How to Apply Custom Beer and Wine Labels

By Kim Vargo /
Last year, Scott and I hosted a holiday party in our new-to-us home, and we had such a great response, that we decided to make it an annual tradition! You might remember that we made custom Pinhole Press invitations and labels to snail mail to our guests, but this year, we stepped it up another notch and created personalized labels for the drinks. I did something similar for Scott this past Father’s Day, and it was just as much fun to share the silliness with our closest friends over the weekend.

But first, we had to come up with a design! Since our four legged kiddos rule this roost, we made them the stars of the show, naturally. I took a mini instant photo of each, scanned them in and used those images for personalized Pinhole beer and wine labels.

Once we decided on a festive mix of drinks, the hard part – if you can even call it that! – was removing the existing labels to make way for the new ones. Luckily, I have a trick that makes the process completely painless, easy, and super quick!

First, Scott and I lined up all our bottles in the sink and filled it with warm water. Now, here’s the kicker: We added a ½ cup of washing soda to the water. Washing soda is different than baking soda, and it can be found in the same aisle where you purchase your laundry detergent. (Once you’re done with your labels, add a tablespoon to your normal wash loads for a cleaning boost.)

Within twenty minutes, the labels were almost falling off the bottles! With very little effort, I removed the front and back labels. Although the labels slid off, there was a soft, sticky residue that remained. A quick swipe with a scouring pad (steel wool would work as well) gave us clean bottles, and so we formed a mini assembly line in which I removed and wiped, and Scott dried.

Less than 30 minutes after we began the process, we were ready to apply the new labels. Once the sticker was peeled, I found it was easiest to eyeball the line up, and with a swipe of my finger, I pushed the sticker down the middle first. Smooth to the left and right, and you’re done!

The personal touch was a big hit at the party, and everyone had fun choosing a drink based on the pet. (Cat lovers opted for our girls, Libby and Maddie, whereas the dog people consistently went for Jack or CC!) Of course we’re biased and think the labels were absolutely adorable, but they were a great conversation starter amongst our friends.

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