How to Measure a Bottle

Posted Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 at 5:24 pm

Determining the right size for your labels is an important consideration because it influences how much space is left for artwork – as well as the cost per label. The tricky part, however, is figuring out how to measure a bottle or container to get a label size. That’s where we can help. We’ve printed custom labels for different types of bottles and created this handy guide to help you better prepare your next label order.

We offer a variety of bottle labels, as well as head-turning shrink sleeve labels with 360 degree graphics coverage. 

Label Size Calculator – Round Bottles


How to Measure Water, Beer and Wine Bottles

Measure the Diameter

  • Measure the bottom face of the bottle from one side to the other with a flat ruler. This is your bottle diameter.
  • Multiply the diameter by pi (3.14), and the resulting number is your circumference. This is the width of your label.

We recommend taking off between 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch from the circumference. When applying the label to your bottle, this results in a gap between both ends of the label. That means you don’t have to worry about lining up the ends perfectly, especially if the application process is being done by hand.
TIP! If you don’t have a measuring tape available, you can always use a sheet of paper. Simply wrap the paper around the bottle and mark where it overlaps with a pencil. With a ruler, measure the distance between the end of the paper and the mark to find the circumference.

Measuring Rectangular or Square Shaped Bottles

  • Measure only the side of the bottle where the label will be applied. Then, take your ruler and measure the height and width of the surface area.
  • The width and height (known as across x around) are how the dimensions of a label are stated. Ex: A label that is two inches tall and wraps around a container by four inches would be expressed as 2 x 4.
  • It’s recommended that you subtract about 1/8th of an inch from the width and height measurements to better ensure the label fits properly within the surface area when applied.

Measuring Tapered and Uniquely Shaped Bottles

These containers can be very difficult to measure. To determine if your bottle is tapered, simply take a straight-edge, such as an index card or ruler, and place it alongside the surface from top to bottom. If you can see even a small gap between the straight edge and the container, the bottle is tapered.

Tapered bottles require more advanced tools of measuring, and we recommend you send it to our customer service department to guarantee an accurately sized label.

Shrink Sleeves

The 360°, full graphic impact of shrink sleeves are great to combine with irregularly shaped containers, and can conform to almost all container shapes and label designs.

Since the shrink sleeves are not adhered, but literally shrunken to the container using heat, we must test the film material using our in-house steam tunnel with a grid sleeve test. Please ask our customer service department for measuring and grid-testing.

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