Monday, July 7, 2014

How to print your own bookplate labels

Printing your own bookplates is easier than you think.

First --
You'll need a design.  Purchase a "printable" bookplate from a designer (like Lemon Tree Cards on Etsy).

Lemon Tree Cards offer two types of bookplate designs:

A- designs that print on pre-cut label sheets


B - designs that print on full sheets of uncut label stock

Both methods are easy enough for anyone to handle...but the designs that print on uncut label stock will need to be cut (by you) after printing.

Before you purchase a printable bookplate file, read the description carefully to determine which type of label stock you will need.

A - For designs that print on pre-cut label stock, you will need to know the size of the label needed and if possible, the product number.  Check around to be sure you are able to easily purchase this label stock before you purchase the design.   Many designers use Avery 5164 (4x3.33") labels because they can be found in most office supply and drug stores.  They are sometimes called "shipping labels."

B- For designs that print on full sheets of uncut label stock, I recommend you purchase an inexpensive paper cutter/trimmer.  These can be found in craft stores, office supply stores, etc. and will help trim your labels perfectly.  The full sheets of uncut label stock can easily be found in most office supply and drug stores.

Next --
Once you've decided on a design and made your purchase, the designer will email you a printable file containing a sheet of multiple labels, normally a PDF file.

What's a PDF?
If you do not know what a pdf is, don't panic. You will need a program called Adobe Reader installed on your computer to download this type of file.  Most computers already have the Adobe Reader installed.  If you do not, you'll find this out when trying to download the file.  Then go to: and download the free program.   Now try to download your label file again.

Let's print!

Insert the correct label stock into your printer.  Set your printer for the highest quality print job (normally this is the photo setting.)  Then print.

A- If you printed on precut're finished.
B- If you printed on uncut label sheets, you'll now need to trim your labels.  It takes a little practice but you'll soon be cutting like a pro.  Try to trim a hair inside the print design so there is not white edge showing.

Want to practice?

Here is a free design for labels measuring 4x3.33" (Avery 5164 or any generic with those exact measurements will work.)   Click image to take you to the download page.
 Crayon Bookplate Labels

Here is a design to print on full sheets of uncut label stock.  Again, click image to go to download page.
 Soft pink printable bookplate labels

I personally prefer the uncut label sheets because it allows me to print any size bookplate label and since I am individually cutting them, I can tie them up into a neat little package like this...

I would love to hear any comments or questions.  Happy printing!

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