Thursday, August 11, 2011

Easy appliance labels (a how-to)

Today I'm running around labelling appliance cords!  Here's the background:

In our paid jobs, the Cyclist and I both work helping people to save energy (gas and electricity, not the human kind!).  About a year ago, after hearing about the difference switching your appliances off at the power point can make, we started turning off our TVs, DVD players (two of each) and computer equipment at the power point each night, and only turning them on when they're in use.  I can honestly say that we saw an instant 10% drop in our electricity bills.

Having to have the cords accessible though resulted in the need for more power boards (so we can actually get to the plugs), and often we're trying to work out which plug is which, so that we turn off the TV not the hard drive when its recording something.  I have resorted to writing on the power board in the study, but have since rearranged things, and at least once have found that my mobile's flat because I have turned on the stereo rather than the phone charger, etc.

All of this is why I was attracted to this idea:

I'm not sure that bread tags would fit around most of our power cords though, and the bread we usually buy comes with twist ties instead.  What I needed was some sort of fabric that wouldn't fray and I could write on.

Well, the Cyclist came home on the weekend with a new pair of shoes and yet another polypropylene bag, and now I have the answer (my apologies for the lack of progress shots - I have managed to blur the lot!):

  1. Cut strips of a polypropylene bag (I cut mine about 1/2" x 4" using quilting tools, but you could use scissors or adjust the size).  You'll need a bag that's reasonably light in colour.
  2. Write on the labels with a laundry marker, making sure you leave around 3/4" blank at one end
  3. Fold over the blank end, and cut a slit around 1/4" long down the centre of the strip (when you open it up the slit will be about 1/2" long
  4. Wrap the label around the relevant power cord, thread the long end through the slit and pull tight.
  5. You're done!


  1. I've been meaning to do something similar for ages! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  2. That is such a simple idea - yet so handy. Thankyou!

  3. This is a great idea. I hate how these bags multiply in my cupboards just like the plastic ones once did and I am happy to see one reused so usefully. Thank you for visiting me too. I have enjoyed having a look around your space.

  4. my husband had a labelling frenzy with our Ptouch labeller and did all the power cords not long ago - it really does make life much easier!


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