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Project

Lunch Labels

Introduction

Make lunchtime even more appetizing by decorating kids' lunch bags or boxes with cheery stickers and labels. Some can serve a purpose -- personalizing plain containers or sealing sacks shut -- others are purely for fun.

They're quick and simple to make with a computer and printer, a scanner, or a color copier, plus easy-to-find supplies. With the same tools, you can make a chart that lets kids help plan what to pack. Download or copy our designs, or create your own.

Scanning Basics
Kids can scan their own designs. For items that are curved, such as marbles or carrots, lay a piece of paper over them before scanning; they will show up better. Print the scanned image on regular paper until it looks just the way you want (a parent can adjust contrast or brightness if necessary). Then print it out on the label. If scanning food, be sure to clean the scanner when you're done.

Materials

  • Fabric
  • Metal or plastic lunch box
  • Iron
  • Computer with scanner
  • Clear or white water-resistant labels
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Rectangular stickers
  • Round stickers
  • Avery mailing labels

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Personalize a lunch box with a few favorite things. Scan an object (we tried toy cars and a real sandwich); then, if you'd like, add a name to the image.

  2. Step 2

    Print out on clear or white water-resistant labels (you can wipe them clean) for ink-jet printers. Cut out, and stick onto a metal or plastic box. A little note from Mom or Dad slipped in with lunch is a sweet gesture.

  3. Step 3

    Photocopy or print designs onto precut stickers, or print onto sheets of sticker paper and cut out. Affix to a lunch bag for a fun midday surprise.

  4. Step 4

    Use our rectangular labels to seal bags closed. Print them on white sticker paper, and cut out labels. Or print directly onto white 2" x 4" mailing labels (Avery Label #8253).

  5. Step 5

    Use our round labels to add extra "flavor." Print them on white sticker paper, and cut out labels. Or print directly to 1 1/2 " round stickers (Avery Label #8293).

  6. Step 6

    When using with avery labels, be sure to check your printer settings before printing onto precut stickers. The templates will work best if the printer is not set to shrink or expand the PDF to fit the page. The wording for this may vary slightly according to the type of printer you use.

  7. Step 7

    Decorate a fabric lunch sack with a self-portrait. Scan a drawing into the computer, and print it out on an iron-on transfer that's specifically made for color fabric.

  8. Step 8

    Cut out the picture (make the corners curved, not pointy, and the transfer will stay on better). An adult should iron the transfer onto the lunch bag, following the instructions included with the product (with nylon, be sure to use a medium-hot setting, and insert a piece of cardboard inside the bag when ironing so insides won't melt together).

Source
Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 15 2004

Reviews (14)

  • 17 Apr, 2010

    Love this idea! Stickers can be used for party favor bags - halloween goody bags - or decorating a brown paper bag book cover. Thanks for the great resource.

  • 13 Sep, 2008

    I hope that everyone realizes that there are ALWAYS "new" comers to Martha's site... I have been reading her magazines

  • 13 Sep, 2008

    If I sent a paper bag to school the teacher would send home a nasty note. All lunches are to be in enviormentally friendly products.

  • 13 Sep, 2008

    I understand the use of lunch boxes, but also am a BIG recycler with paper bags! The comment above reagarding field trip lunches I thought was a great idea. As a teacher it makes it much easier to keep track of things.

    I'd also prefer to see a brown bag decorated than a Hannah Montana box in my child's hands. Why not bring out the creativity in our children by having them decorate a bag rather than promote a singer?

    Just my thoughts...

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    When is somebody going to do something about some of the lame excuses of craft and organizations of the day. They repeat, ALOT. And to the average crafty person, some are very low rent and lame. It is not what I think Martha Stewart is made of. I am seriously considering unsubscribing! That makes me sad.

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    I agree. It's seems like a big waste of time. Besides don't you want to recycle - - use a lunch bag/box with small conatiners that can be used washed and used again. I wouldn't dream of of buying disposable bags and decorating them - only so my child can throw it away. Waht a waste of money!!

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    A friend's father decorated her brown bag each morning with permanent markers. She has the collection to this day, and each one is precious to her.

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    My mother is a very good artist, and to my ABSOLUTE HORROR, she would decorate my lunch bag for school when I was a kid. As an adult I now find it cute, but as a kid I was totally embarassed because no one else had decorated bags. Besides, reusable bags/totes are the more eco-friendly choice today. However, these would be really cute for party favor bags

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    I use a modification of this idea all the time. I keep paper bags with my grown dauhter's name and my grandkids names on them. I decorate the bags or brown envelopes with stickers and 'art' . In them I put all kinds of things of interest for them. Sometimes recipes, news articles, flyers, things to try, etc. Then when I am going to see them I already have a goodie bag ready.

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    When my kids go on field trips they take a "bag" lunch so the teachers don't have to keep track of boxes - I sometimes put a sticker or drawing on to make it easier to spot in my child's bag in a crowd. Otherwise we use lunchboxes t reduce trash.

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    I argee but much time for every day and all my kids use lunchboxes. I am going to use them for the lunches we give out at my sons birthday party and on the treat bags.

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    Itn n n n s cute, but frankly I think itn n n n s a bit of waste - of materials and time. Getting my kids homemade healthy and interesting lunches everyday already consumes all the energy and time I have for that task.

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    Where can I get "water resistant" labels? The Avery labels listed do not mention any resistance to water.

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    Don't the vast majority of kids use re-useable lunchkits? I haven't seen a paper bag lunch at school in years.