How to Make Return Address Labels With Clip Art

By Jeff Mason

Creating return address labels in Microsoft Word is an incredibly easy task but, for a more professional look and presentation, you may want to venture into the realm of diverse clip art that is available both within Microsoft Office and on the Internet. This article outlines some of the more common methods and techniques for producing return address labels containing clip art. This article is not intended to be a comprehensive guide, but will instead provide the reader with an understanding of the basic means for producing return address labels with clip art.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word 2003 or later)
  • Return address labels, such as Avery labels
  • Printer

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word and go to Tools, Letters and Mailings, Envelopes and Labels.

Step 2

Ensure you are on the Envelopes tab and then click within the "Return Address" window. Type the return address you desire to use for your return address labels, then click "Add to Document." If prompted, click "Yes" to save the return address as the default return address.

Step 3

After step 2, a blank document will be opened, containing the desired return address previously typed in. At this point, you may insert clip art within the document, either "behind" the text (as a background), above the text or below the text.

Step 4

Go to Insert, Pictures, Clip Art and choose a suitable clip art graphic to use for your return address labels. Keep in mind your actual return address text font color, size, style and the related labels on which you will be printing. In this document, assume the use of a color printer.

Step 5

Click the "Clip Organizer" link near the lower right-hand portion of the screen. Then, when the Clip Organizer pops up, expand a section appropriate to the type of clip you want for your return address labels (Technology, Computing, in this example).

Step 6

Within the related clips displayed, click the "drop-down" arrow to the right of the desired clip, then choose "Copy." Now the clip art is in your paste buffer, so close the Clip Art organizer Window by clicking the "X" in the upper right-hand portion of that window. During closing of the clip art window, if prompted, choose "Yes" to save the clip art in your buffer.

Step 7

Click anywhere on the last line of your return address, then press the "End" key; this will place your cursor at the end of the last line of your address label. Now press "Enter." This will place the cursor one line below your return address. Now press "Ctrl-V," which will paste the clip art just below your return address.

Step 8

Now resize the clip art to a size appropriate for approximately 2-by-4 inch labels (or labels of your own choosing). Click anywhere on the clip art image to highlight it; then right-click, and choose "Format Picture."

Step 9

In the "Format" control panel, click the "Size" tab; then change the height to 11 percent (the width will change accordingly, as long as "Lock Aspect Ratio" is checked). (Note: if you uncheck "Lock Aspect Ratio," you may toy around with stretching the clip art image to varying sizes.) Click "OK."

Step 10

The result after step 9 is a small (re-sized) version of the clip art placed just below your desired return address.

Step 11

Go back to Tools, Letters and Mailings, Envelopes and Labels, and your graphic now will be displayed as part of your desired return address (unless you used more advanced options such as in step 15 below, in which case the graphic may not show, but it will print with your labels).

Step 12

Now print your labels as usual. For example, click the "Labels" tab; click "Use return address;" ensure "Full page of same label" is selected; then click "Options."

Step 13

Choose the appropriate label. This example uses an Avery Standard 2162 Mini-Address label just for demonstration. This label is "one across, three down" (that is, one column, three rows/labels). Choose the 2162 Mini-Address label, then click "OK." As in the previous steps, if prompted, choose "Yes" to the question regarding saving this as the "default return address."

Step 14

Align and insert your labels in the printer; click "New Document" to ensure the format looks correct. This will create/open a new document with the labels in the chosen label format. If the format is acceptable, then click "Print" (or "File," "Print") and print the label document with clip art onto the labels that you placed in the printer. (Step 15 presents a look at a more advanced clip art label technique.)

Step 15

For more advanced users: from step 9 above, in the Format Picture control panel, choose the "Size" tab, uncheck "Lock aspect ratio" and "Relative to.." options. Then click the "Layout" tab and choose "Behind Text." Next, click the "Picture" tab and try various options of "Grayscale" or "Washout," along with "Brightness" settings. Click "OK," then resize your clip art to the approximate size of your return address; drag your clip art on top of your return address; position as desired; then follow steps 11 through 14.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep in mind that, if you are uncertain about the layout of the labels, instead of using expensive labels to do the initial printing, you may also print a label page on less expensive plain paper.
  • Please note that different versions of Microsoft Word present the various label options in slightly different locations and with slightly different options---especially with Microsoft Word 2007 and higher.