DIY Authentic Vintage Paper Labels! | July 01, 2009

DIY Vintage Herb and Spice Bottles

Create an authentic vintage look with these DIY herb bottles which can be used for gifts, party or wedding favours or simply to decorate your own pantry! Download your free label designs and read instructions on how to achieve the vintage paper effect.

I will also be providing tea labels in upcoming days so stay tuned for those, but in the meantime, read on to check out these little gems!

DIY Vintage Herb and Spice Bottles

DIY Vintage Herb and Spice Bottles


  • Ground Coffee/Instant Coffee
  • Boiling water
  • A mug
  • A baking tray or plate
  • A spoon
  • 6 brown 50ml bottles (mine are from Aesop travelling kit that is pictured below)
  • Hair Blow Dryer
  • White A4 80gsm paper
  • Black and white printer
  • Guillotine or scalpel
  • Label Template (download below)



Aesop Bottles

(The Aesop travelling kit consists of 3 re-usable plastic 50ml brown bottles and costs $5.50 AUD)



Download the following free pdf for your labels for Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme and Sage.

Herb and Spice Labels


DIY Vintage Herb and Spice Bottles

DIY Vintage Herb and Spice Bottles


Step One-  Print out your labels onto plain white 80 gsm paper using your black and white printer.

Step Two- Cut out your labels using a guillotine or scalpel.

Step Three-  Scoop some coffee into a mug and fill enough boiling water to just cover the coffee grains. You don't want too much water as you want the coffee to be super strong. Stir the coffee until dissolved then scoop a few spoons into your tray or plate.


DIY Vintage Herb and Spice Bottles


DIY Vintage Herb and Spice Bottles

Step Four- Place one of the labels into the puddle of coffee. You can use your spoon to press it down into the liquid and make sure it's fully covered. Do this to both sides of the label. You want your label to be completed covered with coffee and you want to make sure there's enough water in the consistency so that you don't have too many of the grains sticking to your label when you take it out.

Step Five- Take your label out of the coffee and start blow drying it until it is completely dry. It helps to keep a couple of puddles of water while drying on your label so that when it dries you get that water stained effect. Take your time and experiment with various effects.

Step Six- Once all your labels have dried, use double-sided tape to stick onto your herbs bottles. Fill with herbs and you're done!

DIY Vintage Herb and Spice Bottles


When I had finished all 6 labels I noticed that the first few had a nice yellowish tinge whereas the rest were a darker brown. I'm not 100% sure on this but I believe this may have been due to the heat of the coffee when I first started. Therefore, it's possible that this can be maintained by keeping the coffee hot for all of the labels and maybe using a very high heat on the blow dryer, making sure to not stop until it is completely dry. If anyone discovers the reason for this or has found any other neat effects, please let  me know!

DIY Vintage Herb and Spice Bottles

(All the information regarding the various herbs that I've used on the labels is referenced from Encyclopedia Britannica Online)

posted under: Do It Yourself, Free Stuff, Vintage Style


  1. I love it! This is a great idea.
  2. Thanks Danielle, very nice to hear!
  3. I love this idea! Thank you so much! I will be linking :)
  4. I absolutely love these! Was wondering if you will be doing other herbs, or have instructions on how to make other ones? Thank you so much!
  5. Actually I was thinking of doing more... What herbs were you thinking of? I haven't really tackled any spices either. Note to self: should definitely put up a more comprehensive collection at some point in the future!
  6. Sandra | Jul 24, 2009
    WOW! I am up in the middle of the night being creativ thanks to you! LOVE IT! Pls. do more - I'm SO hocked!
  7. Andrea | Aug 8, 2009
    Love the spice labels. I can think of the following spices/herbs that would be fantastic:

    star anise

    thanks a lot!
  8. Karyn | Aug 24, 2009
    I too would love it if you had a larger variety of spices. I agree with Andrea on those she mentioned. Perhaps you could add Peppercorns, Curry Powder, Sea Salt, Garlic Powder...

    I love the look of these and I can't wait to make them! I'll definitely be bookmarking your page for future updates and new ideas!!
  9. Nicole | Sep 6, 2009
    I too would like additional spices to print. I look forward to seeing others. I've already made the current ones and they turned out great! Please add new ones!!!
  10. Hi all- thanks for the list of additional spices- I have some other projects I'd like to complete first but I will definitely do these in the future- maybe with an editable template- we'll see. Please stay tuned!
  11. Scott TX | Sep 7, 2009
    Amy, any chance you could tell us the font used in that template? It has a great look for a project I've got in mind.

    Either way, thanks for this awesome idea.
  12. Scott TX | Sep 7, 2009
    Awesome, thanks a bunch. I'd actually just been at that site and totally missed that font!
  13. These are lovely! I dont' know how I came across your site...the web is a windy roadfull of clcks but I am so happy I did. Love everything so far and I can't wait to read more! :) Thanks for sharing!
  14. Hello from germany :-)

    I would like to ask which program do you use to make your beautiful labels?
  15. Hi Nimue! I use Adobe Illustrator to create all my labels.
  16. kalia | Jan 5, 2010
    thank you so much! i love your labels! will look forward to more herbs! thank you again...hard to find cool stuff for free these days, you should be commended :-) found you thru
  17. Rachel | Jan 28, 2010
    hey, i love this idea! it just looks so cool, i love it, but yeah, i would love for there to be more too. i have only printed them off right now but i will do the steps later : )
    hey, i was wondering, for the adobe illustrator, did u have to pay for it or is that free?
  18. Paulyn | Feb 16, 2010
    Hi there! I love your labels. They are so adorable. Also will like to echo the above sentiments on more spices or maybe an editable template. I will gladly pay a small fee for that. That's how much I love them!
  19. sue h | Apr 9, 2010
    So great! Also, this is a terrific idea for essential oil bottles... ;-D
  20. Thank you for your answer. I will use your labels as an inspiration for my potions and lotions :-)
  21. Merci pour ce superbe partage d'idées.
    je me permet de vous citer sur blog.
    a très bientôt, bonjour de france, miette
  22. julie b. | Jul 18, 2010
    I love these. Can you put up more for spices or a template so we can do our own? Here's a few spices I would love to label:

    eg. Star Anise, Garam Masala, Cumin, Fennel, Pepper, Nutmeg
  23. too cute!
    for other spices, i think it would be fairly easy to download the font, open up the page in photoshop, erase the herb text and swap out the info for the herb you want.
  24. Renee Welton | Aug 26, 2010
    Love your herb labels!!!
  25. Jessica | Sep 29, 2010
    Has any one tried this process yet? i was wondering if the ink will run if you use an ink jet printer or if it was possible to treat the paper first and then print on it?
  26. Annie | Oct 8, 2010
    Hi Amy,

    What font did you use for the family name?

  27. Louise | Jan 20, 2011
    In a word: WOW!
  28. Janet Hunter | Aug 30, 2011
    Love all your great ideas. You are so sweet to share!
  29. Carol Rickard | Sep 23, 2011
    Could you please add vanilla to those labels as I make my own and would love to have a label for my jars!
  30. LOVE this! Thank you so much for providing a pdf. This is gonna be fun.
  31. Tina | Oct 25, 2011
    These are great! If you put together a fillable template I would BUY IT!
    I have almost 100 spices and this label is the perfect size for the 3-4oz. glass bottles.
  32. mark | Dec 18, 2011
    This worked really really well! Thanks so much for the tip!
  33. Melodie | Feb 2, 2012
    Where did you find your bottles.....I love them!
  34. Thank you for these, I am going to use them on my spices.
  35. Beverly | Feb 11, 2012
    Any idea why . . . when I hit "download" your herb templates, the page is empty? I hit the compatibility icon, as well, still blank.
    THANK you so kindly, for sharing your knowlege.
  36. Beverly | Feb 11, 2012
    Ah!!!! . . . nevermind . . . later when I returned . . . they were downloaded, ready to print. ;-) "Patience is a virtue!" indeed. Thanks again for sharing!
  37. Kimberly | Mar 12, 2012
    Hi Amy,

    I just purchased some wagner and sons apothecary spice jars and these labels would look amazing. You had discussed possible making more spice labels or making a editable download. Did you happen to make more or the editable version? I would love more.
  38. Hello. I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful step-by-step directions for getting the vintage look when making your own labels. I tried to follow as best as I could and did make a bunch of labels for my spice jars. If you'd like to have a look, here is my version:
  39. Tory | Dec 20, 2012
    Love the spice label download! Thanks so much. Any plans to do more?
  40. erna | Jan 17, 2013
    Im in love with your design and ideas!
    Youve got yuorself a fan :)
  41. Deven | Jan 18, 2013
    I did this to a map before and it turned out great. I also did this yo a peice of an old lace table cloth and placed it in a frame then placed a photo in front. Vintage!
  42. I absolutely <3 your labels and have tried them out myself! They look great!

    Will you be uploading any new ones for spices and more herbs?
  43. Christopher | Jun 20, 2013
    Hi Amy,
    These are amazing! Any chance we could get the illustrator file? I'd love to be able to edit these.
  44. Jess | Oct 10, 2013
    Anyone have any permanent glue suggestions for these beauties? Somethime more permanent than double sided tape? LOVE them!! Can't wait to try these, thank you so much.
  45. sayeed | Dec 29, 2013
    Love your idea & design
  46. I had spent months trying to figure out how to reorganize my spices. Loved this idea, but was sadden by there being so few labels. So I set the idea aside and looked for other options.

    Well, it finally came down to the fact I wasn't going to find anything premade I liked, with the 50+ herbs, spices, and seasonings I had, and was the size I was needing. So I decided to set down one night for a few hours, and remake the labels myself.

    I also used mod podge I had and that seemed to give the label a nice protective layer without causing a foggy over coat on the glass and labels.

    Following posting my new labels and rack on my facebook I had my cousin and several friends jumping on the idea as well.

    You can see my results as well as the process I did here:
  47. David | Mar 23, 2015
    Great design and excellent idea!
    I really like the feel of these labels. Could you kindly share what fonts you used to create them?

    I'm thinking of making some for other purposes and would love to use this vintage-feel design.

  48. Hello,
    These labels were great. I enlarged them and glued them on faux rusty cans and planted herbs in them. Can I suggest more herb names? I'd love to send you pic! Thanks
  49. Kevin | Jun 16, 2015
    These look great! How do you adhere yours to the bottles?
  50. Great post I love this site.
  51. You are just Fabulous! :-) Thanks!
  52. Great idea. I thought of doing the same thing only dying a whole sheet of paper to scan into adobe and then use the dyed paper as the template. Then you'll be printing every label and a lot less work and time put into the finished product. follow me on instagram to see how it turns out.
  53. this is very awesome.
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