat Flour
- Rolled Oats
- Steel Cut Oats
- Stevia Blend
- Loose Leaf Tea
- Tea Bags
If you have an ingredient not included, post it in the comments. For each 4 new ingredients I see posted, I will make an additional cut file and add it to the Resource Library.
Materials and Supplies Used in This Kitchen Canister Labels Project
(This post contains affiliate links to some of the items I used in this project. It just means that you will help to support my blog if you make a purchase after clicking the links. There is no added cost to you!)
- Set of canisters (the ones used in this project are the 4-piece 1-gallon Anchor Hocking Cracker Jar)
- Cut files from my Resource Library
- Vinyl — you need to use a vinyl that is intended for permanent use that will be robust enough for occasional hand-washing (it is not recommended that you place your vinyl projects in a dishwasher). I mentioned earlier that I used free vinyl. I have a whole post on how you can get free vinyl from sign shops who throw away scraps bigger than your cutting mat!
- A craft machine such as the Cricut to cut the vinyl
- Transfer Tape
- A tape measure to help you find centers for aligning your labels
About YOUR Kitchen Canisters
You may already have your own kitchen canisters that you want to label instead of the ones I show for this project. You can still use these labels! Vinyl will adhere nicely to smooth surfaces. Your glazed ceramic canisters, metal canisters, or other glass canisters with smooth surfaces (nothing with molded-in bumps or designs) will all work well.
The size of your canisters may determine if you need to resize the cut files in Cricut Design Space or the application for your cutting machine. I will go over that next.
About the Cut Files
The cut files I included in my Resource Library can be resized to fit your canisters.
The files are designed to fit a space that is 4 inches wide and 4-1/4 inches high. The zip file that contains the cut files has a separate layer for each “ingredient” so you only need to cut the ones you want. I will explain how to cut only the ones you need later.
If your kitchen canisters are the same as the ones in this project or have a similarly sized area in which you want to place a label, then you can proceed to cutting the labels. If you want to increase or decrease the size, measure the width and height of the space you want to fill then scale the cut file to fit within that space for each of the labels after you upload the file.
Prepare Your Kitchen Canisters for Labeling
As I said earlier, vinyl adheres nicely to a smooth surface. The surface also needs to be very clean.
If your canisters have been in use in your kitchen, they likely have been handled (which means skin oils get deposited on the surface) and have been exposed to cooking oils that get into the air in our kitchens.
If they are new, they may still have oils from handling at the factory or the oils in the air or dust from the factory. It is still a good idea to wash before proceeding.
Thoroughly wash the area where you plan to place the labels. Wash with a soapy water that will cut through grease (such as Dawn). Do not use an ammonia-based product such as Windex. This leaves a residue that may cause the vinyl to not stick as well. You should also wipe down the area where the label will be placed with rubbing alcohol to cut through any remaining residue. Let the alcohol dry completely.
Try to work in an environment that does not have a lot of dust flying around (including pet hair). You do not want that to get stuck between your canisters and the vinyl.
Cutting the Vinyl
I have only worked with Cricut machines so I cannot comment on other brands of craft machines. Hopefully, the other craft machine owners can interpret these instructions for their applications. I have provided multiple file formats (.SVG, .DXF and .PNG) in my Resource Library’s ZIP file for this project.
Upload the .SVG file to Cricut Design Space add it to your project. When you do so, all of the “ingredients” will be grouped together. You will need to ungroup the full set of labels. This will separate all the “ingredients” into separate objects or layers. For the ingredients you do not want, select them and delete them. They will still be in your upload but removed from this project.
Reminder: If you want to learn how to acquire vinyl for free, you can read my post about how to talk to a sign shop to acquire their vinyl scraps. They throw away scraps that are larger than your cutting mat.
Step 1: Upload the Cut Files
The file in my Resource Library has labels for 20 types of ingredients you may have in your kitchen canisters. Personally, I do not use flour or sugar. I eat a ketogenic diet and have other ingredients. These include almond flour, coconut flour, and both powdered and granulated erythritol sweeteners (Swerve). These are also in the cut files.
After you upload the cut file to Cricut Design Space, increase or decrease the size of the labels to match the space you want to fill on your canisters.
To have a little bit of space around the words for handling the labels after cutting, position them in Design Space with one to two inches between each label. For the size of my own four labels in this project, they will all fit on a 12″ x 12″ mat.
When you have them sized and positioned, select all and, click the Attach button so Design Space does not rearrange them for you when you go to Make It.
Step 2: Cut the Kitchen Canister Labels
With your labels “attached” you can now click the Make It button. Now you can move to the cutting part of the project.
Your labels are all still grouped together. Design Space probably shifted the group of them all the way into the upper left corner of the mat. This will be okay. You can adjust the group if you want a little extra space along those edges but it is not necessary.
If you have a Cricut Explore, you can opt to use the dial on top of your machine to select the material. Optionally, turn the dial to “Custom” and choose from the many materials options in the next step. Cricut Makers do not have this dial and always choose their materials in the next step. I really think this is the best way to work with the various materials.
Click the Continue button to select your materials. You should select the material that most represents the vinyl you are using. To narrow down the list to only show you the vinyl selections, type the word vinyl into the search box and click on the search icon. For most vinyl projects (including this one), I select “Premium Vinyl.” If you want to learn about the various types of vinyls (the differences, pros, cons, etc., you can read about them in the “A Few Words About Vinyls” section in my post on how to get free vinyl.
You can now start cutting the vinyl! When craft machines cut vinyl, it only cuts through the vinyl. It does not cut through the carrier paper that is on the back of the vinyl. You place your vinyl sheet on your cutting mat so that the carrier sheet is the part that is stuck to the mat and the vinyl is on top.
Load the cutting mat into your craft machine and start the cut. This part is still fascinating to me to watch. 🙂
Step 3: Weeding the Kitchen Canister Labels
Once the cutting is complete, you will need to weed the vinyl to remove everything except the letters for the labels. Weeding is the process to remove everything from the carrier paper except the parts of the vinyl that comprise your project. In this case, weed all the vinyl except the letters.
Remember to weed (remove) the centers of letters.
Step 4: Apply the Transfer Tape
The transfer tape may also be called transfer sheet, transfer medium, transfer paper, etc. It is a sticky sheet that will stick to the face of the vinyl, allow you to lift the vinyl off its backing/carrier sheet, and transfer the vinyl to the intended project surface.
Some transfer tape is clear, some have grids printed on them, and some are opaque like masking tape. Mine is the masking tape style.
Cut a piece of transfer tape that is large enough to cover the vinyl plus a little extra for you to hold on to.
Starting at one side of the vinyl sheet, secure the edge of the transfer tape along that side of the vinyl.
Begin working toward the opposite side by pressing the transfer tape onto the vinyl.
Use a burnishing or squeegee tool or something equivalent (such as the edge of a credit card), secure the transfer tape to the vinyl.
Step 5: Remove Vinyl from Carrier
Cut this “sandwich” of carrier paper — vinyl — and transfer tape into the separate labels. Set aside all but the first one you want to apply.
Begin pulling up the transfer tape to pull the vinyl off of the carrier paper. Slow down when you get to the letters to make sure they come off the carrier paper.
If you have a low-tack transfer tape, you may need to help the vinyl separate from the carrier paper by using your fingernail or your weeding tool to gently lift the edge of the vinyl, press the tape back on it, then pull on the transfer tape again.
Continue until you have lifted all of the vinyl off of its carrier sheet.
Vinyl-handling tip: Do not set this aside and come back to it later. You do not want dust or pet hair to float onto the adhesive of the vinyl. Only do this step when you are ready to move to the next step.
Step 6: Applying the Vinyl
There are a handful of ways to get your vinyl on to your project so that it is straight. I’m only going to walk you through one method in this post.
Just an FYI here… My husband is a graphic designer in a sign shop and works with vinyl EVERY DAY, and has done so for the past 20-something years. He is the one who has taught me the tips for working with vinyl that have made my life easier when working with vinyl for these Cricut projects. I am happy to pass along these tips as I write these blog posts.
If you have a good eye for this sort of thing, you can center your kitchen canister label over the space you wish to fill and apply it. I’m not as good with the eyeballing method. I need to make sure it really is centered. This is what I did for this project.
These Anchor Hocking canisters have flat spaces that are 4-inches by 4.25-inches. I used sticky notes to mark the centers on each of the four sides of that nearly-square flat space.
I then marked the horizontal and vertical center for each of the kitchen canister labels.
After removing the carrier paper, I hover the transfer tape that is holding the vinyl labels over the space for the labels. I can then eyeball the horizontal and vertical centers of the label so they align with the centers I marked on the glass canisters using the sticky notes.
As you get close to the glass, it may stick. You can lift it off and adjust until it is as close to being level as you think you are going to get. Lay the vinyl down at the center of the label.
These kitchen canister labels are pretty small so the above should work satisfactorily for you. There are other methods for working with much larger pieces of vinyl and I will go through those techniques in future posts.
Once you have the label laid out on the canister, burnish or squeegee so that the vinyl gets a good seal with the canister. You can use a firm-edged tool or something similar like the edge of a credit card.
When you have finished sealing the vinyl to the canister, you can lift off the transfer tape. Pull the transfer tape at a sharp angle. To not pull up. Pull to the side.
Repeat these steps for all of your canisters.
Mistakes Happen: I know mistakes happen. You may have mis-measured your center lines or decided to eyeball it and missed it… whatever. Something might have happened that makes you want to start over. It’s okay.
Don’t panic when you make a mistake.
Take a good look at it. Is it off by so much that it will bug you every day or can you live with it? If you need to replace it, pull up the vinyl and start over for that canister. If your vinyl leaves any residue, scrub it off with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol. The residue WILL eventually come off (just keep at it) and then you can reapply your vinyl.
Your Kitchen Canister Labels Project is Now Compete!
After you have applied all your kitchen canister labels, the only thing left to do is fill them with your kitchen staples and start using them.
If you are new to cutting vinyl or just want to try some new projects, then you can click these links to try some of the things I have blogged about that use vinyl somewhere in the project. I also have a whole post about how you can get vinyl for free from sign shops who throw away scraps that are bigger than what you can cut on your machine. I save so much money by using the vinyl I get for free.