What am I going to do with all these labels?

Let me start off by saying that I am not a crafty person.  Some people can see an object and think to themselves, “If I tie some ribbons here and put some flowers here, it will look beautiful.”  I can’t do that.  But I am writing today about a craft project that I completed.  It isn’t one that I set out to, it just fell into my lap one day.


Many years ago we started to save beer labels.  To be honest, I don’t know why we started doing this.  But it became a thing we did, especially when we traveled.  It was fun.  However, after several years of doing this we collected a lot of labels.  It got to the point that I started to think, “What in the heck am I going to do with these labels.”  I couldn’t see myself patiently putting them into photo albums.  I don’t even put my pictures in photo albums.

Then one day we were going through our apartment and getting rid of stuff.  That is when we started to discuss a wood trunk that we had.  It was a plain trunk that was useful for holding stuff, but it wasn’t pretty.  It was suggested that we just get rid of the pitiful thing.

The idea hit me.  Why don’t we decoupage the labels onto the trunk.  That way we would still have the storage space and it would be better to look at.  And once we started this process we realized that we didn’t have enough labels.  It was sad news for sure, but we suffered through drinking more beer to collect labels.  This continued for quite some time.  But it was a labor of love.

Both of us are happy with the finished product.  And when I see it, I see labels from places we visited and it brings back so many wonderful memories.   And while we enjoy a beer sometimes we will reminisce about the places we’ve been and the people we’ve met.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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21 Responses to What am I going to do with all these labels?

  1. Meredith says:

    I think you should make a similar piece with labels from your adventures in Europe. I’d be happy to contribute to the collecting of the labels when I come visit.

  2. TBM says:

    Wow. You are up early! A lot of people like helping with this project and we’ll take all the help we can get.

  3. Carl V. says:

    That is great fun! What a great idea, both saving the labels originally and then figuring out a creative way to save your memories while making them functional and practical. Well done!

    I am a little disappointed that you didn’t involve me in the ‘research’ needed to gather the remaining labels you needed. 😉

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Carl. And if we are in the same city I’ll be more than happy to let you have your share in doing some “research”. There are a lot of plain wood trunks in the world that need a little color.

  4. BookRain says:

    Do you have a favorite beer? Or a favorite label?

    • TBM says:

      It would be hard for me to choose a favorite. I prefer a dark beer and we have tried so many. But most of them are tied to a memory so my answer will change each time I see a different label and remember something about that label. Not all of them were collected from trips, but most of the labels are from either a trip or another event that is important to us like a celebration dinner for a birthday or a job promotion. We did include some labels from our every day lives as well and those are important as well.

      • What a GREAT idea! The trunk is one-of-a-kind, therefore special to you and your memories.
        My question is this: How did you peel the labels from the beer bottles??

  5. TBM says:

    Some of the labels were easy to peel off. Others took some work and you have to soak them off. And then there were some that we could never keep since each time we tried they would be destroyed during the process. I have heard that there are devices to help get the labels off, but I found this out after I did all the work.

  6. Robin says:

    “And once we started this process we realized that we didn’t have enough labels. It was sad news for sure, but we suffered through drinking more beer to collect labels. This continued for quite some time. But it was a labor of love.”

    LOL! Such a hardship but I can see it was well worth it. 🙂

  7. hugmamma says:

    Now that’s a project I think my hubby could wrap his brain around. Although he’d leave the crafting to me, and do all the beer drinking. And actually that’s as it should be. I’ve never met a beer that I liked. Must admit I haven’t tried many.

    am not about to either. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I only started drinking beer the last few years, before then I didn’t like it much. But I found out that there are some beers out there that I really like. And I have a helpful drinking partner, if I order it and don’t like it, I know it won’t go to waste. Also, when in different places I like to try different things. But I’m with you, beer is not my first choice for a drink, but I’m learning to really like it.

  8. niasunset says:

    This is so creative and seems so beautiful and interesting. I think you did the best for these labels, you are amazing. I loved it. Thank you TBM, at the end they found their place.

  9. TheBlackTwig says:

    Wow! Very nice. I also have a handful of labels I collected from my trips but not this much. Now I know what to do with them once I have enough to cover, probably, my wooden, boring study table. Thanks for the idea!

    • TBM says:

      Your study table will look beautiful! If you do cover it, I would love to see a photo. It was a fun project, both collecting the labels and then covering the trunk.

  10. Pingback: A pub a week? | 50 Year Project

  11. Hahaha… very cool!!!! 😀 **

  12. How fun, TB! How totally fun! And what a bummer that you had to suffer through more beer to get enough labels! I would love to undertake a project like this!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • TBM says:

      I know, when I realized we needed more labels it was like pulling teeth to drink more 😉 You should try it. We love collecting the labels and still do each time we travel or try a new brew here in London. It helps us remember the good times.

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