Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

A quick thank-you to those of you who commented (or just sent good vibes) on last week’s post: thank you from the bottom of my heart. I didn’t get a chance to look at them until this morning, so reading them all on a day where I had more peace of mind was certainly nice to see. Today’s sponsored art project seems appropriately well-timed in context, so let’s get on with it!

****This giveaway is now closed.****

I’m excited to share some cheerful, decidedly flawed art with you today:


Has anyone ever handed you something and asked you to make something from it? I remember it happening a lot more as a kid, especially in art class or when hanging out with my grandfather, but not so much as an adult. It was one of my favorite things to do—just to see what you can create out of a spontaneous material and nothing but your creativity.

I suppose that’s why, when Brother asked me to create art for my office using their P-Touch PT-D200 Label Maker for April’s little monthly DIY project, I was both a little perplexed (from not having done this kind of exercise often enough) and excited for the challenge. After all, I could think of plenty of ways to label things with a label maker, but art? How fancy can that possibly get?

Turns out, Brother made a gold foil label maker tape. Which is right up my alley, considering that I’ve tried gilding just about everything else in my office (like the painted gold light fixture on my DIY desk or my gold leaf map art). But what to create?


As you know from last month’s attempt at creating a watercolor border for a quote, I have been struggling to find words to pair with these watercolor backgrounds. What I didn’t tell you though was that my problem was really that I had the right quote, but the watercolor border I’d made just didn’t feel right once I started printing out the words on my P-Touch. I still had the pretty watercolor border created, and didn’t want to toss it, so I put it aside until the words came to me (which still haven’t quite happened yet, but I think this weekend opened up my search a bit).

DIY watercolor border

Anyway – I created several possible watercolor backgrounds to use, and a pink and orange one seemed just right for this tutorial. Step one is kind of obvious:

1. Create the background

For those of you that missed last month’s quick DIY tutorial (if you can really call it that), the key to getting light colors all mottled together like this is to wet the paper down enough to allow the watercolor paint to just sort of take on a life of its own and swirl around as you move the brush. I randomly dabbed into pink, orange, purple, and even red (similar to last month’s watercolor border DIY, but less saturated) to get the color variation I was going for.

watercolor border

2. Choose Your Quote + Load the Label Maker

I started experimenting with fonts for the quote while I let the paper dry. The P-Touch label maker has several to choose from, which are then given additional options from there (bold, italics, outline, sizes, combinations of these, symbols, etc). Brother also sent me several color options to choose from (green, pink, gold and silver foil are among the snazziest), but ultimately, I decided on gold. Having never used a label maker before, I found the whole cartridge loading thing to be really straightforward—just pop in the batteries, pop in the cartridge color of your choosing, and go.


3. Print

As each option printed (trying to conserve tape, I printed just one line of the quote at a time), I compared the effects and made my final selection before printing out the rest of the quote. As you can see in the pic below, I tried out a few combinations, including the watercolor background I didn’t wind up ultimately choosing for this project.


3. Apply Labels to the Background

The beauty in this piece is that the quote is specifically about flaws (Augusten Burroughs, the author of this quote, is a wonderful writer, FYI), so I didn’t want the lines of each part of the quote to be perfect. In fact, since the labels come with a backing on them, it was easy to lay out each line and tszuj them into place to see exactly how they should all go down. I also debated whether to clip the extra ends off of either side of the quote (you can see two variations at the bottom), but ultimately wanted the extra gold on the ends.

Augusten Burroughs flaws quote
“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”

4. Frame & Display

Done! I find that adding some greenery next to artwork keeps things interesting (and for those wondering, I bought these plants at Walmart on a whim for $2, and they’re still going strong).


5. Photograph the Art in Your Office

Just kidding. I needed to, but you don’t. This artwork is only 4 steps long, which means you can easily crate it in an afternoon. (And FYI: it looks shinier in person, but gold tape is somewhat difficult to photograph while making sure the words are still legible, but it looks less brown and has more of a gold sheen in person).


All in all, I really enjoyed making this piece. It’s very simple (like most of the art I like), but the point of these little DIY projects each month has been to just keep the creative juices flowing, and I think they’ve done that (you can see January’s here and March’s here… February was a short month and got lost in the shuffle, but I did have a project for that month too; I just need to frame it!). I found that once I started trying to think of something, I created another project. And then another. And I kept going until I had a slew of new things created from my label maker (#craftnado). Brother has also asked several other bloggers to make a few creative projects, so we’ve all been posting the things we create on Pinterest. You can see the ones I thought were pin-worthy (and you long-term readers will spy a very necessary label in the bunch!) by checking out my Trends: Label It board here:

Brother and uglyducklingDIY Label It pin board

And now, of course, a giveaway! If you’ve been here before, you know the drill:

  • What you win: Brother P-Touch PT-D200 Label Maker and 3 cartridges (1 each of Berry pink tape, Lime green tape, and black-on-white tape)
  • Number of winners: 1
  • Contest ends: Friday, May 9th at 11:59 EST
  • Eligibility: Canada and U.S. residents only
  • How to enter: I’m using Rafflecopter to run this giveaway (just because it makes things a lot easier to pick a winner), but since you know how I like to have a little fun with giveaway comments, I’d like to know: What’s the first thing you’d label in your home? (Your mail sorter? Your pantry? The cat? It’s easy to get carried away!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: H/T to Brother and Loop88 for their partnership in this campaign. Although this is a sponsored post, all words and opinions are, for better or worse, 100% my own.

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  1. I would label all my storage tubs! That way I can easily find my gift bags, Christmas ornaments, Halloween decorations, etc without opening every one!

  2. I think I would label my pantry. And my files because they would look so much better with a real label instead of hand written. I think I could easily end up labeling everything in my house because organizing is so fun!

  3. My pantry so I can stop hearing “where does this go”from my husband who apparently has never seen a kitchen before. ..

  4. Moving to a house with a TON of light switches. Definitely need to label them so I don’t go crazy!

  5. Ooooh, I love labeling things! I would start off by labeling my daughters dresser drawers, my husband drives me crazy when he puts her clothes away in random drawers because he doesn’t know where everything goes. This would give him no excuses! :)

  6. I would love to label the areas of my pantry shelves b/c visitors are always putting things back in the wrong places…

  7. A label maker would be dangerous for me. I might end up labeling the cat. But first I would relabel my file folders. I’ve since re-thought my system, and I would love to reshuffle them to make more sense. I’m also working on an org system for my recipes, and a label maker will come in handy there too.

  8. I have never used a label maker and i would never have thought to use it for art! So brilliant! Ive been thinking about trying to copy your art you made for christmas by using quotes from funny ecards…

    But id probably be more practical and label all my pantry staples first (is this corn starch or powdered sugar???)

  9. I would definitely start labelling in my craft room where there’s tons of stamp sets, cardstock, inks and also a pretty big fabric stash that needs taming. Thanks for the giveaway.

  10. This is kinda lame because it isn’t DIY related, but I’d label all of our skis first. Then, I am pretty sure I’d get addicted and label absolutely everything else in my house. I hope I win! Love your blog.

  11. Closet baskets! A close second would be the dog, since we’ve taken to just calling him Dog, instead of his actual name.

    1. That’s hilarious! I saw a meme once about someone’s husband getting carried away with her label maker. He had labeled the cat “CAT” and stuck it on the poor animal’s back.

  12. My pantry could use a little organization!!….this could help!! Thanks, Brother, hope I win!!

  13. I would label all my shoe boxes so I don’t have to keep pulling them off the shelves to determine which ones they are. (Or maybe I just shouldn’t have so many different black shoes…. Can’t tell which is which when they are on the top shelf!)

    1. I’ve seen people use Polaroids on the front of shoe boxes as well for the same purpose. Thought that idea was clever too!

  14. I have grand plans this spring for a complete overhaul of our home office so a label maker would come in super handy! Would love to create fun storage for all my crafty stuff vs work stuff vs school stuff :)

    1. Congrats Katie! You’re the random winner picked by Rafflecopter! Thanks for entering. I will be sending an email to the giveaway sponsor but I’ll need your address. Please reply to the email (that should be in your inbox now) with your address! Thanks!

  15. Trying to organize my pantry shelves, this would be perfect to let others know what goes where.

  16. THE CLOSETS! Once I clean out all the closets they always seem to become messy again but perhaps with labels it’ll be easier to remember what goes where (:

  17. The first thing I’d label is the switch for my spotlight in the backyard. It’s literally all the way across the house and accidentally gets turned on all the time. I’d label it with a big NOOOOOOO!!! :)

  18. I’m preggers with my first and due in September, and completely unorganized, but am hopeful that will change as I prepare for this babe! I think I’d label the hanger dividers in his closet… or maybe something in my craft room. Honestly, I have shit all over my house I need to organize so maybe I should just BUY one of these bad boys. It helps make you organized if you have the right tools… right??

  19. I need to label all the sorting tupperware in my pantry, because I almost made grits with regular corn meal…. dinner #fail. Also, I think I should label the self rising flour and non rising… because that could get bad, too!

  20. I label things for my kid constantly but would love to get a snazzy printer with fun colors to make art and fun stuff for myself!

  21. The cubbies in the office. We have a wall of cube shelving in the office, and I keep intending to get a labler and organize, but haven’t yet. Love the quote idea too! Going to have to go back and re-read the posts for the paper backgrounds. Very cool.

  22. My art supplies! I’m currently in the process of organizing all of my supplies, and having a label maker would rock!

  23. So many things! Everything for our upcoming babies, where stuff goes in the kitchen so my husband can stop pleading ignorance, which shoes go where (because it just seems like a nice touch), my medicine cabinet. Everything!!!

  24. My plastic bins of my quilting material stash. They are starting to stack up and I need to sort them by colors and precuts.

  25. My recycling containers. I’m so tired of fishing cat food cans out of the plastic rubble.

  26. The breaker box! I’m in the middle of a whole-house rewire, so things need relabeled like whoa.

  27. It is almost a little sad how much I’ve thought about this… almost. But really it is awesome because labeling things is awesome. I’d definitely take this bad boy to town on my kids’ toys boxes and bins!!

  28. I’d start with the small, plastic bins under the bathroom sink that have medicine, band aids, etc. in them. No more pulling out the wrong one first.

  29. My fiance and I are getting married this summer and are in the process of combining households right now. The list of items that need to be labeled are endless! From totes of hunting gear (his) to drawers of crafting supplies (mine) to the deep, dark kitchen cabinets, we have a LOT of labeling to do!

  30. Definitely the pantry — plus some sweet little markers for the seedlings I have started.

  31. With the Brother P-Touch PT-D200 labelmaker, I will label the 13-gallon trash can I placed by the door in the garage that connects to the laundry room (I’m sure that door has some proper name). I thought it would be easier for the fam to dispose of their car trash right away. It did make it easier; however, they occasionally forget to throw out the liquid or ice that has been left in cups or cans onto the front lawn before putting them into the trash can. Grrrrr!! It is annoying and often messy when I lift out the plastic liner. Using this fabulous labelmaker, as a gentle (sort of) reminder my first label will read: “PLEASE DO NOT PUT LIQUID OR ICE IN THIS TRASH CAN.” It will be in all caps with the largest and boldest font and the brightest tape.

  32. i’d go on an organizing spree of my (shamefully) cluttered office and art supplies storage. i love the idea of using a label maker to make art~ great project!

  33. The first thing I would label is the drawers for clothes. I would tell people that it was so my husband would know where to put things away, but seeing as I prefer to put things away myself, it would just be so I can label things without looking like the crazy label person (which I totally am, but dont need everyone to know).

  34. I am definitely a labeling fool so I’d probably re-label all of the electronics in my office since I’ve lapsed on that after getting a new printer and monitor. Nothing like crawling behind my 3,000 lb desk and unplugging the wrong cord!

  35. I’d label the bins in my closet office, I have bins up high and stacked on the side of the desk. When I’m trying to find something in those bins I have to pull them all out or of from the high stacks (this is all with a super lovey cat weaving in between my legs)…I feel a disaster in my near future from this combination!

  36. Sarah,
    I just found your blog a few weeks ago and have been -obsessed and reading every entry- really enjoying your blog. You seem like an awesome chick who isnt afraid to battle the house :) I am a month away from moving into my new house and cant wait to use your tips and tricks to make it my own.
    Loving your blog!

  37. I would love to use a label maker for our future house build – what a great way to keep things organized right from the beginning :-)

  38. ughhhh… My medicine cabinet. That sounds like I take a lot of medicines, I don’t! But its just a mess in there.

  39. My pantry items, without a doubt! I invested in a bunch of clear airtight containers for items like flour, sugar, oats and salt… but have not figured out a great solution for labeling them that doesn’t look ultra tacky. These labels would look fantastic & classy!

  40. So boring and predictable me I would label the breaker box. right now it is sharpie “Labeled”.

  41. First thing I would label….I want to say I will finally organize paperwork into the filing cabinet I insisted we buy months ago but realistically probably garden labels like you did

  42. The pantry for sure! Or maybe where all the bakeware/cookware goes… decisions, decisions!

  43. Hi Sarah, I would start with labelling my sewing and craft boxes and would also love to make some art to frame.

  44. Well, for one, I would NOT try to label my cat. She is not a fan of stickers-I know this from the time she wore lip stickers. That’s how my bachelorette party ended! So I guess I would have to find something else to label…

  45. I would finally label all of the plastic bins and boxes in my storage room. There is no fun like opening and digging though EVERY box to find the one thing I need!

  46. I’d label all my spices! And then I’d able my herb garden and possibly my vegetable garden. Oh and them my office supplies! OMG I;d be a label fanatic! lol :)

  47. Very beautiful piece! I remember using a labelmaker as a kid – seems like it’d be a really fun project to do nowadays. Thanks for sharing!

  48. I would label all of the paint cans in my garage! I realize it would probably be just as easy to right on the darn can but in two years I haven’t taken that step. I must need gold foil labels. :)

    1. I hear ya. I haven’t done this either. Guess that’s what I’ll do next with my label maker! Great idea.

  49. Everything! I would label the world! But mainly the girls playroom in the hopes that toys would actually get put away…

  50. I would label the shelves in our linen closet – we never seem to be able to keep the twin, full and queen sheets separate!

  51. I would start with my circuit breakers ans go from there! They are labeled but messy and incomplete. I love love the plant labels!!!

  52. My girls’ things. We have an almost 3 year old and a 7 month old, and trying to keep their things organized is harder than I thought it would be. My husband just shakes his head when I label things, but I find him putting things back where they go more. Win!

  53. I would label some cords! I hate having that bundle where you have no clue what cord is for what. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  54. Oh my goodness I am such a sucker for cute labels. I really like the idea of making artwork…however I will probably reorganize my entire pantry make it super cute!

  55. I have a large stack of hard drives (for backing up all my photos) that would love to be labeled- right now I just keep plugging drives in until I find the one that has the pictures I’m looking for…