Nothing could be simpler than scrawling the name and date of your just-canned jam or pickles on a piece of masking tape and slapping it on the jar. After all, who doesn't have masking tape and a Sharpie stashed in a random drawer somewhere? But you can take things to a much classier level by switching out one piece: replace that masking tape with washi tape!
Yesterday's kitchen tour with Claire Cottrell featured a peek into her cupboards where many of her dry goods were stored in jars and simply labeled with ink and washi tape. It was a reminder that labeling our canning and preserving jars doesn't have to be fussy to be stylish.
If the most you can manage after a hard day of canning is a Sharpie and masking tape, then let Claire be your inspiration! Simply write directly on the washi tape (an ultra thin Sharpie works best) or if you have just a touch more energy, cut free-form shapes from paper or post-its and use the wash tape to affix it to the jar. Or if you're really on a roll, create a stripe or other patterns using several different washi colors or patterns.
Using a Sharpie and tape is practical, too: with a Sharpie, the ink won't run and while the washi tape is sticky, it easily pulls off when you're done with your jar. You can purchase washi tape in any number of colors, designs, and sizes to best match your canned goods. It's widely available in craft and paper goods stores, as well as online. Here are a couple of sources:
Bonus tip: If even the wash/masking tape is too much, or perhaps not your style, then try writing directly on your jars with a white permanent marker or china marker.