Monday, January 14, 2008

Magnetic Carrier Labels

Today was a snow day so it looks like no work again, but that is okay because there are lots of things to do, not the least of which is posting a blog entry here:). I have been busy this week making magnetic carrier labels which I am going to test out for the first time at the PA Convention in 3 weeks, so I figured I would post the instructions here in case anyone was interested. The good thing about magnetic labels is that they are 100% reusable, and can be stored away between shows and switched from carrier to carrier as needed. They are superior to paper labels made the night before the show just because they can be popped on at the last minute and you don't have to spend time writing everything out when it is 11:00PM and you have to get up at 2:00AM the next morning to pack rabbits and head out, LOL. The bad thing about magnetic labels is that the sheeting you use might not be as secure as tape or some other means of attachment. I noticed that the ones I made slid around a little and were not as difficult to pry off as I'd hoped they'd be, which means that they could potentially detach at a show, leaving you in a quandry if you do not have ear numbers memorized or haven't brought rabbits of different colors. My solution to that (that I will use at the next show) will be to put the labels on the sides of the cages so that they do not rub off when they are stacked in the car, and then transfer them to the tops as soon as I get to the showhall for easier i.d. To create magnetic carrier labels, you first have to get ahold of 'magnetic sheeting' which is readily available at craft stores and online at a good price (I ordered a bunch recently that should last me awhile and be good for a variety of uses). Here is an example of magnetic sheeting:

Next, you need to print off labels with your computer in a fairly large, easy to read, bold-faced font. I made 3 labels for each color/age classification because that is the most I usually bring to a show at any given time (actually I usually bring much fewer than that, but it is good to have extras around).
Now, if you really wanted to get fancy you could take these labels to the office store to get them laminated and make them last longer (or at least have them stay cleaner), but I left mine plain for now.

Btw, PLEASE ignore the frazzled sleeves on my sweatshirt in these last 2 photos. These are rabbit clothes, so no explanation should be needed, LOL.

Cut your labels out into squares and then cut sheeting to match the precise size of each one. Glue can be used to affix the labels to the sheets, or you can use sticky tape, whichever choice works best. Here are a few labels that are finished:

Last of all, here is the magnet attached to the carrier cage wire and the project is complete.

As I said before, there are lots of variations that could be used here---it might even be possible to find sheeting with one sticky side to make it easier to put the labels on (I am not very saavy in the craft department but that seems like something that should be available). Also, magnetic labels could be used in your home rabbitry on standard sized cages, provided that they are in a place where the rabbits can't chew on them. I have stainless steel plates on each of the cages in my barn so these would be easy to put on, peel off and interchange as needed. I will probably try to think of other uses for them as well.

This is just one helpful organizational technique that may come in handy when transportating rabbits or taking them to shows. In the past, I used labels that simply had the name of the rabbit written on them, but I stopped doing it like that because it became confusing to look at the name and then translate that info. into what class the rabbit belonged to. By just putting the class name down instead I don't have to stop, think, or confuse myself (which happens very easily at a fast moving show), and it gives me one less thing to worry about during the course of the day.

More bunny stuff on Wednesday! I hope that the weather is not too extreme where you are and the buns are growing wool like wildfire:).


Anonymous said...

I just found your blog, it was a great read! On the subject of sticky labels a while back i found a british labels company who printed me some sticky labels for a really low price. If interested then it may be worth taking a look at their website as they did many types of label printing.

jelly andrews said...

I guess it is better to get those ID (as what you called them) be laminated. It would make them last longer. But thanks anyway for sharing this information. You really do have a great blog.