Packaging tips for crafters, makers and sellers (part 1)

23rd May 2009 by Denise

There’s more to packaging than meets the eye. A its most basic level it simply has to protect its precious cargo, but with a bit of thought – and not much expense – your packaging can work much harder for both you, and your customers.

Without much work your packaging could:
• make a statement about you and the way you work
• have a second life – saved and re-used as storage
• promote your store and your work – which could mean more sales
and best of all
• create a sense of excitement and anticipation on arrival. (Which could also mean more sales!)

Who doesn’t want their customer to be overjoyed at receiving something they’ve made? You’ve put a lot of work into the item, people should be excited about receiving it! And the more excited they are, the more they love it – and the more they love it, the more they’ll talk about it and show it to their friends. And we all know recommendations from a friend are best kind of advertising for your store.

We’re very interested in crafting and making things in the MOO office. Some of the team make things of their own, others are avid consumers of sites like Etsy. And Of course we also love packaging – we take a lot of care with our own!

What prompted this article was the recent arrival of two very different packages in the post.

Once out of the padded envelope, one item was wrapped in a clear plastic sandwich bag, with a printout of where it had come from and a receipt. We opened the plastic, threw it away, looked at the slip of paper quickly, and couldn’t think of a reason to save that, so we threw that away too. Was the item nice? It was lovely! Were we excited to open the package? Not really – there was no anticipation, no feeling of having bought something really special. It wasn’t remarkable, and now we’ve thrown away the slip of paper, we’ll need to search online to find the store again.

The other package came in a little brown paper box, carefully wrapped with a strip of floral paper and twine. Opening the box was like opening a gift! Inside was bright paper, gently protecting the item. It felt precious, and special. It also came with two colourful business cards (we’re not biased, they actually weren’t MOO MiniCards or Business Cards!) and the owner of the shop had stamped her url on the outside of the box. There was also a little note to say thanks for buying from the shop.

What did we do with this packaging? We saved it all! Every time we open it to take out the item, we love it all over again. And more to the point, we have the url of the shop on hand all of the time. When we want to get something else, we know where to go. We kept the business cards too, because they were so pretty we didn’t really want to throw them away. Luckily, as we have two, we can pass one on to a friend.

Of course custom ordering packaging can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult, or expensive to create something wonderful. We thought it might be handy to do a round up of some of the great ideas we’ve seen and show how some people are using MOO, to promote their business – and hopefully get more sales.

This article is part one, and concentrates on three main things, boxes, paper and plastic.


Boxes

We know boxes can be expensive – and they’re not appropriate for every item. But, if you’re a jeweller, sending something delicate, they’re the perfect way to add some protection. Not only that, they’re ideal for the customer to save and re-use. If the item is ultimately a gift, a nice box will make both the giver and the receiver feel really special.

These smart black boxes look like gifts from an expensive store. c-urchin has tied each one with coloured ribbon to match the photo on the MiniCard – and each MiniCard has a photo of her work. Such pretty cards, they’re sure to be kept or passed on, meaning the url and name of her store is easily found – perfect for repeat orders.

But perhaps your work has more romantic feel? Less city chic, and more country cottage? These boxes by Nest Decorating again look like a wonderful gift, but create very different emotions to the boxes above:

Using thin ribbon and simple twine, she’s threaded her MiniCards to the box, and added a simple bead. Again, sure to be kept, these MiniCards promote her store and will surprise and delight her customers. If this is your style, do check out Tamar’s other uses of MOO they’re a real treat!

These are the main things to think about when using a box
• they protect your items
• they’ll probably be kept by the recipient
• they have a ‘gift’-like feeling – perhaps you could offer it as a paid-for extra?
• they can be easily personalised, or branded with a sticker or stamp
• they can be easily accessorised with ribbon
• they can be more cheaply accessorised with twine, or wool, sometimes the box itself is special enough.


Tissue

Tissue is much cheaper than a box, and a lot easier find – and store! It still gives extra protection to the item inside, but at the same time, creates a sense of eager anticipation. That noise as you rustle the paper! Should you tear it right off or open it gently? Either way, you’re already excited as soon as you’ve opened the envelope.

This item, is again packaged for the Nest Decorating store. Using just simple tissue paper she’s added a special touch with a bright ribbon – and again, a great use of a MiniCard.

And this little package is actually for a swap, rather than a sale, but it’s so nice, we thought you should see it anyway! Wrapped by Laura Fallulah, it includes a little charm, and several sheets of MOO Stickers. These stickers are actually MOO designs – but would work equally well with photos of your own products (great way to promote your range), or your logo, or url.

stickers are currently only available from MOO’s UK store – but we do ship them world wide.

These are the main things to think about when using tissue or paper
• cheap
• easy to store (packages flat!)
• easily available in many colours, so you can find a colour to suit your style
• available in co-ordinating colours so you can wrap many items in co-ordinating style
• simply branded or personalised with a rubber stamp
• very easy (and cheap!) to add nice touches – floral ribbons, stickers, platted yarn or twine


Plastic

Plastic doesn’t have to be mean to the environment. It’s possible to find recycleable and biodegradeable bags out there, and they’re quite cost effective and efficient. When packaged and used well, clear plastic can create a real sense of anticipation – you can see the item – all you want to do is get at it right now!

These packages by Yarnissima are really something. We’ve mentioned them here before, but they always strike us as a such a thoughtful and creative idea. Her shop sells wonderful yarn and patterns, and the packaging looks like a fantastic treat!

Crazycatladymel is another one that uses plastic to great advantage – look at these packages ready for swapping! Colourful bags of treats, you can see everything inside, but the candy striped twine and the MiniCard add the perfect finishing touches. You know who ever receives these will spend a few minutes looking at the package before they crack it open it for the goodies inside.

These are the main things to think about when using plastic
• cheap
• easy to store (again, packs flat!)
• works well with bright, colourful items inside
• works well for multiple items
• waterproof (more so than paper) so good for items travelling long distances
• slightly more ‘ordinary’ so the finishing touches really make it – colourful twine, ribbons and MiniCards.


We hope you’ve enjoyed these examples – in writing this we’ve realised there are lots more, different things you can do – all easy, and cost effective. We’ll leave it here for now, but we’ll be sharing even more ideas in the coming months.

Are you a seller? Or have you ever received a wonderfully packaged item from a seller?

We’d love to share more examples from the MOO community, so feel free to add your thoughts and ideas in the comments. Perhaps you’ve had a great ideas for your own store, or you’ve received a great package from an online seller? How did the package make you feel? Please do let us know what you think!

Comments (8)

  1. Marcus:

    Love the packaging, think I prefer the one right at the top out of all of them (I like things simple) also, don’t suppose you have anything to do with isittimeyet.net? Probably not, but it’s a cow. So maybe?

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Jenny:

    You are so right, I sometimes make gift boxes for my brooches but haven’t tried selling them boxed at fairs before……I will now!!!

  3. susan:

    It would be awesome if you sold a stylish holder that held 30+ minicards… even if they were just made of cardboard so I could distribute decks to clients, friends and customers. Nice article, btw.

  4. Amu and Pri:

    Nice article on packaging!

  5. Lynnez:

    I like using pillow packs partly because they store flat – but would love them if moo did a version …… with pictures on

  6. Mel (crazycatladymel):

    Yay! I’m so honored that one of my pics is included in such great company. And right underneath Yarnissima! Coincidentally (for real), I’m knitting with yarn from her shop right now.

  7. Lorrie:

    Very useful and pertinent post. I buy a great deal of handmade items, and packaging makes a big impression. Selling art it is difficult to make a groupe of items look pretty, but i do try. I always include little extras. I make my little moo minis into bookmarks and include a couple of those with every order, and some stickers too.

  8. Lorrie:

    p.s. My blog includes a piece about my latest mini MOO’s.

    http://www.illusiocreative.co.uk/blog/

    xxx

Post a comment

we won't publish your email, or spam you

Please keep comments on-topic and be nice to people. We don't like moderating, but inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders sent to the MOO dungeons.

New to MOO?

We help our customers print things like Business Cards, MiniCards, and Letterheads, making it easy for them to share information about themselves or their business in the real world.

Keep in touch …

Don't miss out on special offers and discounts that we share with our subscribers!

Sign up to the newsletter
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to the feed

MOO Products on Flickr

  • Silver abstraction
  • Autumn gold hair fantasy abstraction
  • Christmas cards for 2014
  • Silver elegant phone tablet wallpaper design
  • Red love phone tablet wallpaper
  • New hang tags, bigger text

View more on Flickr

Refer friends and earn money

We know that lots of you are great ambassadors for MOO and so we've been thinking of a way to say thank you. Which is why you can now actually earn money off your next order when you refer friends to MOO.

Find out more

Join the MOO Affiliate Program

If you can do us a favour, we'll do one for you in return. Sign up as an affiliate and you could earn up to £5, $8, or €6 for every new customer you send our way.

Sign up now