Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Water Resistant Inkjet Labels for Glass Jars

I thought I would give you a little tutorial on how I make my inkjet printed labels waterproof or at least water resistant for adhering onto glass bottles and jars. With this method you don't have to buy any special labels, you can use any plain white or colored paper of your choice. The paper should be something light weight like label paper would be.

pretty apothecary jar from Michael's - great for melting wax

  • Candle warmer
  • Candle jar
  • Beeswax or candle
  • Bone folder or burnishing tool (popsicle stick)
  • Tweezers
  • Pallet knife or suitable substitute (a metal ruler or spatula)
  • Decoupage gel
dip label in melted wax to coat
  1. With beeswax or candle in the jar, place the jar on the candle warmer until the wax is melted
  2. Print your label
  3. Cut or tear out the label 
  4. Using tweezers, dip the label into the wax to coat and allow to cool for a minute
  5. Place the wax covered label on a flat surface and scrape the excess wax off both sides 
  6. Apply decoupage gel to the back of the label and adhere to your jar or bottle. 
  7. Rub out air bubbles using a burnishing tool or bone folder
  8. Let the label dry before brushing on a top coat of decoupage gel over the label
  9. With a damp sponge or paper towel, wipe off any excess gel from around the edges of your label
scrape off excess wax from both sides
The wax gives the label a slightly translucent look which I like because then it takes on a little bit of the bottle color if you've tinted it. The wax will also deepen your printed color making it look richer. The nature of the gluing process gives the paper a bit of a parchment or mottled look which is definitely going to enhance your item making it look more rustic and aged. We most definitely LOVE that!

label with wax scraped off - ready for use
The other thing you could do with your labels if you don't want to go the wax route is to spray your labels with some Krylon Clear Coat and then use your decoupage gel as outlined above. The Krylon won't make your labels waterproof but it will keep your ink from smearing while you apply the gel. I have used this method very successfully.

Well, that's it. Hope you liked the tutorial. Feel free to ask questions if you have any otherwise, happy label making. :)


  1. Kellie - Thanks for the interesting article. I am from OnlineLabels.com. In my position, I hear a lot of different methods for waterproofing a label. I haven't seen this wax method used to waterproof paper/labels. Did you just print onto standard paper using an inkjet printer and then cut out the shape?

    I like that shape. We are continuing to add unique shapes to our waterproof inkjet labels line up and I would love to offer this shape / size.

    Here is a list of our current standard sizes for our weatherproof inkjet labels - http://www.onlinelabels.com/material_weatherproof_matte_inkjet_labels.htm

    Let me know some more details about the size and I can work with our marketing department to add that shape.

    BTW: I think our waterproof inkjet product may work well for your purpose and save you some time on the process. I can send you some samples at no charge for testing if you want to contact me.


    Dave Carmany

  2. Hi Ms.Kellie!

    This DIY of yours is awesome and it can be a business if you love doing this, even though it is not that waterproof it's okay because through the crystal clear spray it can prevent the ink to be from smearing. I liked this one! And I am looking forward to your another DIY, I hope you can feature on how to make waterproof labels



Each and every comment adds a bit of cheer to my day. Thank you so much for popping over. I hope to see you again soon.