Save some money and show off your creativity at the same time by printing your own return address labels at home. If you need a few ideas to get you started, Microsoft has dozens of templates online. These templates set all the printing margins and text sizes for you, so you can focus on the content rather than the typesetting allowances. All you need to get started is a computer, printer, and label paper which is available at office supply stores in sheets or rolls. Keep it simple to start with and print on standard white labels until you master your printer setting configurations. Trying to print on fancy labels from the start may result in some wasted ink and paper.
Step 1: Choose a Template
The label paper that you are printing on will dictate what sort of template you need. A standard sheet has twenty rows of labels in three columns. If you have Microsoft Office installed on your computer, you can browse through the templates there or look online. You can find templates to download, as well as some free offers for small return address label orders. The key things to look for on your template are sizes that match your paper and artwork or a design that you like. Everything else – the specific address, font, text size and color can all be adjusted later.
Step 2: Personalize Your Labels
Import the template into your word processor and fill in each label with your name, address, or any other information you’d like. You can probably copy and paste the information into each label once you have one set up the way you want it. Try to find a nice balance between text size and blank space. You don’t want the label to look crowded, but the font needs to be easy to read. Leaving a few millimeter margin on each side will also help reduce printer error in case the label paper doesn’t feed through perfectly.
Step 3: Trial Run
When the labels look good on your computer screen, save the file to your hard drive, but be sure not to save over the blank template in case you need to start over from scratch. Load your printer with standard paper rather than a sheet of labels and print one page to check that you have all the settings correct. A common mistake is to load the label paper upside down, so use the trial run to make sure that the alignment and paper orientation are correct. You can hold the printed sheet up in front of a sheet of blank labels to make sure that the margins and typesetting are going to work with the size and position of the labels.
Step 4: Print Your Labels and Enjoy!
If you don’t see any major problems with your trial printing, then load up the label paper and starting printing your own return address labels. Print as many as you need to send out a bulk mailing, or stock up for the future. As you get more comfortable with the process, you can start experimenting with different colors and designs. Maybe you are hosting a bridal shower and need to send out the invitations – you can print up a few sheets of bridal-themed address labels for the occasion. The recipients will appreciate the extra time and effort you put in to give the envelops that creative touch! I personally like to have both formal and casual or fun address labels on hand. I use the more professional labels when I’m mailing bills, corresponding with clients, or submitting school and job application paperwork. I save the fun labels for party invitations, greeting cards, and other outgoing mail to my family and friends.