Packaging Affordably

After getting with the talented people of Etsy about packaging, I have now come up with a number of useful and practical ways to package items.

The goal here is to package cutely, yet affordably! Sometimes it really is a struggle to determine the best method to package your items.

As a customer, I personally don't want to pay extra for fancy packaging unless I am sending it as a gift to someone. But as a seller, I do want to present my goods nicely, without having to charge extra.

I personally buy a pack of tissue paper from the Dollar Tree, which is only $1 for a package of 25 sheets, and I only need half a sheet for a bookmark. I also purchase a spool of ribbon for a buck there, (the kind that you might use to tie balloons) and it goes quite a long way. I then use a business card and write a thank you on the back of that. After wrapping the bookmark in the tissue and tying with a ribbon, I tuck the business card underneath the ribbon, thank you side up.

Yay! A pretty package to send to my customers, and it only cost a few cents!

Now for some creative ideas from other Etsy sellers.

My top pick comes from Gracie Designs, who uses lunch bags and fabric scraps for packaging her goods. Gracie says "I get rave reviews on my packaging. It is just lunch bags and fabric scraps, as I throw veryyyyyy little fabric away. I either use it for packaging or applique.

The lunch bag is then reusable ;)

Thank you Gracie, as I never would have thought of using lunch bags! And the fabric ribbons are so cute!

Another awesome way comes from Sugar Flower Designs, who makes use of the trimmings from her stationary.
She Says "I sell stationery that I often print and cut in-studio. To save money/paper and to make use of a recyclable padding, I use the paper strips I trim away from the stationery itself.
The heavy paper (when crumbled) makes a sturdy packing material that also happens to color coordinate with the stationery being shipped!"

What a great way to recycle packaging! Thanks Sugar Flower Designs!

Sweet Irie uses recycled tissue paper and fabric ribbon for her packaging.

She says, "I use recycled tissue paper and cut fabric in strips to wrap my packages. I also order business cards for my package tags and cut them in half to save on money and get double the tags! All my goodies are wrapped in plastic baggies with a business card and tag before gift wrapped."

I really like the idea of fabric strips for ribbon!

Check out Willow Dawn's packaging!
"I love my packaging as it's 100% recycled products, and made in America. The ribbon is made from recycled water/soda bottles. It's not the most lavish ribbon, but I love the statement!"

Here's a really simple packaging idea from CUTEureCreations. This is actually very similar to what I have been doing.
She says, "I just started wrapping my packages in tissue paper (I bought a bulk multi-colored pack that has my shop colors!), then tying scrap ribbon around the package and slipping a cute thank you card card with a business card tucked into it."


Happy Earthling offers a practical way to package small items.
"I bought some mini resealable baggies (I got a whole bundle of them for under $2) and cut cardstock to fit inside.

I slip in my pin, and fold a piece of recycled paper over the top and staple it shut. Then I draw my logo and write my shop address on the paper (eventually I'd like to have a stamp made).
Then I stick it all in a pretty green envelope (5/$1) with some shredded newspaper for padding (enviromentally friendly and cost effetive).

It looks pretty cute in the end, and it's very cost effective, and not too bad for the environment. Best of all, it all fits in a regular envelope, which also saves on shipping.

I love the idea of stapling the recycled paper over the top. Great idea!

Studio Dax uses a simple method using scrapbook card for thank you notes, and gauze bags.

"I make my own jewelry tags/cards and Thank-you cards, using heavy scrapbook card stock, and bag them in ziplocks, then in pretty coordinated gauze bags. This gets wrapped up in tissue paper and put in bubblewrap mailers.

I try to keep my packaging costs low - as a buyer, I'd rather have a lower price, so I keep that in mind for my buyers too!
My packaging is fairly simple, but I like to think that it reflects my general style, adds a bit of fun, and looks professional."


There are so many more great ideas, but who knows how long this blogpost would become, so instead, why not head on over to read the forum thread for everyone's ideas! Visit the forum thread Packaging Affordably.


ScottishPrincess said...

I recently did a similar thing to Studio Dax. I couldn't find earring cards that I liked so I designed my own on some heavy, textured card I bought from the Paper Mill. I also use a modified version of them as tags. I wanted to add little thank you stickers to my packages but all the custom ones I saw were too big and too expensive so I made my own. I have a load of acid-free tissue paper in different colours and I bought some lovely organza bags from RedneckCandles. I think I'm gradually getting a professional 'look' for my Etsy shop without it costing me a fortune. It's so hard trying to give people a good, professional looking, well packaged product without going overboard with cash.

Kelley Grace said...

Thanks for featuring my packaging, I love it, it is easy, inexpensive and people just love it!!

jacqm said...

This was a really nice posting...i blogged about it on my blog,
made me rethink some of my packaging!

SweetWhimsyDesigns by Dawn Johnson said...

Thanks for a great article! Having recently started up, I have been looking for ways to package items inexpensively but so they also look cute! I knew experienced Etsians would know best! Awesome ideas!


Darlene Harris said...

Love the article, I started offering gift packaging with a choice of color. Or tag depending on the occasion for free with all my products. Also, I have always made packaging special and I love the ideas here. I have found that Etsy sellers are so thoughtful when it comes to packaging, I usually get a little nice surprise, it is almost tradition!


Victoria said...

Thanks for the very nice photos as well as the ideas.

I also use dollarstore tissue and ribbon, a thank-you card and business card.

Depending on the item I need to use bubble wrap, but I usually recycle cardboard boxes.

I have such a variety of items, shapes and sizes, it get challenging. I am always looking for new ideas. I also try to keep the weight of the packaging to a minimum, otherwise shipping charges go up, which I will always pay for any overcharges.

Trying to get it down to a science :) Thanks!


Dee said...

These are wonderful,creative hints and truly make the receiver of the gift feel so special! I love the fact that they are inexpensive and still look great! Thanks for the inspiring ideas!

B said...

oh my gosh GREAT thread! i just finished buying the last items for my packaging scheme yesterday, these wonderful ideas inspire me to expand on my current theme! seriously great post, thank you!

Baymut said...

I do boxes from a decorative color cardboard, I fasten a hempy thread. And I have made from old newspapers a paper of the sizes as business card, I sign words of gratitude a pencil on language of the buyer (for this purpose I use the online translator). Sometimes I add mini gift, for example today I have attached felt acorn on hempy thread to a gratitude card. I can send photos to whom is interesting to look. Feel free to convo me to

Tiffany said...

I think our unique package styles is what really sets us apart as Etsy sellers. And there are so many ways to do it very nicely without spending a fortune. Loved seeing others ideas.

I use dollar store tissue paper with sequin design for color, mini baggies to keep my jewelry dry and safe, and bubble wrap (usually recyled from bead purchases) for any lampwork pendant or glass beads. Then I tie a pretty strand of rainbow hemp around the tissue paper and tie in a bow, and attach a handwritten thank you card on spiraly scrapbook paper with spiral cutouts. And always throw in a business card or 2 in my 3m bubblewrap envelope (2 for $1 at Dollar Tree).

TeardropHankys said...

I'm just getting ready to open my Etsy store and working out all the details before I list items...shipping is a big one! I'll be selling decorative pillows made with vintage / mid century designer hankies and wondering the best and most cost effective way to ship & present.
It would be easier and less expensive to send them as pillow covers, but I want customers to be excited about my pillows when they come out of the box stuffed already, which means a larger box & the perfect packaging.
This is a very informative blog with great ideas...anyone have ideas for larger boxes, unique packaging and shipping ?
Soon to be open...

SerendipiT said...

These are very creative; I love the recycled paper scraps idea; thanks!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for the creative ideas! You are so right...presentation is HUGE!

CHINI said...

All articles represent to expensive cards and gifts