If your kids’ school requires a uniform, you know that means lots of identical clothes just begging to be picked up by the wrong person.
Little C is starting a new school, and that of course means new uniform, new sports kit, new bags. My god, children need so much stuff for school!
I’d been putting it off for weeks. The pile of new uniform was sitting there, looking at me, reminding me it was still unlabelled. The school had already sent out a polite but firm email reminding parents that all items must be clearly named.
So finally, I decided it was time.
I have no desire to spend hours sewing on name labels. I remember my mother doing this painstaking task, and I am too lazy (and too crap at sewing) to do the same.
As well as the sew-on labels, I also remember my mother ironing on labels. Back on these were the only two options.
The iron on labels were horrible. They always started to peel away and scratched the back of your neck.
I decided I needed to put together a little ‘School Uniform Labelling Survival Kit’ which would ensure maximum results with minimum effort.
To this end, I found two items that are essential to every lazy mummy’s kit.
I was hoping I could find some labels which needed neither sewing nor ironing. A little Googling later, I discovered this company, Peitit Fernand.
They make lovely name labels in many different styles. You’re guaranteed to find something your child likes.
Not only do they do stick-on name labels for clothes, they also make labels for naming various bits of easily-lost belongings, such as bags, shoes, and pencil cases. You can even get personalized water bottles and lunchboxes!
The clothes labels stick neatly on to the care label inside the collar or waistband. Little C confirms they do not scratch. In fact, you can’t notice them at all.
You can order as many or as few of these fantastic labels as you like, in whatever design you can come up with ! Little C chose a fantastic Wonder Woman theme.
Not only that, but look at this lovely bonus! A sheet of fun tropical-themed stickers for your child to stick wherever they like. There is no such thing as a child who does not like stickers.
Petit Fernand are reasonably priced, and delivery is very fast. You can get cheaper labels, but none which simply stick on, or come in such awesome designs.
I was very glad to pay a little extra to get great labels that are so incredibly easy to use.
Next up the the other essential item in my labelling kit.
This is a Stamptastic name stamp. It is exactly what it sounds like: a stamp of your child’s name.
It can be used on fabric, metal, wood, and plastic.
Stamptastic have their own special ink, which is designed to be washproof and wearproof.
The stamp itself is perspex so you can easily see where you are positioning it. (In my case, it’s always crooked, but that’s just me.)
I’ve used this stamp on swimming bags, clothing care labels, knickers, swimming caps, and bathing suits. It’s very handy for places where you can’t or don’t want a label.
Another item they sell is a fabric pen. These come in light colours, which is perfect when you are trying to name something dark! I used it on Little C’s old school gym shoe bag, which was navy blue. This is a great little extra to add to your kit, though it’s not essential.
Yes, it’s a regular old Sharpie. (affiliate link)
You never know if you just want to add initials to something, or even cover something up. One handy trick I use it for is to disguise scuffs on black school shoes!
I don’t bother with the special laundry Sharpies, as I’ve found the regular ones work just the same on fabric.
Scissors. I know these are hairdressing scissors, but they’re the ones with the sharpest points.
And I need sharp points because I can’t find my stitch ripper.
I like buying as much school uniform as possible second hand (because damn, it’s expensive!) and so that invariably means removing the lovingly-stitched-in name tapes from the previous owner.
Does this make me feel inadequate for not doing the same for my daughter’s clothes?
Nope. My way is easier.
Finally, something you can buy almost anywhere.
I’ve written a detailed post about how I use ribbon but this is the jist of it:
Tie a piece of ribbon (in a nice bright colour) on school jacket zips and school bags. This means your child can easily identify their own bag in the heap of identical gym/swimming/book bags that stacks up at various points in the school day.
So there you have it.
All the essentials for reducing the chances of your kid coming home with some else’s jumper, trainers, or coat.
I say reducing the chances because seriously, how many kids look at the name labels? It’s totally for the teachers.
That being said, the ribbon trick really works.
PS I’m not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned above in any way, except the Amazon affiliate link for Sharpies. I found Stamptastic and Petit Fernand through google (and then creepy Facebook advertising after googling).