Before you order your bottle labels, it’s essential to consider how you plan to apply them. Explaining your application process to your label manufacturer early on will ensure that your labels are supplied in the best possible format, saving on cost and application time in the long-run.

4 simple steps to successfully apply bottle labels by hand

For the purposes of this article, we will be sharing our advice on hand applying bottle labels that are either front and back labels or wrap-around labels.

A front and back label – a common way of labelling your bottle is with a front label for your brand, logo, and varietal, with a separate label for the back to give additional information, such as nutritional values, product history, brand story, and so on.

A wrap-around label for curved surfaces – another common format is to print on a single label that can then be wrapped around the bottle for a continuous design.

What you will need:

  • Clean, dry bottles at room temperature
  • A clean, microfibre cloth
  • Alcohol wipes (optional)
  • Self-adhesive labels

Step 1: Getting to know your bottle

Bottles come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Most bottles appear standard, but when it comes to applying the labels, you need to pay attention to the curvature or your specific design. Does your bottle have a subtle lip, a sloping neck, or a seam? Not paying attention to these features is the most common reason that labels pucker, crease, bubble, or wrinkle when they are applied. Remember, the flatter the surface, the better.

Step 2: Make sure the wine bottle is clean and dry

For the label to properly bond to the bottle, the surface where you have picked to apply the label must be at room temperature. You can use alcohol wipes here to ensure the bottles are completely clean of any residue or dust. If you do, make sure you dry the surface with a lint-free microfibre cloth before applying your label.

Step 3: Aligning your labels

Once you have decided on the position, the seam of the bottle can help you align the label, so that is it straight as you apply it. Using a ruler or measuring tape and pencil is a good alternative if your bottle’s seam isn’t as clear.

Step 4: Applying your labels

Once your self-adhesive labels have reached room temperature, it’s time to remove your label from the backing by peeling it off from one corner. Make sure that you hold the label by the edges, to avoid oil from your fingers, dirt, or dust on the adhesive. Some larger labels that come on a roll will allow you to peel a portion of the label off before applying it to the bottle. Using the roll to maintain tension can also help reduce the amount of contact with your hands.

To make sure that the bottle remains in place, you can use your lap for front and back labels. Alternatively, place the bottle securely between two large objects (blocks of wood offer a simple solution to stop the bottle from rolling away).

Starting from one side and working towards the other will help to avoid air bubbles getting trapped or creating wrinkles. You can use your microfibre cloth to rub the label to secure it in place lightly. Labels will need 12-24 hours to ensure the adhesive has set firmly. It’s key to stand out and have consistent branding across your labels, why not consider bespoke embossed labels?

Time to scale?

Applying bottle labels by hand is a great solution for short-run, but this may not be sustainable when your production levels increase. As your business begins to grow, it might be time to consider options such as a manual bottle label applier, or a full-scale labelling service.

The perfect labels for your products

Whether you require labels for a short run provided on sheets or a larger order supplied on rolls, we’re here to help. To discuss your next project, call the Label Solutions team on 01277 568651, or request a quote using our simple online form.

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