Saturday, 8 September 2012

Quick easy lables for jars of preserves, jams, sauces etc!

I'm not a big preserver, but I do go through phases of jamming, saucing and generally making a sugary or vinegary mess in the kitchen.

And then I make only a few jars of this or that and they sit on the bench for us all to admire. Eventually they go downstairs on to the shelf known as "The Larder" (very grand title for the 20 or so jars that sit there!)

But one thing I struggled with was the labelling of the various jars. When I made my first few batches of jam - I was soooo proud of them (some were even edible) and I made these fantastical labels on the computer and printed them out and  - well, it was just a wonder to behold!

After the initial thrill of seeing your own jam on the shelf wore off, I started making labels out of those sticky labels that you can just print on to. That was cool, but after a while, the thrill of that wore a bit thin also.

So I hand wrote on the labels.

But those labels are going to be some future archaeologist dream come true - they wont come off the jars - so she will be able to see exactly what I bottled, when and in what order as I started sticking the labels on top of one another.

I have been looking at a batch of Onion Marmalade for a few days now. I don't have any stickers left and was wondering how I was going to label them this time...

Here's what I did...

I used an A5 sheet of paper that's already been used on the other side and wrote the basics on it in a print size less than the size of the sticky tape roll. (this will make sense in just a moment!)

Cut them up into their strips

And the placed the sticky tape over the top so it overlaps at each end as well as the long sides

Like so...

And then simply stick them onto the jars and store.

This works for me as if I pick  them up with wet hands for some reason, the label is waterproof and the ink doesn't run and become unreadable. Its also really easy to get off - none of that soaking and scrubbing like you have do do for the original label!

Its basic - totally un-fancy, but it works for me! If you are making bulk stuff that gets transferred into other containers for serving (this would go into a small bowl on the table for a condiment with various meats) then it doesn't matter what the label looks like. If I want to know the ingredients, Id be better off looking at the recipe than writing out the ingredients over and over, cause I wont. I'll cut to the chase and leave some out in the interests of boredom. As for the date, after a year or so in storage - I find the exact date not to be a real necessity anyway... But then I'm not a super keen jam-erer...

Good luck! Happy labelling!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 to use a waste product for a new use!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 It was free!
Time cost: All of two minutes from whoa to go!
Skill level: If you can write your name - this shouldn't prove too much of a challenge!
Fun -ness: Anything quick and useful is fun!


Kathryn Ray said...

Are you using re-used store-bought jars? If so, are you canning them in a pressure canner? Or some other process?

er... bottling them. ;-)

livingsimplyfree said...

I've done this and also just write on masking tape with a permanent pen, either works pretty well.

Practical Frog said...

Hey Kathryn! Yes Im re-using store bought jars. I boil them in the micromave (water inside the jars) for about 10 mins and then fill them with boiling "jam" pull the lids out of a bowl of boiling water pop them on and leave them to cool on the bench. Basic - but works for me - I dont usually get mould unless the seal doesnt seal. -K xx
Ah - Lois, I never thought of that??? Maybe we dont have masking tape in the house... I must check with the husband. It sounds like his kind of equiptment! - K xx

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