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Old 10-11-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
Jeeper

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Custom Making Basic Dash and Switch Labels

This may be dumb, but I thought I'd share how I do my own labels. The nice thing is you can do text or symbols or whatever and they look fairly neat.

On the Start Menu: All Programs > Accessories (a folder) > Paint
Properties > set image properties to 8.5 x 11 inches
Or alternatively, select Edit Colors, and add whatever you want to Custom Colors.
Select the rectangle in the shapes and drag and drop your rectangle and left click somewhere off it to leave it there. (Make it big.)



Select the paint bucket icon and put it in the rectangle and left click to fill in the color.


Select the Text icon and drag the text area over the rectangle.


Type in the label text in whatever color you like. (Make it big, too.) It doesn’t have to be perfectly centered. Until you left click outside the text box, you can still highlight the text and change font, size, and color.


Make a mistake? Just click the Back Arrow—or Control and Z at the same time—and start the last thing over again. When it’s right, save as a bitmap image. Do not save as jpeg or other type of image…use bitmap because it will keep its properties better when resized and will keep the text nice and sharp.


Go back to Start Menu, All Programs > All Programs > Accessories > WordPad and open that, if you have MS Word, you can use that instead. Insert your bitmap image, and drag it down to size.



A test print helps. I usually copy and paste a few times on my print sheet in case I mess up on “laminating” or cutting one label out.


Scotch tape, or better, clear packing tape—which seems to lay down better—is put on the top first with no wrinkles and rubbed down with a thumbnail or the dull edge of a spoon to get most of the haze out by squeezing down the adhesive onto the ink. This pushes micro air bubbles out through the paper so that’s why it’s best to do the ink side completely before taping the back.



Now do the back with tape the same way.


You can cut it out with sharp scissors, but a razor knife and metal straight edge works best. Be gentle and use a cutting board to back it. I use a kitchen cutting board.


Now if you are particular about the tiny, white edge, you can lightly run a marking pen or some paint (very little though) across the edges. Don’t soak it or the paper will absorb it in and it will show in the front.



Done


Adhesive is your choice, but I use a tiny amount of Testor plastic model cement applied with a hobby paint brush to the back; this is a solvent cement, and you may not want to use it for a label applied directly to the dashboard because it can scar the plastic where the label was, if you ever remove it. If using this, a film of it and let is gel (dry) for 30-60 seconds. That helps keep it from squeezing out from under the label. If it does, let it dry to a rubbery state so it won’t smear and rub it off with the point of a wooden toothpick. If you have Armorall or something on the dash, you have to clean it off the area, for now, or it might not stick.


Also, if putting as label on a switch face, a little dull clearcoat over the label and face blends it in nicely and helps the label against wear.

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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very good idea, its really cool, but me personally id rather not label mine so i can "accidentally" blind people

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Old 10-12-2012, 07:11 AM   #3
Jeeper

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Ooops! LOL. Yeah its tempting with all the HID blue lazers coming at you at night with driving or fogs blazing. Its only a matter of time before I glare back.
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All others bring data.

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'02 Sport, soft top, 6 cylinder
5 speed manual, 4" lift, 33.5" tires
~144K miles
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