I take it all back. In my last post about labelling things, I may have mentioned a blogger who made her own labels. And – I’ll confess – my tone may have been a little mocking. In fact, what I actually said was:
‘I had a good read of this blog (so happy! So very, very American!) where she gives lots of details about how to make your own labels. And as with so many detailed sets of instructions about how to do things, I found that all the various steps described (Excel! Print! Mount! Laminate!…) made me feel like putting away the laptop, and having a little lie down.’
Well, never let it be said that I’m not prepared to admit when I’m wrong. After putting the chalkboard labels onto the girls’ drawers, I had a bit of a rush of blood to the head. I looked around the whole house with label-obsessed eyes, and started to see the potential for labels almost everywhere. I started to wonder, in fact, whether the answer to everything (how to have a beautiful, organised, perpetually tidy house, and live a glamorous, and relaxed life, pottering about in wafty clothes, trailing a lovely scarf and the whiff of Jo Malone after oneself, instead of a trail of snotty tissues, and Disney Princess dolls in various states of undress) was in fact not baskets, as I’d previously suspected, but labels.
Or maybe baskets with labels on them?
Ok, ok, ok. So I totally went back on my mocking tone last time, and threw myself into the spirit of home-made labels. I decided that labelling more receptacles in the girls’ room might have many benefits: the slight ‘Blue Peterishness’ of the labels would not look so out of place in a child’s room, the lettering could provide some early readng practice, and maybe labels that were easy to decipher might encourage the girls to do some tidying up themselves. (On which more later…)
I went the whole hog. I repented of my mocking words: I used Excel. I printed. I mounted. Reader, I laminated. I obediently followed all the instructions that my American friend helpfully posted here. In the end, I was so pleased with the result that I made several, and even once I’d put them up, I kept sneaking back into the girls’ room to admire them. That evening, I become a fully-fledged, paid-up, bona-fide labels geek.
I decided to label the Trofast drawers that were holding an assortment of the dressing up clothes. I thought we might use them more effectively, too. So I started by empting them out and making some piles, and dividing those piles up into categories: hats (or rather, ‘headgear’ including tiaras, etc.), bags, shoes, etc. I decided that my labels should have large letters on them, plus a small image for the benefit of non-reading two year olds.
I was particularly pleased with the backing that I found. A quick google for printables yielded this highly jolly design: multi-coloured triangles laid out in a way that looks rather like bunting. Remember the curtains in the girls’ room?
I like how the design seems to mirror that. And of course the bunting that is strung up above the dressing up clothes. It is perhaps a little excessive to match the design of the mounting paper of one’s labels to the fabric of one’s curtains, but nevertheless it is a small detail that gives me pleasure.
So here they are in all their glory. Please excuse, as ever, the explosion of taffeta and polyester that is the hooks on the left. And also the drawers on the right are not quite complete: one drawer is downstairs, full of water beads for playing with, another is slightly cracked and its replacement depends upon our long-awaited trip to Ikea.
And the most surprising thing is – they work! I was upstairs this week looking for India’s shoes, realised that by some miracle they’d not been discarded in the middle of the floor… was looking around trying to imagine I was two, and wondering where I would put them…
Of course! I opened up the ‘shoes’ drawer and there they were, nestled alongside the glittery Mary-Janes, and the feather-bedecked Disney shoes. I was rather touched by the idea of India, in her room, looking about her for somewhere to place her shoes, noticing the label with the picture on it, and tucking them into the dressing up shoes drawer. Brilliant.
The only problem, in fact, is how to secure the lovely labels to the drawers. Currently, like determined little lemmings with a deathwish, they keep peeling themselves off and landing on the floor. The glue dots that I used to secure them to the drawers and the basket are evidently not quite cutting it. I could obviously just superglue them on, but am loath to as I’d like them to be peelable so I can change them around if necessary. Does anyone have any ideas?!