I thought that I would set myself a challenge: What if I had a craft fair to attend at the weekend, but didn’t have the time to get price tags and labels sorted – what could I do at home to rustle some up? Byway of tutorial, I provide the answer here.
HOW TO MAKE PRICE TAGS WITH MSPAINT
See the box below. If you have the items on the ‘I do have’ list, you can make these tags and labels too. The ‘I don’t have’ list sets some rules for what we can use.
- A Windows PC
- MSPaint (Paint)
- A printer
- 30 minutes
- Access to the internet
- Any fancy computer software
- A phone app that will make tags for me
- the ‘I DO HAVE’ list (go-to step 5)
This is not suitable for professional printing, but it may be a quick fix if ever required. I won’t be talking much about computing, or graphics. I will be making the tags, and demonstrating what I did. Throughout this challenge you will see how I achieve results. If you can add to the solution please share it by commenting.
MAKING PRICE TAGS AT HOME
Step 1: Open Paint and Save
Open Paint. Paint is free on any PC/Laptop running Windows.
Make sure you have the right file type from the beginning by saving the new document as a ‘tiff’ file now. A ‘tiff’ format saves at a good quality for print. May as well make that your first step.
To save the document as a ‘tiff’ simply select ‘Save as’, then ‘Other formats’ (as seen in the image above). ‘tiff’ is a saving option within. Don’t forget to name your file, and to locate it in a place where you can later find it.
You need the document to have a high resolution so it is not pixelated when you print it out.
This is how I work out the print size of the image when using Paint:
First press the ‘Resize’ button to open the ‘Resize and Skew’ panel.
Once in the panel, select the ‘Pixels’ option.
Before we move forward we need to know what we are making. Is it a price tag, a WIP card, a business card or a label?
We need to know what size we want the item to print out at. If it is a price tag, we want it to be quite small, maybe 6.5 centimetres (cm) by 4cm. If it’s a WIP card, we may want a print out of A6 size.
There are industry standards (which you can find online), but we are making these for us, and for that craft show!
So, get a ruler and work out what size you want it to be (in centimetres).
Now we need to convert centimetres into pixels to fill the boxes in the panel.
1 cm is 37.795 pixels (we can round this up to 37.8).
So, if you want something to print off in real life at 6.5cm by 4cm, you would do the sums:
6.5 x 37.8 = 245.7 and 4 x 37.8 = 151.2.
You now put 246 into the ‘Horizontal’ and 151 into the ‘Vertical’ boxes above. This will later print as a rectangle, measuring about 6.5cm by 4cm.
Step 3: Time to design
This is Paint, meaning that (in my experience) it will give you basic results with limited options for image manipulation. It does give direct access to the pixels in an image, where you can get quite a bit done. However, it can be time consuming, and trying.
When manipulating an image in Paint the button I use most is ‘Undo’. If you don’t like your last action, ‘Undo’ it.
For this example/challenge, I will be making a general label tag measuring 9.5cm by 6cm.
Start with a box. Select the box shape from the ‘Shapes’ panel in the menu bar. Select the density you want the line to be. Thicker lines will print clearer with household printers.
I’ll leave the designing to you. Remember to ‘Save’ your work as you go.
Draw a box on the page.
To make it look like a price tag I selected a hexagon shape from the ‘Shapes’ panel in the menu bar.
Keep the shape selected (don’t click away from it). This means you can move it into position and continue to dictate its form.
Move the hexagon into position, lining it up with the left edge of the box and drag to size. They should not overlap (image aside).
Select the Eraser tool and delete where needed.
You may want to introduce an external image. Maybe a logo or picture.
If you add an image, it needs to be larger than the size of your new project. This is so it will print out to the same quality. Here the image I introduce is larger, so I need to reduce the size.
First, introduce it. I simply opened it in another instance of Paint. Then I drew a ‘Select’ box around it. Then Copied, before Pasting it into my new project. Again, keep it selected (do not click away), so that we can continue to manipulate it.
As the logo is larger than I would want, I must resize it.
For the purpose of this, I will resize it by hand/eye.
You can turn on the Rulers and Gridlines if you like. The option is in the view panel on the main menu bar.
Refer to image to the left: For this quick resize, right click and hold one corner (A) of the selected box. Now pull this towards its opposite corner (B).
Simply ensure that the corner (A) causes the grid lines attached to both its arms to decrease by the same measurement. Use the dotted lines of the selection box to guide you. The arrows point to the grid lines that I have used.
While still selected, move your image into its final position.
Here are the two tags I have made:
Instead of printing directly from Paint, I created a ‘rtf’ (Rich Text Format) document. A ‘rtf’ file will open in WordPad, a free program on Windows.
There it is, my personalised tags ready for my craft fair.
Remember, you can make them in any size you want.
You could use this tutorial and make your own,
You could just print from a selection of free printable price tags and labels available here at Hooked On Patterns.
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