Hello, my lovely readers!
H-A-P-P-Y N-E-W Y-E-A-R-!
It’s 2017, and I have been busy last couple of weeks with get-togethers with friends, preparing for Noche Buena and Media Noche. Hope you had a great time as well celebrating the holidays!
Well, now it’s January 2017. I can’t believe it’s already 2017! Back to work!
Let’s start the new year with some mini-projects, and this is an easy one that I did last night and it only took me an hour.
KITCHEN LABELS MINI PROJECT
For me, mini projects are something that you can do in a short amount of time that can significantly improve, well, something. Here, I did a quick kitchen labels project that has quite a big impact on the daily use of our kitchen. Our kitchen staples look nicer, more uniform, are easier to read at a glance; making cooking more pleasant and reducing mistakes (like using cornstarch instead of flour and vice versa).
There’s no special equipment necessary other than what most of us already have – a computer, a printer, scissors, and tape.
Our kitchen labels were looking a bit grimy. To be honest, although I am big on labeling things, I have never gotten around to purchasing one of those expensive label makers with the expensive “tapes”. I have a Dymo labelmaker that I use to label my spices, but I find the letters a bit too small for bigger items. Anyway, what I used to do was whenever I used a new container, I just tear out some masking tape, write on it with a marker, stick it on the container, and call it a day. Sometimes my sis would use shipping labels. Over time, though, it looked bad. After several washings, the masking tape would become gross-looking and the writing can fade.
I’m embarrassed to post this pic, it’s so gross, but in the spirit of honesty, this is what our old labels looked like:
MAKING THE KITCHEN LABELS
So last night, I decided to revamp our kitchen labels. It’s off to MS Excel to create some labels, but I wasn’t happy with the fonts I had so I went over to dafont.com to look for some brush fonts. I finally settled on the Sophia font, and it’s free! After downloading the font and extracting the files using 7-Zip, just right-click on the .otf or .ttf file, and click Install. That’s it.
So here’s what I made in Excel:
Check that you have the correct paper size, I also set page setup on Narrow Margins for a bigger printable area. Try to fit everything in one page so you don’t waste paper. I filled the cell background with a green color, and set the font color to white. I also changed the sizes of the fonts (made a bit smaller) so that the longer items like Bread Crumbs can fit. You can totally choose the size, font or colors that you want!
Just in case you noticed, I have 2 flour and sugar labels. This is because I have a container for ordinary flour (harina), used for regular cooking, and I have another container of all-purpose flour for baking, which is in my baking shelf with all my baking stuff. Same with sugar.
You can also do this in MS Word. I just find formatting cells easier in Excel, but that’s just personal preference.
THE FINISHED PROJECT
I just printed it and cut it and taped it to my containers. Well, first, I had to remove the old labels, but you get the idea. I printed the labels on regular, letter-size, short bond paper – 80 gsm copy paper to be exact. I like using transparent packaging tape for these jobs because it’s a bigger tape. Scotch tape is too small and will require several overlapping layers of tape. Buy a set of transparent packaging tape and tape dispenser, they are not only for business use, but are actually very handy around the house.
* Note: After I tore the tape using the dispenser, I also cut the edges straight with scissors to remove the triangular “teeth marks”. I find that the straight tape edges make it easier to peel off in the future. If I leave the tape with the triangular teeth marks, I sometimes have a harder time peeling off the tape in the future because the tape tends to tear. Regular paper + tape on top is also easier to peel off in the future in case you want to change labels. After some difficulty trying to peel off paper sticker labels, I don’t recommend them because the paper stickers tear and leave a lot of adhesive residue. If you’ve ever had a problem trying to remove a paper price tag from a purchase, you know what I mean.
Here’s the final result! Our kitchen staples ready to face the new year with nice, new labels. It’s actually a bit more inspiring to cook now.
These containers were like, P88 each at Japan Home. I like them because they are plastic, they are not heavy, they don’t break if they fall, are easy to wash, and they are air-tight! Ant-proof. We’ve had them for several years now. They do last a long time, except that we had to discard one because it developed a crack from one of the falls.
For the sea salt, we have always used this old, glass Ovaltine jar. I just felt that a glass jar would be better able to withstand the abrasive nature of usually damp sea salt.
Also, those are clean plastic spoons from fast food takeouts! Having the spoons there just make it easier to take out some of the flour, sugar, etc… No need to waste time looking for a spoon. Oh, and that Zojirushi pot in the background keeps water really, really hot for up to 2 days! I also plan to repeat this labeling project for our breakfast corner some other time (coffee, tea, chocolate, etc…).
Hope you enjoyed this mini-project. Share some pics if this has inspired you to label your kitchen staples!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!