{Handmade Business in 31 Days — Day 28, How to creatively package an order.}

Day 28// When you shop online from a handmade boutique, receiving an adorably packaged gift in the mail is half the fun! At least I think so, and t’s one of my favorite things about shopping handmade. Just recently we received a package from Barn Owl Primitives and Kristi’s use of kraft paper + twine was the perfect compliment to the colorful artwork we found inside.

As a shop owner, creatively packaging your wares is just one way to continue your branding. Your brand is an extension of what your business represents and the emotions + experiences you work so hard to cultivate to each customer.

Here are a few different styles for packaging your handmade wares, ranging in price + aesthetic…

If you sell small items, such as jewelry, supplies or candy {yum!}, use these fiber egg boxes to create a darling package for customer to open. And… let’s take a second to talk about that bright, turquoise-y green color? Do you love it or what? Add a sprinkling of confetti, ribbon/bow closure, and a business card nestled under the bow to polish it off:

via Torie Jayne

Or maybe it’s better to go with a box that’s a little more neutral? Get creative with color from washi tape {or bows, tags, twine, stamps} and let this simple embellishment take center stage, instead of the outside container. As holidays + seasons come around, adjusting the color palette or design through appropriate colors/images is super fun — all the while you’re able to maintain the brand you’ve worked so hard to create:

via Chykalophia; purchase brown boxes [style 1; style 2], pillow boxes, paper bags or washi tape

Maybe you like to package your items a bit more like we like to do? If the products you sell are colorful totally on their own, use clear poly bags as the outside container, then embellish with ribbon, washi tape or another fun “closure” to seal ’em up before you send them out.


via Something Turquoise

via Pen and Paint

Lastly, when deciding on your product packaging it’s important to know the cost of all materials used. For example, if you buy a 12 pack of note cards and include one card with every order, divide the note card price by 12 to determine the individual price. Repeat this simple formula across every material you use to package an order to determine the individual price, including business cards, ribbon, tissue, boxes/bags and/or confetti.

You can add the total packaging material costs to the shipping price, product cost {the item that sold}, or you can split the material costs between the two. Either way, make sure you also include what it costs your business to package the product and of course all postage expenses/fees.

Homework// Review your list of packaging materials, everything you use to creatively package an order should be accounted for. Then breakdown all individual material costs to determine your packaging costs. The next step is to add the material costs to the cost of postage/insurance. Lastly add in the cost in labor {determine your hourly rate and divide by the amount of time it takes (from start to finish) to package it}. If you need to, revise your shipping prices and/or product costs to reflect your packaging costs. Not including an accurate cost of all individual materials, postage + labor means your business is losing money.

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  1. 10


    Hey there. I love these ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    I have a question about shipping. Since your business (like mine) is out of your home, what return address do you use on your packages? A PO box? I don’t think I want my home address on my packages.

    Thanks in advance for your help!


  2. 11


    I was JUST at Michaels looking for supplies to ship! I sold my first item out of my etsy store today! I was super excited. I am not sure exactly how I wanted to package it, so I was at the store forever. Then I happened to get am email that you posted a new blog and it was about this! Lol, right when I was at the store shopping. I ended up using tissue paper and twine, along with my business card.


  3. 12


    Thank you so much for these business tips. We have just opened out etsy shop in the last couple months and are working hard to build up our stock! It is sooooo much fun and I cannot wait to step up our business! You are such an inspiration to me. Once we get going more, I totally want to do the mentorship program!

    Thank you for the packaging techniques. We just sold 2 crocheted baby blankets, so I will be packaging these up in a cute way!!

  4. 14


    Maggie – I have thoroughly enjoyed your series and have been pinning your suggestions. This year I took Jeanne Oliver’s new “Building a Creatively Made Business” e-course and your series was a great supplement to that class. As my handmade business continues to grow, and I look forward to a big launch in 2013, I will look back on your series often. Thank you!

  5. 15


    I’m working on this as we speak! I’m positive that if I get excited about my packaging it will not only make putting together orders more exciting for me but my customers will feel that same excitement when they open up their purchase! We all win! Woo!

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