If you’re looking to get packaging supplies and ideas for your handmade products without spending a fortune on them, stick around!
Today I'm going to be giving you four hacks on how to save money on your packaging materials.
Hi, I’m Mei Pak and I help makers, artists and designers make a consistent income from selling their handmade products online.
If you're selling your products online, then a big part of your business is actually getting your items to your customer.
That means you need to have shipping boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and all kinds of things so that your item can get there safely in one piece.
It can be a real drag to spend a lot of money on this stuff.
I'm going to share with you some great hacks so that you can get creative with your packaging, make it look amazing, and still save a lot more money.
Remember, packaging is the first impression of your product.
When someone buys something from you and it shows up on their doorstep, they're going to start developing their impressions about the product as soon as they pick up that box.
So we want it to be amazing!
For all these hacks I'm going to talk about today, my recommendation is that you pick your brand color and focus on that.
Then nobody’s going to notice all these awesome ways that you can cut corners and save a little bit of money.
With that out of the way, let’s dive in!
#1. Branded Boxes
Buying custom printed boxes, like a box with your logo on it, is super expensive.
It gets even more expensive because if you need multiple sizes of boxes, you would have to purchase really large quantities of all of those different sizes with your logo on it.
Even though you may see Amazon with their signature smile logo and “Amazon” printed on the side of the box, it's really not an approach that works for a lot of small businesses.
But the good news is we can get that branded box look by using a few easy hacks.
I like to use standard boxes or mailers and add my own personal touch.
There are loads of ways you can do this.
One option is to get stickers with your business logo on them and put the sticker on the box.
Another route is to either use a premade stamp or invest in a custom stamp for less than $50.
You can get a great, huge stamp with your logo on it and with a little bit of ink on your box – it looks like a custom stamped box, but only costs pennies per box.
One more way that you can have branded packaging is to purchase custom tape.
This is a little more expensive than going with the stamp option, but if you have tape with your logo printed across it, you can apply that to any size box that you want.
That's a great way to make your dollar stretch a little further.
We want to make sure that your products are arriving safely!
But we don't want to spend a lot of money on packaging filler or stuffing.
Is there anything worse than spending money on something that someone is just going to dump in the trash anyway?
What we want to do is put something in our boxes so our products are safe and snug, and we want it to be beautiful but also cost-effective.
I love using crinkle paper that is in your brand color.
What you'll need is a paper crinkler and a shredder. Not the cross-cut shredder, a shredder that shreds paper into strips.
It’s less secure for your documents but better for crafting your packaging filler.
You’re going to take your paper of choice, crinkle your paper, and then run it through the shredder.
Then you quickly have your colored paper that you can use to fill boxes.
It’s totally custom and looks amazing.
Because the crinkle in the paper adds texture, it also means that the paper doesn't stick together and you need to use a lot less of it to fill your box.
If you want to add in a little bit of specialty paper that you have leftover from projects or whatnot, go ahead and add that in.
The other reason I love this paper solution is you pay to ship by weight and it’s a lightweight alternative.
Some people use old newspapers as a filler, but that doesn't look very good.
And when you're making something really dense, you're also adding to the heaviness of your shipping.
You don't want to do that. Use the crinkle paper hack instead!
#3. Box Sizing
Get a little creative and take advantage of the standard box sizes.
What do I mean by that?
We all need to put our stuff in boxes or mailers.
If you go to ULine, which is a popular packaging supplier, and you look at a 4x4x4 inch box at the lowest quantity, you're paying twenty-four cents a piece at the time of writing this.
But if you want a 4x4x5 inch box, now you're paying thirty-four cents a piece, that’s ten extra cents.
That's almost fifty percent extra per box just to have a non-standard size.
So you want to be as standard, or as boring as possible!
Luxe it up with these other custom components that I've been talking about.
One way I like to take advantage of standard sizes is by hacking the printing process a little, and you can use this for your display cards, your thank-you's, or really anything.
Postcard printing companies can print postcards for dirt cheap, but if you want to upgrade something a little bit and get fancy, it gets expensive.
Let’s look at printing a postcard, for example.
If I just try and print 250 postcards, which are the standard 4×6 postcards, they're 19¢ a piece.
Now let's say I wanted to make a hang tag for my necklaces.
And I wanted them to be 4×3 inches.
That 4×6 postcard could be cut in half, and that would be about 9.5¢ per hang tag.
So if I'm willing to print the postcards and cut them in half myself, I'm saving half by doing that.
That's what I mean by taking advantage of standard sizes.
If you can look at what is available for cheap and then either cut it in half or take advantage of the sticker size, that's the cheapest one to print, then use that in your packaging.
You can save a ton of money.
#4. Inside the Box
I sell necklaces on a hang tag card, but I don't think that the necklace on a card in a mailer really looks great.
I like to put the item in a box so that it looks a little more premium.
But even here, I'm looking for ways to save money, while making an amazing impact.
What I do is I have little gift boxes and then I put a paper doily around it with some ribbon.
Paper doilies might sound weird, but they’re actually pretty easy to find at a party store or on Amazon and they’re extremely inexpensive.
They look like lace and they add an extra bit of elegance to my packaging.
There are lots of things you can use like this.
For example, old maps are really affordable. You can probably even find them at a secondhand store for pennies.
Another example is a wax stamp with string. It looks so elegant.
Once you invest in the price of the stamp, you're basically just paying for the cost of the wax and that can be in your brand color!
You could also use bakers twine which is so trendy right now. You can use it to tie on a little sprig of pine or cinnamon.
That's elevating your product from just ho-hum ordinary too, oh my goodness amazing!
I hope these shipping hacks inspire you because as an online business, our presentation matters so much.
But I know none of us want to spend a ton of money on shipping.
So implement a couple of these crafty ideas and it will look like you're paying a fortune to send out custom packaging to your customers.
If you enjoyed this post, or have any questions leave a comment below.
And don’t forget to check out my Youtube Channel for more handmade business tips.