Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brown Paper Packages...

Tied up with string! These are a few of my favorite thiiiiiiiiiings!

Ok :)

So I thought I would share some of my new packaging ideas with you!

There was an article in The Etsy Storque last week, or maybe the week before, about packaging orders. I felt inspired to do a little work on my packaging. I've been selling on Etsy for a little over a year, and my packaging has certainly evolved.

So to begin with I use bubble wrap for all of my paintings. You can buy a whole roll of bubble wrap for $20.00 at Staples. I go through about a roll every three or four months. You can buy it in bulk, but unless you're selling a painting a day, you don't really need to.

I then wrap a brown craft paper over that, which you can also get at Staples for $3 0r $4. I think. Again, I only buy one of these every few months... I then decorate it with hearts and a big Thank You!
I recently started tieing a brown hemp cord around it and adding a buissness card along with a handwritten thank you note. I've been debating over the handwritten note for takes a little extra time, but in the end I think it's a really nice touch. People who shop on Etsy, shop there not only because it has cool items, but because also because they get to buy directly from the artist. So, why not include a handwritten note to go along with their hand made item? Yeah, it might take a little extra time, but you know, I think in the end it's worth it.

Now, I have been working on the packaging of my prints and illustrations for awhile...
I don't even want to get into the details because I am a little embarrassed, but I will say that I have improved the packaging and my system A LOT.

So let's start out with with backings and the cello bags.
For awhile I was using the Kyrstal Clear Bags found on the ASW site.
And I still use these for my larger prints. However, I discovered that at my local comic book store they also carry 8" X 10" bags, as well as the archival backings that go with them...
You can get 100 of both for $10.00.
Awesome. So if you have a comic book store nearby, check them out.

Now for the really exciting thing that I just purchased for my prints and illustrations....
Non-bendy mailers!
I really love these. You just pop your art work in and you're done! Before I was very carefully cutting down cardboard and sandwhiching the art between. It was time consuming..
I ordered them from the Uline website.
And in case you're wondering which ones they are...
They are right here.
I tie a little brown cord around that as well, and include a thank you note and a business card. :)

Okay, so now you have all of the things to protect your work, what are you going to ship it in?
You can also order boxes and mailers from Uline, which is fine. However, I have decided to ship all of my paintings Priority mail, and I will tell you why.
Fisrt of all the Priorty boxes are free, and you can order them in bulk here.
I decided to do this instead of buying boxes because even though you pay a little extra for the shipping, it really isn't THAT much more. The money you spend on the boxes usually equals to the money you spend on shipping it Priority. Also, I don't know about you but I seriously have no room for storing 100+ shipping boxes. And, the art work arrives a little quicker than if you send it first class, so the person that bought from you is a little happeir too!

Alright. I think I got everything covered.
Please feel free to add any of your shipping/packaging ideas to mine :)


Jennifer Mullin said...

Good suggestions. I also try to include a handwritten note with all of my packages. Customers like the personal touch.

Love your work Michelle. You're definitely one of my etsy art heroes!

tangled sky studio said...

I wrap my paintings with unbleached parchment (the wax finish won't stick to the parchment) and then tie a silk ribbon around it and tuck in an encaustic care sheet and business card with a thank you. Then I wrap that in bubble wrap and tuck it into a priority box.
I always ship priority mail for domestic orders because of the free box and quick delivery (with encaustic work i feel the quicker the better!). For international orders I still use the priority box and wrap it in brown paper to ship 1st class (the box is the perfect size...).
Your brown paper and hemp string looks great....

Michele Maule said...

I use the brown paper wrap on Priority boxes too when shippinjg international!
Forgot to mention that :)

I'll have to use some of the unbleached parchment paper! My paintings have just a very very thin layer of wax on them, but it would be good to add! Great suggestion!
And I agree, the quicker the better.

ConnieK said...

Great suggestions! I actually found you from a forum post about craft shows and have found myself reading all you write. Thanks for all the great tips!


Michelle Brunner said...

Excellent tips! Thanks for the links:)

alice said...

Interesting topic! :) I don't sell anything but I like to buy handmade things and it is so nice when there is that extra little touch of niceness in the wrapping.

Cathy Santarsiero, "The Christmas Corgi" said...

Great tip about the comic book cellos and backings. I never thought of those! Just found your blog via Etsy. Love the prints I saw there. Warmly, Cathy ^..^

Megan Chapman said...

Great information Michele.
So handy to have it all in one place.
I will be referring back to this post often..

Sharing tips like these is such a helpful and noble thing to do.

Thank you!
you are a rock star.

cheryl oz said...

So nice of you to give some good mailing tips along with links to websites.

justagirl said...

I love the way your packages look in the pics... one day I will get one delivered to me... :)

I use a bend proof envelope too, they are great and so much easier then cutting up card to protect work.

thanks for sharing your tips on packaging, it is a very important part of selling.

I have thought that it would be handy to send something to someone just to see what they think of your presentation.

Michele Maule said...

Thanks for the great feedback everyone!

I have sent one of my items to my best friend and she said that it was very cute, and very professional. She was impressed with everything :)

Manon Doyle said...

I just saw your work that Linda O'Neill of Abby Creek Studios purchased.... terrific piece! I love your blog! Your ideas on packaging are great!
By the way, I also have a Boston named Otis! I saw Chloe and she's beautiful! Gotta love those Boston's!


Jacquie said...

I love a hand written note. It makes me feel special and important. In fact the packaging is so great from most etsy sellers that now at shops I'm always disapointed I don't get a hand written thankyou note or free gift. I'm always looking at my brown paper bag with my purchase and recipt and thinking 'is that it?'

aliceinparis said...

Thanks for sharing your info:)I always include a handwritten note too.
I put my prints in cellophane and then in a non bendy mailer. You mentioned that you tie a string around your mailers. Do you then mail your prints in a box or is the string on the outside of the mailer? I am confused:)
Cheers, Shelagh

Michele Maule said...

Hey Alice!
I put the entire mailer in a manila envelope where I write the address and the return address on the outside :)