You started a handmade small business. You love it, and you love the products you create. But did you know your products are only part of your business? A big part of course!
But have you given any thought to the way those products leave your shop?
A customer’s experience isn’t only in purchasing products, and as a small business, every aspect counts. Especially your packaging!
There are many shops that do packaging really well, and there are plenty of ideas out there! Doesn’t it always seem that those ideas cost mega money?? You could easily spend the value of your product in packaging without being careful. In fact, a study done by Ohio University* found that the cost of packaging to the retail value of a product can be upwards of 40%.
The average cost of packaging was found to be $1 for every $11 spent.
Can you spare almost 10% of your retail value for packaging??
So, how do you package your handmade products in a way that is economical, visually pleasing, and easy? We’ve got a few ideas for you! But - before you check them out, you need to do one thing first:
Create a logo. A GOOD logo.
First impressions matter! The value of good branding and logo design is instrumental to a small business! You may be thinking, girls - I’m not a big shop. Do I really need to have a logo? If I can’t do it myself, do I really need to hire someone?
In our opinion? A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y.
Think about it. Branding is how people recognize you. Branding can trigger emotional responses to whether people are drawn to your business or product. Branding can even position your business in a market as something that will be noticed or overlooked.
Make a logo. Get a good brand plan established.
Once you have a logo in place, you have something that can be applied to everything your business does. It will give your business the polish that it needs to stand out, but better yet, your customers will appreciate the effort put into it.
With your logo done, you can turn your attention to packaging!
Packaging Hack 1: Food Safe Treat Bags
Search Amazon for ‘Treat Bags’ and you will be flooded with hundreds of economical options. 75, 100, 200 bags easily for $20 or less. We found these waxpaper, white treat bags at our local craft supply outlet in a pack of 50, but you can easily order them online!
Why do we like them more than a regular envelope or paper lunch bag? Easy. Food safe treat bags have a bit of a coating to them, so you don’t have to worry about unfinished paper residue (kind of looks like fine dust) on your silicone beads. Another big reason? They have a folded flat bottom, which is easier for mailing, stacking and storing.
Looking for ways you can dress up a plain treat bag? Get creative with it! We chose some adorable mini clothespins in white from our craft store, and they came in a package of 25 for $5! The rest of your materials can be inexpensive cards printed on your home color printer! Easy peasy!
Packaging Hack 2: Printable Labels & Cardboard Boxes
Have you had a chance to order our adorable cardboard boxes?! At a very cost-effective price, they are a beautiful way to impress your customers, but also protect your product during transport! The hole at the top also makes them easy to hang at your local craft shows or artisan shops. Practical, functional AND pretty? YES PLEASE.
But what’s more - they’re so simple that they can be dressed up in so many ways! An easy way to make an impression without the cost is printable labels! You can purchase label sheets from your local office supply store and print them off on your home printer.
CaraTip: Place them off centre and wrapped around the side of the package. The side placement looks so smart! Pair it with a cute little string or ribbon, a thank-you card, and you’ll have a beautiful package design!
*whispers* Here’s a real pro CaraTip that ONLY costs you a few cents. Slip a colored cut piece of paper in the back of your cardboard box. It instantly changes the look of the box!!
Packaging Hack 3: Washi Tape
Washi tape is such a fun addition to any packaging! It’s so cost effective, and such a great way to add character to a simple packaging bag!
Try this out for size! Place your washi tape over the seal at the top of your packaging bag so your customer can clearly see that no one has opened or tampered with the product they’re receiving. It’s a great way to add a layer of thoughtfulness to your package.
Purchase the packaging bags here from our shop in two sizes! The one shown above is our medium size.
Packaging Hack 4: Custom Rubber Stamps
We LOVE a good rubber stamp. We love a stamp even more when it’s used as a cost effective way to brand! For an average of $25 (depending on the vendor or retailer you use), a custom rubber mounted stamp can be an awesome way to cut costs of printing. If you have a stamp for example, you can use it to brand your thank-you notes without having to buy custom printed notes. You can do the same for business cards, receipts, postcards, and in this case - packaging cardboard!
Pair it with a ribbon to hold your product to the cardboard, and you’ve got one cute and coordinated package!
Take the time to order a custom rubber stamp! You’ll have so much fun with it!
Packaging Hack 5: Muslin Bags with a Twist!
If you haven’t seen them yet, you need to check out our adorable new Muslin bags! They come in a gorgeous wheat color, twine draw string, and are the perfect size to hold a soother clip and lanyard.
What’s more?? They’re so affordable! Want a way to make it your own? With extra cord you have laying around (you know you have a stash :P), you can replace the twine draw string with a colored nylon cord string!
Want to doll it up a bit? Slip on a couple beads to the end strings! (PS: let us know in the comment box below if you’d like to see a tutorial on how to do this!)
Packaging Hack 6: Thoughtfulness
What’s free and only takes a bit of effort? Thoughtfulness. If you couldn’t do anything else, a handwritten note thanking your customer for their support could be the best kind of ‘packaging’ you ever do. Your time to write a simple note, and your thoughtfulness to thank them sincerely will make a bigger impact than any fancy package ever could.
This is why we love and support small businesses. You can connect with your customers in such a believable and personal way. So, make the investment of ZERO dollars, a tiny bit of your time, and write a thank you note with every order placed!
We would love to see the way you package your handmade products! Comment below if you have any other ideas that have saved you money!
- the girls