Black Nesting CanistersI bought a couple sets of these canisters from Target ages ago, and they’ve been awesome for storing my sugars, flour, tea bags, and loose coffee beans. I’ve been wanting to add labels to them for a while, but I couldn’t decide exactly how I wanted to do it, given the plethora of ideas out there (and by “out there,” I mean, “on Pinterest”).

Should I buy labels I can write on? Print and glue them? Mod Podge them? Freehand them? Find a stencil font I like and trace them? So many choices!!

I found a font that I thought would be ideal a while back: Captain Howdy. I fell in love with it when I saw it and knew it would be perfect.

The rest of the process? Not quite so perfect.

Here’s my convoluted crafting journey. Let it serve as a warning!

Taping1. I made to-scale digital versions of the labels and printed them out.

2. I sliced the binder-hole edge off of a clear plastic sheet protector and placed the printout inside.

3. Using the printout as a guide, I applied painters’ tape to the plastic, making sure to wrap the ends of the tape around both edges of the plastic so they wouldn’t wreak havoc in the printer.

4. I ran the whole thing back through the printer to make a copy of each label on the painters’ tape.

IMG_05135. The funnest part ever: cutting around the letters to make tape stencils. (Talk about tedious…)

Here’s where things start to fall apart:

6. Try as I may, no matter how carefully I tried to peel my new stencils off of my cutting mat, bits were threatening to rip off (like the inner bits on the Es and Fs). I managed to get them off reasonably intact, so I positioned them on my two smallest canisters (a.k.a. “Victim 1” and “Victim 2”).

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IMG_05177. Once I got the stencils in place, I used black acrylic paint to fill in the letters. I used a dabbing motion and went in different directions to make sure I got paint in all the necessary corners.

8. I gave both canisters a couple of coats, then waited for the last of the paint to dry (which, with acrylic paint, is no time at all).

9. When I peeled off the stencils, I peeled off paint around the edges of my letters, too. >.< I thought acrylic-on-acrylic would be ok, but nope.

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Back to square one!!

IMG_0524I picked up this paint pen at JoAnn the other day, and my first inclination was to use it along with a copy of the label behind the canister’s clear acrylic window. I could just trace the letters and be done with it!

(I’d honestly tried this with the TEA label prior to the above debacle, but I wasn’t happy with the edges, so I scratched the paint off with my fingernail and tried the stencil method instead.)

Y’know what? I’m actually pretty darn happy with how the two “test” canisters turned out, and it took a FRACTION of the time!

IMG_0526I’d also picked up a handy hint on Pinterest that said you could use the pointy end of a wooden toothpick to clean up any mistakes or ragged edges after the paint has dried. It worked like a charm!!

I’m excited to do the remaining four canisters now. I’ll post pics when they’re done. 😀

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