trades > fabrication > signs_and_labels
document updated 8 months ago, on Oct 13, 2023

how to make signs and labels yourself — less durable methods (more cheap-and-easy)

I have a separate article on how to make more durable labels and signs.

gaffer tape

I really like white gaffer tape for quick-and-easy labels. And I don't like the cheap stuff either, it should be ≥$18 a roll. While that is expensive, the fact that it leaves very little residue behind really helps in temporary situations. And gaffer tape is the "Jack of all trades" tape, it can be used for MANY different things.

(gaffer tape is often used on audio consoles, to label what each channel is used for)

I use white gaffer tape in these places — labeling leftovers in tupperware containers, and labeling my plastic storage bins.

blue painter's tape

Blue painter's tape has to come in a white color, right? Blue painter's tape is usually reasonably-quality stuff, but I'm unsure how to choose a higher-quality white tape that purports to be "painter's tape". TODO — figure this out

paint pens / paint markers

With some basic knowledge, it can be fairly quick to make some marks with the pen, and the paint will last for a while.

However, if the surface is exposed to abrasion, the paint will eventually wear off. Our other article talks about two ways to make that paint more durable — adding a clear coat after painting, and/or engraving the base material before painting.


If you want to make paper signs slightly more durable, many printers can print on cardstock. I like to keep medium-weight (~90 lb) cardstock around, since it's cheap enough to use pretty frequently, but also it's almost as durable as high-weight cardstock.