top of page

Perfect Packing and Gift Wrapping

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

One of the nicest things about sending parcels out with Etsy is the satisfaction of packing a great parcel that is both aesthetic and practical. I have 25 years experience of delivering parcels as a courier and so know how parcels get treated, how poor packing can damage a box and how the quality of the packing reflects on the goods inside and the company sending the goods. I take real care when I make my crafts and so it makes sense that the packing it travels in should be of an equally high standard.

When I first started out I recycled boxes and packaging and as soon as I had made enough sales I invested in decent packing boxes. To keep the costs down I bought 200 at a time and sourced cheap tissue paper and organza ribbon. I included the cost of the box within the item's price, but I pay for the packing myself. My packing has evolved into a whole big thing, where each item is lovingly packed and repeat customers know that if they message to say an item is a gift for someone, then I take photographs of the inside of the box, and fancy up the outside a little. On receipt of my parcel the outer cello layer with all the stamps and tape can be carefully removed, leaving a pristine box ready to gift. It actually works out to be about 11p per parcel to pack, perfectly gift wrapped, and as I never pay for advertising, 11p per parcel is a genius, shrewd investment.

From day one I used these parcel labels I designed. Crucially my website and logo are on there, but the little note to the postie has ensured that out of 1,600 parcels, none have ever been damaged and only a few have been lost in the post. It's wonderful to receive a message from someone new to say how they and the postie had exchanged words on how nice it was, 'I've never had a relief postie hand over a parcel with such pride and smiles!' is the sort of thing I am told.

I started by always stamping my own brown paper as I couldn't find a nicely printed rustic wrapping paper. I chose to wrap my boxes instead of just putting a label on them, to add a little class, to create an event when opened, (everybody enjoys opening a gift), and as extra protection.

I dislike the outer plastic layer with a passion, but it's very necessary. Most of my things are made from yarn and would be ruined if they got wet, plus the outer cello layer has all the tape and postage stuck to it. I buy my wrapping whenever I see a nice pattern and don't pay more than £1.50 for a 5 or 10 metre roll. Lidl's and Primark are the best, and it's always better to buy the Christmas wrap on Boxing day for the following year! I buy in bulk whenever I find a good deal.

One of the biggest issues when packing a box is choosing the right size. Amazon is notorious for throwing a small thing into a huge box, with a scrunched up bit of paper thrown in for good measure. A packed parcel needs to be strong enough to be stacked in a cage, or to have possibly heavy things on top of it in a sack. All of my things except for honey are very light, and so a large sheet of scrunched up tissue lining the box is sufficient to stop the item moving in the box, and it obviously adds an aesthetic quality. Boxes loose their integrity and weaken when something is rolling around inside. Talking of honey...I have sent out 70 jars and none have broken. Plenty of bubble wrap, pack the box so it is firm and don't have glass touching glass, are the secrets to my success.

Above left is the inside of a parcel sent to someone when I was gifty wrapping their box, it meant they could see what was inside and if they like the wrap they won't need to open it, it's ready to

gift. The middle photo shows a made-to- measure lavender wand box. Again, I have sent out over a 100 of these fragile lavender wands and not one has been damaged. My husbunny makes the box so it is perfect and the gathered tissue adds some extra protection. The photo on the right shows lace washi tape and a logo sticker to show where the box opens. It is important that my boxes are opened the right way up, so I like to identify which end should be opened to receive the full impact of the internal packing.

Above shows my hand printed paper from last year featuring a festive ribbon for a lady who often buys gifts so I always make a little extra effort for a great visually attractive parcel.

Right shows a parcel from this year, where I have added little white dots to the snowflakes. Really easy to do and it is far nicer than any rustic paper I could buy within my budget.

I have lots of organza ribbon and paper collected over the years so it is very rare that someone receives the same wrap two times. I am fortunate to have found a lady on Ebay doing bulk rolls of my ribbon for next to nothing which allows me to create such appealing parcels.

I have even started to gifty up envelopes when I know the card is for a special occasion. The envelope on the left was for a really special event. The order preceded a message I had received saying they needed it within 4 days with words printed inside, which I knew was no problem. The words inside were so beautiful it was clear the card was for a very special occasion so I added ribbon and two of my daisy tags for the names to be written on. Not only did the card arrive the next day, with 3 days to spare, it was also totally perfect for the people it was being sent to. It was a 2

minute job, cost about 4p but the response was priceless.

On the right is a parcel ready to send out. All my things are unbreakable except for the honey, but I always use 'fragile' tape as it just helps to convey fragility and possibly some extra care.

In summary to pack the perfect parcel:

  1. Use a box that's a good fit

  2. Make sure the item can't move about

  3. Have a clear address label

  4. Tape all joins, remembering tape to tape is stronger than tape to cardboard

  5. If it is heavy or fragile mark it so on all faces of the box

  6. Have an email or website on the box so it can easily be returned if there is a problem.

As for decorating and prettying up the box, some people don't like wasteful excess, so you can't please everyone all of the time. As all the packing I use has a purpose it is an added advantage that the finished effect is also extremely aesthetic. My Etsy shop has really grown as a gift shop and I hope that next year I get to make and wrap more gifts for the wonderful people who come across my shop. All it takes is a message and the experience starts!

23 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Dec 09, 2023

Every time I receive a parcel, I take great care to deconstruct the packaging so it can be used again. Aside from the fact that Catspunkystuff uses very pretty ribbons and nice strong printed papers and tissue inside that are very welcome in wrapping other gifts.

bottom of page