Monthly Archives: December 2015

Packaging Tape: For Every Type of Project

I’ve been taking a lot of pride in my work this past week. I think I’ve just gotten a big head in general, because I’ve been thinking a lot about what uncommon materials would be the most useful in the case of a zombie outbreak, and why. I like to say that I’ve been thinking outside of the box, because I’m looking past your standard stuff like matches, ponchos, knives, and the obligatory samurai sword. Like packaging tape! But on the flip side of the coin I’ve also been thinking about designing and sewing clothes with unconventional materials (like packaging tape).

3m-tapeThis is because I’ve been watching The Walking Dead with my husband at night, and Project Runway during the day when my kids are napping. Honestly, I find myself in a constant state of confusion and stress, because I’m either listening to every little noise like it’s a zombie trying to get into my house or I’m rushing around doing everything at a hundred miles per hour like I have a floor length ball gown that needs to be completed, like, right now. I have to admit that the Project Runway sessions are much more enjoyable, and considerably less gory, although probably just as dramatic. It turns out that the average person does not, indeed, need acting lessons. They thrive in front of the camera and on national television. In every possible way.

My absolute favorite Project Runway episode is always the unconventional materials challenge. Now, I’m proud to announce that I dabbled with some sewing when I was a kid. I could make a mean miniature quilt, and my dolls had the most intricate of wardrobes. Granted, the interest (and probably the skill with it) fell off by the time I started driving- regrettably I can’t admit that it was sooner. In my imagination, though, if I were to be selected for this show, and made it to the unconventional materials challenge, I would use packaging tape.

I think I would make this really cute chevron striped sporty-esque dress. Of all different colors. It would look like shiny pleather and the judges would think that my innovation was pretty outstanding. During the interview after my win, in which I had obtained immunity for the next round, I would sit there in my vest made of bowties, with a safety pin in my nose, and I would talk about my childhood of making doll clothes and how it brought me to where I am today, so talented that I can make a dress out of packaging tape.

Stretch Film: The Solution to Your Project

On the one hand I’ve been talking a lot about the end of the world, and all of those wild speculations we insecure human beings come up with. In these different scenarios, stretch film appears to be a major solution to many problems. And, more than likely, its merits would go unnoticed, which leaves more for us.

On the other hand, I started watching Project Runway again (the final season of All Stars) and my creative juices have really begun flowing. I used to sew when I was a little girl, but I never considered sewing my own clothes. Apparently a lot of the designers on this show started designing and sewing their own clothes because they were poor or overweight or something like that. While I was not overweight, my wardrobe did consist primarily of hand-me-downs and thrift store sales.

It never occurred to me to try making my own outfits. I actually continued to shop at the thrift store even after I got old enough to start working, and I pretty much still go there a lot of the time. But that is neither here nor there… My favorite episode on Project Runway is always the unconventional materials challenge. I just watched the designers have to gather supplies from a construction site and use them to make some fabulous creations. I was thinking about how cool it would be if they had to go through a packaging and shipping supply store.

There would be some seriously awesome and equally unconventional stuff to choose from. I think I would go for the stretch film. I would probably wrap some cardboard in it, so that it would be nice and viscous looking and also easy to bend with a curve. A medium of this type would be moldable almost like clay, and since the stretch film would stick to itself, it would be easy to keep in place.

Or I could make some amazing bodysuit type thing. And then, at the end, during the clip of my interview about the win, where I would wave my hookah pen (which is apparently what cool people call their e-cigarettes), proudly sporting the tattoo around my neck that looks like a needle and thread sewing my head back on, I would say, “I don’t know what I would have done if there hadn’t been any stretch film, man. You know?”

Bin Liners: The Not-So-Unconventional Material

Have you ever seen that show Project Runway? I have had the utmost pleasure of seeing pretty much every single episode to all of the seasons. Sometimes my internet didn’t want to load certain ones, and then I would have to just suck it up, but Project Runway is kind of my go-to. My favorite week is also [usually] the designers’ least favorite: the unconventional challenge.

I was imagining what it would be like if the crew had to use materials from a packaging and shipping supply store. They’ve done a candy store, a dollar store, a flower store (real ones, I might add), a Hallmark store… There’s just a ton. So why not someplace like UPS, or the post office? I used to sew doll clothes and little quilts and random stuff like that when I was little. I was considered ‘good’ and it was flattering and also came in handy. However, I had no real skill and it certainly never occurred to me to make my own clothes and learn different sorts of folds and tucks and whatnot.

Bin Liners

But if I did have skill, and did design and sew clothes, and was also on the show, and we found ourselves at a packaging and shipping supply store for the unconventional challenge, I would head straight for the bin liners. I’ve learned a lot about bin liners recently, and have come to see their merit. For those of you not so familiar with them, bin liners are enormous plastic bags with extra sewn into the side (called gussets) so that they can spread out and maximize the space they are lining.

They are usually pretty large, and can go on up to larger and even larger. I would use these bin liners to create some sort of amazing textile (they are always saying “textile” on Project Runway). During the little interview clips I would sit there with greasy hair in a stained white t-shirt and move my hands around so all my bracelets would tinkle while I talked: “I just used layers and layers and layers of these bin liners over this hoop skirt to make this amazing Cinderella-esque dress.”

After I had [clearly] won immunity for the following week, and Vera Wang said she wanted to use my dress for new online brand, I bet the crew for the show would then secretly take all my leftover bin liners. I can’t imagine the insane amounts of trash that the designers make during the chaos of every single challenge, and somebody’s gotta clean it up.

Shipping Bags, Shopping Bags, and More

Until I started writing mini-articles about packaging and shipping supplies, I had no idea the different types of products that are out there, and the vast amount of products under those main categories. I mean, it can get really interesting and I’m not saying that because I’m paid to. It turns out that packaging and shipping supplies are also good items to use when organizing your home, or for your business, or even just to have on hand for everyday use.

Consider shipping bags. Shipping bags are also packaging bags, mailing bags, reclosable bags, poly bags, foam pouches, shrink bags, thank you bags, merchandise bags… I can really go on and on. And I think I will. Shipping bags can also be sandwich bags, trash bags, dunnage bags, static shielding bags, coffee bags, cellophane bags, bags with an adhesive backing … Am I done yet? No, I’m not! Newspaper bags, doorknob bags, garment bags, bread bags, bubble bags, paper bags, dunnage bags, packing list envelopes, bin liners, ice bags…

Shipping Bags

Did I mention shipping bags yet? You see, all of these bags can be used to facilitate the packaging and shipping process. Obviously you aren’t going to package or ship coffee beans just in a cardboard box, or even in leftover bag you got from the last time you went shopping at Wal Mart. Coffee bags are what you will want to use when dealing with coffee. You would never think that a website like would be able to supply just about any and all of your organizing needs for your small business. As you have just seen, you don’t have to be in the business of shipping products to become a patron of this company. You simply just need to have a business.

You may be looking under ‘shipping bags’, but this is where you will find all manner of merchandise bags, and you don’t have to be planning on sending them off in the mail to benefit from them. Did I mention the wholesale prices? At, not only are the supplies worth attracting your business, the prices should too.

Just the other day I went online to buy some shipping bags, and I wound up also buying some trash bags (forgot those at Costco), and I bought some sandwich baggies (because I forgot those at the grocery store). And you know what? I might just keep buying them from…

Custom Packaging Tape: The Story of Duct Tape

You may have heard me talk about how scotch tape came about to being invented, and today I’m going to talk a little bit about duct tape. This is because I am more or less obsessed with custom packaging tape… Okay, I knew I couldn’t fool you; it’s because it’s my job. And I love it! Because where else can you research the history of duct tape and write about it and get paid for it, too?

Growing up, I thought that duct tape was actually pronounced ‘duck’ tape, and then I was really embarrassed when I got older and learned that it is actually ‘duct’ tape. Well, today I am here to tell you that calling it ‘duck’ is also correct! Also, the really weird thing is that standard duct tape is no good for use on actual ducts. This makes no sense, I know, but what are you gonna do?

Okay, so, the custom packaging tape that we refer to as duct tape was invented during World War II, and was made by putting a rubber adhesive on a duck cloth backing. The rubber adhesive is what made it water resistant, but what is duck cloth? It turns out that it doesn’t have anything to do with ducks, and the word comes from a Dutch word that sounds the same but refers to cloth. And so duck cloth is a type of cloth signified by how tightly woven it is, which makes it incredibly durable. Apparently it had been in use for many years by the time the second World War rolled around, used to make shoes stronger and even to wrap cables to protect them from corrosion.

Lo and behold, the mother of two Navy sailors, who also worked in an ordinance factory, came up with the idea for duct tape. This reminds me of that Canadian show about girls working in an ordinance factory, which I thought was pretty awesome but apparently the rest of the world did not because it was cancelled after two seasons. This mother was concerned that the munitions they were producing would be ruined by the time they got to the front lines, since the munitions boxes didn’t seal all that well. She proposed the idea, and her idea was patented into duck tape. I’ve yet to find out why it is called duct tape, except that it was commonly confused with a brand of custom packaging tape that was actually used on ducts.

Stretch Wrap Film and Related Topics

By now it’s no secret that my job is to talk about packaging and shipping supplies. I have to say I kind of love it because it means that, indirectly, I get to talk about every single topic under the sun I can think of. Because, somehow, packaging and shipping supplies touch every corner of the earth from every moment of time.

Like Christmas! Particularly at this time of year, which is the holiday season for all of you who may be reading this at a later day (or earlier, depending on how you look at it), I am seeing all of these ways that the things I talk about in my job relate to Christmas! I’ve talked about how Santa Claus must use bins and bin liners in his toy factory, and how cheap cardboard boxes come in really handle when you find yourself continuously mailing off gifts. But it turns out that stretch wrap film is where it’s at. I mean, no way could I have saved all those Thanksgiving leftovers without the stuff. I think I ate leftovers like three times on Black Friday. Have I mentioned Thanksgiving leftovers are my jam?

It’s going to be the same thing with Christmas: stretch wrap film, wrapping up all of that delicious honey-baked ham and roasted vegetables and… I just need to stop now before this turns into a piece on cooking or, more accurately, on eating food. I am not ashamed to admit that I like eating food a heck of a lot more than cooking it (excuse the expletive. Which reminds me of a really funny story but that would get me way further off topic, if that’s even possible.). If you think about it, though, the Grinch would have had a much easier job if he had been able to use stretch wrap film.

If he really hated Christmas that much, you would think that before he put together his horrible little suit he would have sat down and made an internet purchase: stretch wrap film and dispenser. Then, he would have been well equipped to steal Christmas.

Everything on top of that hideous sleigh could have been tightly wrapped up, and that sad little dog probably would have had a way easier time dragging the load it was more compact and stabilized. Who am I kidding? There is absolutely no way that dog could have made the trip. He couldn’t even have pulled the sleigh by itself. He probably could have barely handled pulling the reigns not attached to anything else…

Cardboard Boxes Around the Holidays

You know that old joke about how kids love the cardboard boxes that the new toys just came in, more than the actual plaything? Well, it’s actually not so much a joke as it is an irony slash scientific fact. In fact, it is so ironic that Alanis Morissette should have found a way to include it in her song of the same word- although I admit it is of difficult phraseology, and she probably wanted to but couldn’t figure out how to make it translate. Anyway, the fact remains, and Alanis’ song didn’t suffer for lack of trying.

To be honest, my husband I often take new toys out of the cardboard boxes and assemble them before giving them as gifts. To our own kids, that is. This is because it is really annoying when you give your kid a gift and they freak out and want it out of the box immediately, which is physically impossible. It’s actually impossible to get a new toy released and put together in any time under an hour, regardless of size, shape, or style. So, after the kids are in bed, we put on some tunes, pour some gingerale, and put those babies together. The next day they can set right in without anybody getting flustered, and when they discover the boxes their joy is truly complete. I have held onto cardboard boxes for months because the kids consistently played with them. Until they were becoming shredded and torn, and I began to find pieces of it all over the house.

This is part of the dilemma around the holidays. The kids are going to be opening these awesome looking presents, and all of those presents are going to be completely inaccessible without the select and amazing skills of Mom and Dad (“How bad do you want me to open this?…Just kidding!…But not really…”). Whereupon Mom and Dad will use the utmost care to open the cardboard boxes and A) save them for a rainy day, B) save them for spring cleaning, or C) save them to use for all of that other trash paraphernalia. More than likely, if the box is big enough it will also be taken to the toy room, considered an actual present.

In closing, don’t you hate it when you go to open a gift from your in-laws or your grandma and you see this brightly colored box, for perhaps a tablet or a laptop, but inside is actually an antique plate wrapped in newspaper and they just so happened to have rescued the box from your neighbor who was throwing it away? “Oh, Grandma, it’s perfect!”

Cardboard Boxes for Sale, Oh My

Saying “cardboard boxes for sale” makes me think of New York in the 1920s, when little boys in apple caps and suspenders were running around hollering, selling newspapers. Except I imagine a different scene, where the little boys don’t have newspapers under their arms, they have a stack of cardboard boxes. “Cardboard boxes for sale, here! Get your box for a buck!” they would shout at you as you passed. How convenient would that be? Pretty stinking convenient, if you ask me. Buying boxes at department stores, for resale prices, will just about break the bank.

And you always wind up needing more than you think you will need, so you always wind up spending more than you were planning on spending, and the whole thing begins to feel like a downward spiral. It would be really convenient if those people standing on the side of the road, the ones holding the signs, were actually selling cardboard boxes. I suppose that the next best thing is this website that has cardboard boxes for sale in bulk, at wholesale prices. It’s called, and it’s amazing. There are literally hundreds of sizes to choose from, and you can spend like twenty dollars on a bundle of fifteen or twenty.

So I guess we don’t really need little paper boys running around the streets, we can just go online and get what we need from You don’t even have to get out of your car! I mean, it doesn’t get much easier. And since the boxes come in bundles, you could buy a couple of different sizes and store them in the basement or the garage to keep on hand and be taking up very little space, which is a bonus. It’s really inconvenient to need a box and not have one around, and its just as inconvenient to try and stash old boxes because you either can’t break them down, or the integrity gets so compromised that when you go to use them you have very little hope of it making out to your car, forget about all of the way to Montana through the hustle and bustle of the United States Postal Service. I guess I’ll just stick to getting my boxes at, because I can also get the packaging tape, and I can even get a pack of garbage bags which I keep forgetting to get at the store.

Packaging Tape – Aisle Marking Tape

Have you ever wanted to mark an aisle, but then couldn’t because you didn’t have the right kind of packaging tape? Most of you might laugh at this question, because it sounds silly, and I admit that it does. However, it’s a real scenario. If you have ever gone through a warehouse, or an airplane hangar, or a factory of any kind you would never notice that the floor is not plain. Instead, it is covered in boxes and arrows and lines, and all of those are put into place by aisle marking tape.

You know that if you cross over the red and white striped line you will more than likely get your head chopped off by some piece of heavy machinery. If you cross over the yellow and black stripped line you know that you are walking onto the flightline and that you need to make sure you have your personal protective equipment with you. Stay inside the walkways clearly marked with plain white tape when going from point A to point B. If there weren’t these markings on the ground, people would just wander aimlessly, completely exposed to bumping their heads, burning their flesh, and getting crushed.

Packaging Tape

Or, even worse, they would drive their forklifts and wheelbarrows in random patterns, without the aid of guiding lines complete with multiple lanes. We never notice the markings because our brains just process them as a necessary part of the environment, but someone actually had to put them there. Enter: aisle marking tape. At this would belong to the packaging tape family. They sell it in widths of two or three inches, thirty-six yards a roll, in six different colors (solid or striped).

This tape is specially designed not only because of its colored patterns, but because it is able to handle a lot of abuse while simultaneously standing up against moisture, grease, oil, solvents and scuffing. also sells this nifty little device called an aisle marking tape dispenser, also available to find under the search for ‘packaging tape’. It looks like the front half of a scooter (namely, the handle bars and front wheel), although including the part that you stand on might be a good idea for the next model.

The tape mounts to the bottom wheel and you can conveniently apply by holding onto the handlebar and pushing it along. If you don’t choose to go the accessorized route, which would allow you remain upright, you are going to need some serious knees pads and a back brace.