Recently, I shared a photo of some packages that were heading out on my Facebook page. My packaging has gone through a few stages. In the very beginning, Stage One consisted of fretting over things breaking and not worrying too much about how the package looked. I call this the utilitarian-ugly stage. Before I started investing more in packaging, it was all about the items arriving in one piece (or how many ever there were supposed to be). Now that I understand more about how to ship fragile beads and jewelry safely, I've been able to get more creative with attractive packaging.
Over the years, I've received some really pretty packages in the mail. Whether it was every day supplies, something handmade, or a gift, it felt so special opening up a beautiful package. Who doesn't love that? I wanted to pass that feeling on to my own customers.
Now, I don't like to charge my customers a lot for shipping, so I've honed my supplies and worked out what's most affordable and effective for me. My basic materials are paper, tissue paper, tape and ribbon. That's it. I think ahead and shop around to get the best deals. The paper/scrap booking aisle of your local craft shop is a great place to start!
.:: Supplies ::.
Decorative paper (I used a 4.5 inch x 6.5 inch precut piece)
Washi tape or tape of choice
Ribbon, raffia, hemp cord, etc.
(Beads in the photo above are what I'm packing)
Step 1: I folded my 4.5" x 6.5" piece of paper in half length ways. This paper is from a multipack of designs I found in the stationary/scrap booking section of my local hobby shop. Since it's precut, it makes things go so much faster! You can use recycled papers from books, music, handmade paper...you name it.
Step 2: Cut two pieces of your decorative washi tape: one for the long edge of the pouch and one for the bottom of the paper pouch. I chose something that coordinated both with the paper I was using and the beads my customer bought. I love it when things are a little bit different, but still look great to gether.
Step 3: If your tape has a paper backing, peel that off and center your tape along one of the open edges of your folded paper. This shows the edge that will become the bottom of the pouch.
Step 4: Fold the tape flush with the bottom of the paper edge and smooth it along the front and back.
Step 5: Take your longer piece of tape you cut to size and seal the edge of the paper opposite the fold. Hey presto, we have a pouch!
Step 6: Wrap your item in tissue paper and insert it into the pouch. (If I'm wrapping earrings, I like to mount them on coordinating cardstock and wrap that in tissue paper).
That's all you have to do to make your paper pouch! Fold and tape. It's how you finish it that completes the look. You could leave it simple or seal the top with a nice label. For my beads and supply orders, I tend to go for a shabby chic cottage look, so I like to finish the packages with a little ribbon or bow. I ran out of raffia and cord, so I used some white ribbon I had for this.
Step 7: Cut a nice, long piece of ribbon to tie around your package. Flip your pouch over (back side up) and tie a simple over hand knot (once!) around the center.
Step 8: Take the loose ends of ribbon and pull them tight - pull one towards each of the long ends so it creates a criss cross on the back of the package.
Step 9: Flip the package back over. Center the line of ribbon where you'd like it and pull the loose ends of ribbon towards the center from the top and bottom of the pouch. Tie a bow and you're done! I slipped a little "thank you" note under the bow.
I hope that gave you a little inspiration for your own packaging. I find this to be fairly quick for me, but yes, it does take some extra effort. I think it's worth it, though. I love to mix things up, change details about the packaging, and coordinate with my customers' orders. It makes mailing days a little more fun!