You may have noticed these bottles when I gave you an update on our kitchen here.
I designed the bottle labels with the help of the Canva app. Living in France means that we can’t easily get our hands on a lot of Indian or Chinese cooking ingredients, so when we go to the UK we always bring lots back. Pouring them into these large bottles means that we save on space, so I wanted them to look good.
You can learn how to apply the labels by clicking here, I use waterslide decals to apply them. If you want to give them a go you can download the printout below.
Have you ever heard of Mary gardens? For centuries, almost since the begining of the Church itself and especially the Middle Ages, flowers and plants have been named for and dedicated to Mary. In particular herbs have been used to represent her. Soothing and healing herbs ones for her perfect love and mercy, bitter or sour herbs her sorrows and sweet smelling herbs her spiritual sweetness.
When we know what they represents herbs can add a spiritual dimension to our Catholic kitchens; providing an opportunity to reflect on her nature and experiences. Just like outside you can honour Our Blessed Mother in the kitchen, perhaps on the windowsill, with a mini Mary garden of small potted herbs and a Marian statue.
It was this in mind I created these Marian Herb lables for waterslide decals. Like the measurements chart, they’re super easy to do – follow the link for instructions.
You can get a print out of the labels themselves below, but there is also a part of the prayer for the blessing of herb gardens for the feast of the Assumption which I’ve also made into labels for the back. Here’s the prayer itself (of course it s only a small extract which I’ve highlighted in bold);
Our help is in the name of the Lord; Who hath made heaven and earth. A hymn, O God, becometh Thee in Sion: and a vow shall be paid to Thee in Jerusalem.
O hear my prayer: all flesh shall come to Thee. The words of the wicked have prevailed over us; and Thou wilt pardon our transgressions. Blessed is he whom Thou hast chosen and taken to Thee: he shall dwell in Thy courts. We shall be filled with the good things of Thy house: holy is Thy temple, wonderful in justice.
Hear us O God, our Savior, who art the hope of all the ends of the earth, and in the sea afar off. Thou who preparest the mountains by Thy strength, being girded with power: who troublest the depth of the sea, the noise of its waves. The Gentiles shall be troubled, and they that dwell in the uttermost borders shall be afraid at Thy signs: Thou shalt make the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to be joyful.
Thou hast visited the earth, and hast plentifully watered it: Thou hast in many ways enriched it. The river of God is filled with water, Thou hast prepared their food: for so is its preparation. Fill up plentifully the stream thereof, multiply its fruits: it shall spring up and rejoice in its showers.
Thou shalt bless the crown of the year with Thy goodness: and Thy fields shall be filled with plenty. The beautiful places of the wilderness shall grow fat: and the hills shall be girded about with joy. The rams of the flock are clothed, and the vales shall abound with corn: they shall shout, yea, they shall sing a hymn.
For the Lord will give goodness; And our earth shall yield her fruit. Thou waterest the hills from Thy upper rooms. The earth shall be filled with the fruit of Thy works; Bring forth grass for cattle. And herb for the service of men; That Thou mayst bring bread out of the earth; And that wine may cheer the heart of man That he may make the face cheerful with oil; And that bread may strengthen man’s heart. He sent His word and healed them; And delivered them from their destruction.
Almighty, eternal God: by Thy word Thou hast created heaven, earth, and the sea, all things visible and invisible, out of nothing; Thou hast ordained that the earth bring forth plants and trees for the use of men and animals; Thou hast decreed that each germinate according to its natureand bring forth fruit in due time, and Thou hast decreed that these plants should serve not only as food but as medicine in time of sickness. We humbly pray with heart and tongue that Thou wouldst bless these various herbs and plants and in Thy mercy grant a new blessing upon those powers that Thou hast caused to be inherent in these plants. May they, therefore, be a protection against all sickness and tribulation when we use them for man and beast in Thy name whose glorious Assumption we celebrate this day.
O God, who on this day didst raise the root of Jesse, the mother of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, to the heights of heaven, we humbly pray Thee, that by her intercession and under her protection the fruit of her womb, Thy Son, might be given to us mortal men, that by the power of Thy Son and the protection of His glorious Mother we may be disposed to our eternal salvation by these temporal gifts.
O God, who didst command the children of Israel that they should bring the sheaves of new fruits to the priest to be blessed and that they should rejoice before the Lord, graciously hear our prayers and pour forth the fullness of Thy blessing upon these fruits and herbs which we gratefully present this day before Thy altar.
Grant that, wherever they may be placed, they may be a potent means against sickness and pestilence, against the poison of serpents and the sting of poisonous animals, as also against the deceits, snares, and machinations of the devil. Grant that we may be worthy to be received with our sheaves of good works into heaven through the merits of the most Blessed Virgin.
I’m really pleased with how this turned out; it was super simple to do and didn’t cost a lot at all. At the bottom of the post you can’t print out the chart for free, but this is how I did it.
Print out the image below on waterslide paper
Be sure to order either inkjet or laser paper, according to your printer, and that the type in question is clear. I used this one here. I’ve a more in-depth tutorial here, but suffice to say you print it out as normal (no need for a reverse image) so the ink goes on the glossy side of the paper. Leave it to dry for half an hour so you don’t smudge the ink.
Spray varnish the decal
I can’t stress this enough, but do it at least four times, making sure it’s fully dry in between. This will make it so much easier to dry. It really is the difference between using something that’s like cling film and something which feels like a laminate sheet pre the machine.
Clean the glass you want to put the image on
Remove the glass from the frame and clean it, making sure it’s dry. I used an old frame which had another image in. It was an old, old french photo which had just been glued on some backing and put in the frame; no mount and the corners where turning. I’d bought a new frame for the photo and put the original aside. So when I thought of this project I dug it out; it’s natural wear complements the image I was creating.
I kept the backing of the frame under the glass whilst I worked so I could see what I was doing more easily, but it wasn’t connected for ease of movement.
Put the decal in water
As the image is A4 in size I couldn’t use a bowl, so I just used this roasting tin to submerge the decal in water. As you can see it rolls up at first and then gradually unrolls. It takes seconds and when you see that it’s time to take it out.
Place the decal on the glass
Put it where you want it to go on the glass, with the decal backing still attached. It’s easier to position like this and leaving the decal in the water that long is going’s to make the backing’s removal easy.
Slide the paper
As you’ve given the paper enough time, separating it from underneath the decal should be relatively easy. Gently holding one end, slide the paper out, readjusting it slightly when necessary. However you can tear it if you readjust too much, so it’s better to get it in place as much as possible before hand.
Smooth it out
With your finger smooth out the decal from the inside to the outside to get rid of any excess water and bubbles. It helps if after you’ve done this once you hold the glass up to the light and do it again to get the best result.
Dry off the excess water
Start by using a dry cloth and lightly patting it, then prop it up somewhere safe so it dries completely.
Glue it to the frame
Using a clear, preferably water proof, glue around the rim but try not to use too much as you don’t want it smearing when you add the glass. Make sure the glass is facing the right way – yes, I did that 😳, 😆. Slot the glass in and put any clips in place to add an extra layer of security. Lay it face down to let the glue dry.
Here’s the finished image….
As you can see it just has numerous conversions that I need when I’m baking as well as some vintage looking illustrations.
As I do up the kitchen I’m trying to incorporate little unique features. In the upper part of my dresser, that I’ve painted yellow, there is a space that was crying our for a little touch. I intend to keep all our teas there; trusty PG Tips and my hubby’s collection of digestive, green, Earl Grey…..there’s a lot of tea.
I was cruising the internet one day and came across this quote – how fitting is that for a little tea corner? So I’ve put together this and your welcome to dowñload it and make one for yourself here. Enjoy!
I said in my last post that waterslide decals are an easy craft project, but there is a nack to them and also you have to be careful of how you use them.
I shared with you my first water slide project, these storage jars, with this image…
I was super excited to label all my storage jars. However when I was a considerable way through labelling them all, I suddenly realised something. These black labels looked great against flour, but what about dark produce like raisins?
My husband, didn’t get the whole labelling project. He also doesn’t get why you need to stack pans in order of size so they’re don’t keep falling out on top of you, so in the matters of home organisation he doesn’t have a full vote. Anyway, he said ‘you’re going to see what’s in the jars anyway’.
Well I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell the difference between raisins and currants just by looking at them. There are different types of seeds, herbs and other things that are difficult to distinguish without a label.
Of course as I’m spending the time doing this I wanted to, you know, see them. I want them to be a feature as well as a practical measure.
So I’ve tried lots of illustrated frames, with solid blocks of colour behind the writing like this…
thinking that would provide a contrast so the writing would stand out. Unfortunately on the transparent decal paper I was using it was too translucent.
I tried different colour wreaths like this…
but that was too translucent when printed out too.
So the black stood out the most – would a black background with light, contrasting letters work? This was my next design…
They look pretty on the jars don’t they?
Sadly when they have produce in them the same problem came up. I didn’t even bother putting up an image of the juniper berries jar, you can’t even see the label.
I tried sealing them I. translucent gold glitter spray, glitter purple nail varnish (still see through) and frosted glass spray inside the jar. None of it worked. Read on to find my solution. In the meantime here are my dos and don’ts.
Do spray acrylic varnish four times
When you print out your images on decal paper the advice is print it shiny side up, no need to mirror image it, leave it for 30 minutes to dry and then spray it with acrylic varnish. I’ve read other how tos that say spray two or three times, but four is the charm. Believe me. I know this because I accidentally sprayed one sheet four times and the others three. The sheet with four coats worked so much better.
The three times sheet had a more malleable feel, like cling film. They were tricky because, just like cling film, they stuck to themselves a good deal of the time. I wasted so much transfer paper.
However the four times one was remarkably more durable, almost like a laminate sheet pre laminating. It was far easier to remove and lay on the object as a result. I don’t think I wasted a single piece done like this. If you don’t follow any other dos, do this!
Do put water on the object
When I was trying to use the transfers in a more cling film like state they were tricky to apply. So I started to dip my fingers in the bowl of water that I was submerging the transfers in and coating the surface a little. It acted as a means to slide the decal in place more easily on the surface itself. It continued to work well on those I’d coated four times with varnish, allowing me to have far me capacity to move the decal on the objects surface. I’ve been able to move them around a good couple of centimetres.
Do grip the decal between your fingers and thumbs
Submerge the decal in water and it will curl up like one of those magic fish you get in crackers that are meant to tell you your fortune. Leave it for about thirty seconds. To remove the decal grip it with your fingers underneath it and your thumbs together on top of it. Grip it firmly then push your thumbs away from you. You’ll feel it give and it will start to do as it’s names says, slide in the water.
Remove the decal from the water, half on and off the paper. Place it where you want it to go on the moist surface and then finish sliding it off.
Do get rid of the air bubbles beyween your thumbs too
On the decal place your thumbs or fingers in the middle of it side by side. Then slide one of them out to the edge and off the decal, keeping the other firmly in place. Return it to the middle and do the same the other side. Make sure all the bubbles are gone like this.
Do choose your colour scheme well
As my description shows when it comes to something like glass storage jars it needs to be fit for purpose. This might mean not having transparent paper at all, as I’ve finally concluded. You see my solution to my dilemma is to go back to the drawing board with this design….
and this for teas….
on white decal paper instead of the transparent type I was using. Notice how I put something together with a border that I can give a clear edge too.
I‘m already coming up with some idea of how to use the leftover transparent paper. Watch this space for that. In the meantime I’ve added this free download of the labels here….
minus our house name and address which, as you can’t see on the label, I’ll be having on our final jars. I’ll update you when the paper arrives and they’re done and there will be another free download for herb labels (if you’re not a subscriber follow so you can get them when they come online). Can’t wait!
By the way, a shore out to the graphics fairy for the vintage, wreath image I used.