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Tips For Smart Back-To-School Shopping

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tips for back to school shopping

Summer seems to slip away all too quickly, and before we realize it, it’s time to get the kids ready to head back to school. Most schools provide supply lists, but as children move into middle and high school this isn’t always the case. It’s best to start out with the necessities before school starts, then after the first week, pick up the rest of the supplies their teachers might require. Once school begins, you may find that basic supplies are cheaper since the back to school shopping season starts about mid-July.

On top of typical school stationery supplies, kids also need clothes, shoes, backpacks, snacks, and more to start the year off right. Here are some tips to finding and buying back-to-school must-haves while saving you $$$:

Sign-up for store emails

During busy times of year, such as the back-to-school season and the holidays, websites usually will offer coupons and discounts to get you to shop on their site. Also, keep an eye out for Labor Day sales if you’re in the U.S. for some great back-to-school deals and end-of-summer discounts.

Shop super early or after school starts

Everyone is getting ready to head back to school at the same time, which means you either have to hit the stores early, at the end of June or early July, or, head in at the start of the first or second week of school. Stores like Target and Walmart start putting new collections of supplies out when school ends, and most items go on sale after the start of the new school year. For trendy items, like backpacks, lunch bags, and pencil cases, you may want to grab those first since they’ll be harder to find once everyone starts collecting their back-to-school goodies.

Buy in bulk

When shopping in general, you’re guaranteed to save some money if you purchase items that get used-up quickly in bulk rather than as you need them. This applies to shopping for school as well. Buy paper, pens, pencils, and other frequently-used stationery items in bulk to last throughout the semester, or even the whole year!

Save on tech

Some middle schools and high schools provide laptops or tablets for students to use throughout the year or the entirety of their time at school. If you need to make the investment for one of these devices, there are sites like Best Buy that offer back-to-school discounts on laptops and tablets for students. Apple, Microsoft and other companies have education pricing and add-on specials when you purchase certain items for education purposes.

Reuse items from the previous year

Shopping for school items can get pricey, especially if you have multiple kids heading back to school. Have your kids go through all their school items from the previous year to see if anything can be used again for the next year – things like backpacks, large binders, water bottles, lunch bags, and pencil cases tend to last a while if they’re looked after well.

Marking your child’s school supplies is a time and money-saver

As sure as the sun rises, kids will lose things. According to a report from Pixie, more than $2.7 billion a year is spent replacing misplaced possessions. While this encompasses all demographics in the U.S., you can help keep your money and school-related items out of lost-and-found statistics. The best way to keep track of things is to use a custom labeling system. Custom woven sew on labels are perfect to add to outerwear, since these items are removed during the day and tend to get left behind and forgotten. For items like sports equipment or water bottles, a custom stick-on name label that is waterproof will stay on and help keep these valuable items out of the lost-and-found box. You can keep a set of spare, blank laundry labels (that you can write on) for incidental items throughout the year, so that if anything ever gets misplaced, it has a better chance of finding its way back to its owner. Check out our back to school labels to see all our best options for labeling kids’ items.

By shopping smart for school and ensuring all of your kids’ items are labeled, you’ll reduce stress for both yourself and your child, and save money throughout the school year.


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Custom Embroidered Labels

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Custom embroidered labels are among the highest quality products you can choose for clothing labels. Often used interchangeably with “woven labels,” embroidered labels are labels in which the design is sewn into the fabric itself, rather than printed on. (Sometimes, the term is also used to describe a special kind of thread that’s used to make the label stand out.) While print labels may use a custom design, embroidery creates a more dynamic effect that ensures the labels look like they belong as part of the clothing or apparel.

Whether you’re looking to promote a designer label or to put an extra special touch on your crafts and homemade clothes, start your search for custom embroidered labels with us.

Printed Labels vs Embroidered Labels

Different designs and applications require different kinds of labels. Embroidery isn’t the best choice for every type of label. Print labels are better for intricate designs and logos, especially for larger orders. This is done for cost control but also because the design can be copied exactly each time. On the other hand, embroidery can be a great choice for a high-end fashion house or for your personal brand or even just for handmade apparel. Don’t underestimate the ability of embroidered labels to give your clothes a sense that they belong.

Many clothing items will use a combination of different garment labels. Often, the laundry care label is printed, while the designer label is embroidered. Still trying to get your head around whether you want printed or embroidered labels? Check out the details for every type of custom clothing label from It’s Mine Labels.

Types of Custom Embroidered Labels

Whether hand-sewn or machine-sewn, these custom labels can usually be applied as sew on or iron on clothing labels. Iron-on labels are usually simpler and cheaper, but they can also be preferred for smaller and oddly shaped apparel such as hats and ties. More delicate and heat-sensitive clothing fabrics, like silk, must be sewn on. Read more about the differences and benefits of using sew on vs iron on labels.

What’s Different about Embroidery Thread?

Compared to standard sewing thread, embroidery thread is specially designed as a more loosely spun, two-ply thread. It can be fashioned from any number of materials including rayon, cotton, metallics, or polyester. The special thread design creates more of a sheen that helps the text and/or graphic design stand out. However, the lightly spun thread also creates a thicker line. For finer detail and when working with smaller labels, a more tightly spun sewing thread is preferred. For clothing patches and larger labels with visual graphics, embroidery thread can be used to great effect.

How to Design Custom Woven Labels

Keep in mind that embroidered or woven labels are only one choice among many that you’ll need to make for your clothing labels. Our custom labels come in different sizes, fonts, colors, and styles. Looking for large letters for a name label? Our ID labels are just the product for you. Looking for something basic and easy to design? Our classic woven labels are probably the right choice. Looking to create truly custom labels with your own flourishes? You’ll want to check out our designer woven labels. See all the information and product choices for our custom woven labels.

Custom Fabric Labels

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What makes for custom fabric labels? In many contexts, it’s the custom design and the style of the label, but the choice of fabric shouldn’t be overlooked, either. It’s Mine Labels works with the best fabrics available. This includes multiple options that can speak to whatever your priorities are for custom labels. A thin synthetic fabric is used for our standard labels and is great for cost-savings. A higher-quality satin fabric is used for our woven labels.

Types of Fabric for Labels

More than just promoting our own products, we wanted to provide a general overview of the different fabrics that are commonly used for clothing labels. A huge range of fabrics can be used to make labels including wool, denim, and leather, but here are some of the key categories for the most popular fabrics.

  • Woven fabric labels are high-quality and very common among commercial clothing labels. Popular woven fabrics include damask, satin, and taffeta. These thin, soft, semi-glossy materials allow for fine print, durable performance, and easy attachment. These labels can be sewn or ironed on. Read more about woven label fabric materials as well as the benefits of satin labels.
  • Other synthetic fabric labels include polyester and/or nylon, which are used for our standard clothing labels. If you don’t need the same quality as clothing and apparel designers, these labels can be a great choice for saving some money on handmade clothes and crafts projects. Standard synthetic fabrics can be used for iron on labels or stick on labels.
  • Natural fabric labels are a less common choice but can make sense for clothing labels that are committed, as part of their brand, to using all-natural materials. They do fray after several times through the washing machine. A more popular choice is a cotton/synthetic blend that can retain some of cotton’s natural softness while adding durability to the label. Read more about natural fabrics for labels.

Choosing Thread for Fabric Labels

Obviously, you’ll want to choose a color that matches or compliments the color of the fabric. If an exact match is unavailable, go a few shades darker with the thread color. That said, color isn’t the only consideration. You also want to make sure you choose a thread that will work well with that fabric.

Cotton threads work better with clothing fabrics that have little, if any, stretch to them. Cotton thread also works for more delicate fabrics. For materials with more give to them, polyester is the way to go. Also, if you’re machine sewing, you need to make sure you have thread that’s suitably rated for a sewing machine. Read more about choosing the best thread for sew on labels.

How to Create Custom Fabric Labels

Custom fabric labels are a must-have for major fashion labels, smaller boutique designers, and amateur enthusiasts alike. While the choice of fabric is important, there are several design decisions that must be made to create custom labels. Do you want sew on, iron on, or stick on label? Do you want a 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, or 1-inch size label? Do you know what font and style you want? Do you need a simple text label, or do you want a label with your logo and trademark as well? How big is your order? How big is your budget? With our range of products for custom clothing labels, you can quickly find and design the perfect labels for your clothing and apparel business or for your latest sewing project.


Why choose handmade?

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why buy handmade products

The crafting niche is thriving, and crafty artists are capitalizing on their skills more than ever. With the internet packed with a flourishing industry of handmade marketplaces, more people are embracing goods made by hand. By purchasing handmade goods either online or from local shops, you have instant and easy access the skills of artisans in your community and around the world.

  • Environmentally friendly

Artists or crafters are able to choose the best quality materials and are not forced to cut costs using synthetics as may be used by mass producers of similar items. Purchasing from local artists, or even making items yourself, makes a positive impact while reducing the  environmental effects that mass production of consumer goods has on our planet.

Creating items out of unconventional materials gives new purpose to items that may have otherwise been thrown away. For example, Unshattered works with women in residential recovery programs to help them develop skills, find their strengths, and prepare for the future by creating gorgeous bags and accessories that are handcrafted in New York’s Hudson Valley from repurposed materials.

  • High quality

When searching for clothing, decor, or a gift, the quality of the product is what you pay for. Handcrafted products generally have a much higher level of quality due to the fact that the crafter pays more attention to detail. Handmade items are more valuable and likely to last longer, plus they can be customized to meet your wants and needs.

  • Unique

When purchasing handmade goods, you’re receiving an item that is unique compared with others in the large consumer and even niche marketplaces. Since all items are made by individuals who source their own materials, each item is always slightly different.

  • Better for the economy and job market

Studies have shown that shifting even as little as 10 percent of consumer spending to locally owned businesses would create hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in local wages. A study from Etsy revealed that small businesses selling on the platform contribute $5.3 billion to the US economy. Also, Etsy sellers produce more than one and a half million jobs for themselves and others.

  • Feel-good shopping

According to Forbes, 87% of consumers feel that businesses should place at least as much weight on society’s interests as they do on business interests. Supporting local artisans and their eco-conscious business practices certainly ticks that box. Handmade pieces may cost more than mass produced goods or take longer to arrive, but when you spend money with a small, local business, you can feel good about your purchase.


If you are making items to contribute to the handmade market, make sure your branding is clear and present so your items don’t get lost in the fray. When you have finished your item, you can add a personalized fabric label to give it a professional look. You can customize your own woven labels here! You can also label your supply organizer, such as bins and drawers, to make your crafting process simpler and more streamlined using helpful stick-on name labels.


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Summer Camp Essentials: Everything that isn’t on your packing list

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Whatever essentials your child takes to summer camp, don’t forget this

packing for summer camp

When sending your child off to summer camp – whether sleepaway or day camp – we all know the standard items to pack – socks, underwear, toiletries, shoes, etc. Beyond the basics, there are several items that can make your child’s experience away at camp even better:

  1. Clip fan – Being out all day in the hot summer sun can wipe out even the most energetic child, so make sure they return to a bunk that will help them cool off with a clip-on fan. These fans come with a stand as well in case there is an extra surface to place it on.
  2. Instax or film camera – Pictures are worth a 1000 words – sending your child with an instant camera helps them remember the best memories from the summer. This is also perfect for camps that have a ‘no electronics policy’.
  3. Journal – Some kids enjoy taking time at the end of the day to write down their feelings and activities that they’ve enjoyed. If they’ve taken pictures on a camera that prints instantly, they can add in photos making a scrapbook of their time at camp.
  4. Book(s) – Camp is jam-packed with fun activities for engaging your child. Even so, there will be times where there’s a lull in the action and everyone can chill out and take a break. A good book will entertain your kids as well as keep them engaged over school break. Rather than taking a pen to identify the book as belonging to your child, use a custom stick-on name label on the inside cover!
  5. Refillable water bottle – Make sure your child stays hydrated by sending them with a refillable water bottle. Most camps have fountains where they can fill up a bottle with fresh, cool water. For those inevitable days when they forget their bottle in the food hall, make sure you attach a custom waterproof name label to the bottle so it finds its way back to them.
  6. Day bag/backpack – For sleepaway camps, while you’re packing all your kid’s items in a suitcase or trunk, don’t forget to grab a small bag they can take around camp with them. A tote, sling bag, or backpack is essential for taking around everything they need for the day. Using a fun, custom bag tag will help them identify their items amongst a sea of other kids’ bags, and will help ensure no one else runs off with their stuff. Our personalized shoe bags also make great day bags for summer camp!

To make sure everything that went to camp with your child comes home with them when camp is over, make sure you stock up with our labels!

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