DIY Classroom Labels


I love having my classroom organized and being able to quickly know where something is located which also helps my students stay organized. I am lucky to have a science classroom with drawers around the perimeter instead of bookshelves for storage. 
I saw a short video of this method on Facebook labeling jars in the pantry. I thought there is NO way that works. Well, first day of pre-planning while staring at a sea of drawers with no labels got me thinking. These labels have held up for two solid years already and aren’t going anywhere. These labels work on any smooth surface! This could be done on plastic tubs, windows, dry erase boards, desk tops, etc. 

Printer, Clear packing tape, Scissors, Craft Stick, Water, Bucket or Sink
Step 1:
Create your design in Word or PowerPoint. You can insert clip art and use any style of font you want. I kept the same style of font and set up for each label. Print out your document on regular white copy paper. *Tip: Create a table in PowerPoint or Word to keep your designs around the same size and layout. Eliminate the table borders before you print.

Step 2:
Get your clear packing tape and carefully tape over the words on the paper. If your design is larger than one width of the packing tape you can overlap the tape just a little. Be careful not to have any bubbles or creases in the tape.

Step 3:
Use a craft stick or the handles of scissors to rub over the words. This is super important! You will see the ink “sink” into the tape’s adhesive. The ink goes from cloudy to super black.

Step 4:
Cut out your label. I like the label to be rectangular.

Step 5:
Put all your labels in a bucket, sink, or cup of water. They will curl up all together. Let the labels sit in the water for about 3 minutes. This step is important because the longer you let the label sit the easier it is to get the paper off.

Step 6:
Start rubbing the back side of the label (the side with paper) with your thumbs. The paper will start peeling off. Keep rubbing at the paper until it is all off and in the water and you are left with a clear label with all your design transferred! The label will not feel sticky from the tape while wet, but it will after it dries. 


Step 7:
I go ahead and place the label on the drawer and smooth out any bubbles or creases before it dries. I like to wipe off the label with a paper towel.

-->Here are some awesome things about these DIY labels:

  • They look like vinyl labels but without having to use vinyl.
  • They are able to be moved. Easily pull them off without leaving any gross residue on your cabinets, walls, desks.
  • I can use any font and clip art I want in any size I want!
  • It looks professional on your things instead of handwritten labels.
  • Students know exactly which drawer something is located in.
  • Kids do not mess with them. (Maybe I should knock on wood…!)
  • You only have to buy clear packing tape which you probably have sitting in a drawer somewhere so they are super cheap.
Here is another quote sign I made using A Perfect Blend's Font for the corner of my dry erase board!

I hope you have fun creating and labeling all the things this super easy DIY way! I’d love to see any labels you make for your classroom. Tag me on Instagram @activityaftermath
Let me know if you have any questions! Happy Teaching!


  1. This is awesome! I tried this in my pantry a few years ago and the label is still on! Never thought to take it to the classroom!!

    1. Wow! I literally have every drawer labeled! It's so easy to do and looks so good!

  2. Oooh! I can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing this idea! :)

  3. Awesome! I can't wait to try this! Thank you for sharing :)

  4. I had to try this out! This is great!!! Thank you so much!!!!

  5. What kind of printer did use? I'm having trouble getting my ink to show up black on the tape, it only picks up some of the ink making it look more grey.