Packaging 101

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{sometimes I forget how many I've ACTUALLY packed and write + or -; gotta pick your battles!}
I've had a couple of requests to know how I package my goodies for shipment... its a good question. How in the world do I protect the paper that I spend so many hours trying to perfect and print? Well... let me tell you:

It's a long process, probably longer than it needs to be, but I'm a nervous nelly when it comes to shipping, so I don't skimp.

First, I count everything in the pile i'm packing {say, 156 wedding invitations, or 152 response cards} and write it on a little tag that I printed off- that gets placed on last, but it's a good habit to get into first since I often wrap up everything and 'forget' how many were in there later. Ooops.

Second, I wrap everything pretty thoroughly in clear shrink wrap to protect against moisture and am obsessive about those corners-- I try to make sure those are the most protected since they are the most likely to get destroyed first; you know how UPS and the USPS like to bang their boxes around during their kick-boxing-classes...

Third, I like to wrap everything up in kraft paper. Generally speaking, kraft paper is a pretty thick wrapping paper. Often times, my supply orders come wrapped in kraft paper and I reuse that about as often as I can before breaking into the regular rolls of it. It's good for the environment people! I also kind of love how everything is like a little xmas present just begging to be torn open-- I think brides like that too...

Fourthly, I wrap everything in brown bakers twine that I purchased from Fort & Field- Jessica has amazing stuff for sale at her etsy shop, so be sure to check it all out! They're cones of bakers twine have 3,000 yards of twine for 18 bucks-- deal. deal. deal. The bakers twine helps hold the kraft paper in place since tape doesn't often stick to it well. I also kind of have an obsession with bakers twine...

Lastly, I smack that sticker I had written the quantity on right in the middle of it. Its helpful when unwrapping to know how many is in each pile, and if there are multiples of things-- like 2 packs of invitations or 3 packs of envelopes. Since I'm a letterpress printer, I thought about letterpress printing those little tags but it's a huge undertaking to be printing that many... you can see from these photos that several were used for this ONE order, just about all my orders are like this one!

In terms of packing them in boxes, I try my hardest to utilize the flat-rate-shipping boxes via the USPS. Believe it or not, these photos represent about 16lbs of invitation 'stuff' between everything and that's HEAVY folks. Their large flat rate boxes are like $15, and a steal at that. Because they come pre-badged for 'flat rate shipping' I usually just print off a really sexy label right from the USPS website and then litter the mess out of the box with 'fragile' tags that I printed off on the office laser printer right onto sticky paper. I think it's helped... but I got an eMail from one client the other week that mentioned an entire corner was missing from her box. Not good. Luckily, I had packed the invitations away in their little safety-wrapping-of- love and they were unscathed. It's still heartbreaking, though. OH- and as if I hadn't recycled enough already-- I use packing peanuts from all my supply orders to pack up all the invitations in their boxes nice and tight. I think it helps protect the corners if everything isn't shifting around inside. It makes sense in my head anyway.

... so there ya have it. Wrapping 101 with a neurotic printer. I'm going to be having some strong words with USPS if they keep destroying these packages since it takes me about 45 min to pack everything up after I'm finished printing....

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Oh you know I love your packaging! It is exactly like a present :)

Marsinah (mar-see-na) said...

Beautiful! I'm going to have to look into the bakers twine. I've been using Satin ribbon for packaging :) Savannah is a dream, BTW! Love the antique look of her.

{marsinah}

 

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