Monthly Archives: August 2016

“Stand Out” Suggestions for Packaging

Whatever happened to the days of simplicity?  Right?  Things used to just be plain Jane and now they are super decorated with all the bells and whistles.  Sometimes I think that I wouldn’t mind going back to a simpler time, but I do really appreciate all of the options for fun and creativity that we have in this current age.

Packaging supplies don’t have to be boring, right?  We don’t have to use plain paper and boxes anymore, do we?  When was the last time you bought something that was boring looking?  I’m not going to lie, I recently chose my new brand of shampoo and conditioner because they were the cutest ones on the shelf.  True story.  And I’m not ashamed of it!  The packaging is what distinguishes the different brands from one another.

If there was only one kind of shampoo it would be find to have a plain bottle sitting on the shelf with block letters reading “shampoo”.  But there are hundreds of kinds of shampoo, and that’s just not going to cut it!  From consumer packaging to distributor packaging, here are some tips how to make our packaging stand out amongst the rest and grab people’s attention:

  • Patterns- packaging can be simply appealing with a simple pattern and invigorating color combination.


  • Utilize- decorate the inside of your box with a pretty floral design, and the outside with a plain color that matches, maybe even a ribbon. This automatically increases the value of your item.


  • KISS- okay, don’t get offended, I’m not calling you stupid, but I am encouraging you to embrace simplicity. Kraft brown is quintessential and matches with anything.


  • Forethought- Imagine the person unwrapping your package. Are the packaging supplies appropriate for what you are selling?  Are you shipping shaving supplies all thrown together in a draw-string bag?
  • Compliment- If possible, allow the customer to see what is inside of the packaging, and then design the packaging to compliment the product.
  • Cute- Choose colors and themes that will interact with what you are selling. They are all sending a message that what is inside is good.
  • Bold- we already mentioned patterns. The bolder the pattern the more aggressive you can be.  A bold pattern on a bag of coffee comes across well, giving the impression of strength and vitality!
  • Different- if you are selling something that is already mass-produced by a ton of other companies, find a different, more appealing way to package your product.


The best way to do this is to try and design packaging supplies that serve a dual purpose (i.e. the honey container made out beeswax that you can turn over and use as a candle when it’s empty).


Creative Ways to Convert Cardboard Boxes

Since recycling has become such a huge hit in the recent years, converting and upcycling items has also risen in popularity.  We have become so much more aware of how much of something we are using, and we are coming up with more and more alternate uses for something when we are done with it.

Perhaps the most popular thing of all in this entire scheme is cardboard.  More specifically: cardboard boxes.  Cardboard boxes are constantly being used to ship millions of items all over the world, and their use is so incredibly temporary.  But no longer!  You can do almost anything to them and with them!

  1. Cards– cutting postcards out of cardboard is super fun and clever. People love getting them in the mail!
  2. Plants– decorate some cardboard boxes and then line them with paper bags, fill them soil to use as pots for plants! Very boho.  Cardboard is also biodegradable, making it a perfect weed killer. Lay a sheet over a patch of weeds, water, cover with soil and seed and you will have great grass in no time.
  3. Games– cut the cardboard into shapes and then paint them different colors.
  4. Creative 2

  5. Storage– there are a lot of ways to upcycle cardboard boxes into fabulous storage containers, but my favorite involves painting them, embellishing them with brass brads, and giving them a tall leather strap over the top. Cereal boxes can also become perfect magazine or file holders.
  6. Pet-friendly– cut strips all the same width and then tape them together to form one long strip. Roll them together until you have a piece about the size of a plate. Your cats will go to town on this as opposed to your walls and furniture.
  7. Play– make a maze by connecting all of the boxes and cutting doors in the sides, or use them to make play kitchens, trains, cars, or dollhouses. Anything!
  8. Creative 3

  9. Décor– instead of spending money on party decorations that you are just going to throw out, cut the shapes and designs out of cardboard instead. Looking for something more long term?  Prime and paint the lids to cardboard cartons and they look just like canvas art (which is much, much more expensive).
  10. Crafts– By now you get the point that you can make just about any kind of craft out of cardboard, but my favorite is one I do with my kids: take cardboard rolls and cover them in peanut butter, then sprinkle with bird feed. Hang by a string from a tree and watch the fun!

Moving On a Budget

Shipping supplies, packing supplies, moving supplies… call them what you will, you need them to move and they don’t grow on trees.   Here’s the thing, even if you are moving for work and your place of employment is paying for the move, that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to wind up with a free move.  Something always needs to be paid for last minute, or in a pinch.  If you are paying for your own move you will realize how incredibly expensive it can be (moving out of state usually runs around five thousand dollars, and moving in state still winds up costing half that).  Shipping supplies alone, regardless of what you are using them for, really wind up adding up (a regular household can expect to use one hundred boxes during a move!).  But you don’t have to freak out.


There are ways and places to find deals.


  • Use Facebook. Everyone has boxes laying around because everyone is always moving, or even just from making purchases.  Everyone is also always on Facebook, or check it at least once a day.  You don’t have to be BFFs with someone for them to see your post and go, “hey, I’ve got some boxes”.  Then you say, “Awesome! When can I come grab them?”  Who knows, maybe the whole process will respark an old friendship.
  • Use your community. Grocery stores and other retail stores are going through boxes on a continual basis.  Some of these boxes already come with packaging, or inserts if they held wine glasses or something like that.


  • Do not buy cheap tape. If a move doesn’t make you want to crawl under a rock, then cheap shipping supplies sure will.  Tape is just not one of those things you can afford to skimp on, and I’m talking about your mental and emotional resources here.  Read some reviews and decide which one people like the best.


  • Use what you have! Newspaper, towels, and old phone books make awesome packaging.  Newspaper may be kind of messy, but it doesn’t stain and it does the job well.  Do you have a shredder?  A couple times a year I let my kids shred everything that has been accumulated for that purpose, and we wind up with a massive pile.  This provides awesome protection for valuables and breakables.
  • Use what you get! Do you order stuff from Amazon?  More than likely it comes wrapped in one of three things: bubble wrap, butcher paper, or air pillows.  They usually use way more than they need to, and it won’t take long to accumulate a nice little cache.

How to Transform Packaging Supplies into Gorgeous Gift-Wrap

My favorite type of packaging supplies are the kind you use for wrapping gifts.  This is because tape isn’t just tape, and paper isn’t just paper.  Oh, sure, it still has all of the components that make tape what we call tape, but there’s even more!  Like awesome designs and super fun colors.  Have you ever heard of Washi tape?  Hands down my favorite of all packaging supplies.  If you know any pre-teens, Washi tape is the most appreciated, easily-obtained gift you could possible give them.  Kids put it on everything from their shoes to their notebooks.  And this is why it’s great for giftwrapping!  Here are a few of my favorite gift combinations of gift-wrapping packaging supplies:

 Washi Tape and Kraft Paper

We’ve already talked about Washi tape. You can use brown, Kraft paper to wrap you gift in any season or for any occasion.  Then, you can use your Washi tape to decorate your package according to the occasion.  If you don’t think you are creative enough to come up with some good ideas, take a look at the internet.  It’s pretty hard to mess up with Washi tape.


Office Supplies

Granted, you might not think of office supplies as packaging supplies, but it’s really fun to be able to incorporate random things when in the process of gorgeously gift-wrapping.


Cloth Items

If you aren’t too keen on using disposable items, there are still options. And one’s that will be duly appreciated, because they will wind up being a bonus gift as well.  Wrap your gifts in scarfs, or cloth sacks, or just any type of leftover cloth that you might have from a previous project.


Nature Accents

I will try not to mention Kraft paper too many times, but it really is the best for wrapping gifts. You can do literally anything to it.  Sometimes I like to just use it plain, and tie some string around it.  Then I tuck some twigs and sprigs of berries or dried flowers in the knot.  If I’m feeling extra inspired I might include a nature-inspired picture as a backdrop behind the accents.  In my experience, this method of gift-wrapping tends to be the most appreciated.


DIY All the Way

Quite simply, you can buy any type of plain gift bag or wrapping paper and decorate it with just about anything. Make cutouts, use stamps, sprinkle pompoms.  Or you can elaborately decorate the gift tag by embroidering it, or hand-pressing a design into it.