Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Packaging Make-Over

In addition to my new logo, the way cool Moo cards I just got and the matching stickers that are on the way, some other aspects of my image are getting an update. No, not a new wrinkle cream - it's these hand-decorated slide boxes that are now going out to some of my customers:Decorated Slide BoxesThey are decorated using a technique an artist friend of mine shared with me almost 20 years ago. I've always wanted to try it and finally got around to it. I'm a major procrastinator!

To start with, I got some plain white slide boxes from Then I tore up different colored and patterned tissue paper into little pieces. I used an Elmer's spray mount to put glue on one side of each piece of tissue, then quickly laid them on the box. The wet spray mount makes the tissue papers meld together in a nice way. Then I let the boxes dry for at least 24 hours... however, I'm finding that some of the spray mount that leaks through is still tacky after more than a week in the dry Arizona heat. No good. I've tried attaching the tissue with a glue stick, and it works, but I don't get the bleed-through effect like I do with the wet spray mount. Some of the good, dry boxes have gone out to customers but I need to find a better way to make them now.

A small set of beads fits nicely inside the box, looking very chic wrapped in matching tissue paper. The Mini Moo cards also fit perfectly inside.

I got inspiration for this packaging make-over from a post I read on Patty Lakinsmith's blog. Neither Patty nor I are big fans of plastic and non-biodegradable packaging, and don't like sending it to our customers who then have to throw this brand new plastic away - or hopefully find a way to re-use it.

I want to send my customers something that they do not have to throw away, like an attractive and possibly reusable gift box. If they can't reuse it, they can recycle it or throw it onto their compost pile and it will biodegrade. So far I've done away with little zip-loc bags for my merchandise, but I haven't found a good alternative to the bubble wrap and padded envelopes I ship in. The overall idea is to redesign my packaging to be more earth-friendly, reusable and attractive.

Payton Jett of GreenGlassCafe packages her beads in muslin bags which she stamps with her logo. I really like the muslin bag idea, it's my second choice after the slide boxes.

The boxes can be time-consuming, but I love making them. They're a great creative outlet for me, something artistic to do besides lampworking.


Patty said...

Karolen - Great idea! The boxes are beautiful, and I'm sure they're fun to make. I have a suggestion for a better glue. What about Mod Podge? It's a decoupage style glue (basically watered down white glue, best as I can tell) from Michael's craft store. I've used it to apply dried flowers to pillar candles and glassware with much success. Sure, it would take some time to dry, but it won't be tacky once dry. It comes in matte and gloss finishes.

I learned something shocking over the weekend from a magazine article. It said that brown kraft envelopes are not recyclable! Something about the dyes in there being difficult to remove. I need to verify this - I always assumed they were better than the bleached white mailers. These are the basis for my eco-friendly packaging when combined with biodegradable bubble wrap. I may need to change to the white ones if it is true.

I will be reporting the results from my informal testing of biodegradable bubble wrap soon, except for the control sample in the "sunlight" condition blew away the other day when we were out of town!

Karolen said...

Wow, Patty, Thank you for your comment! I will look for Mod Podge, sounds perfect for what I'm doing.

I am also shocked that the kraft envelopes are not recyclable. I wonder if that goes for kraft anything, like kraft bags, etc.?

I guess kraft is just a color, doesn't necessarily mean it's natural or unbleached. :(

I will be looking out for your bubble wrap report. Thanks again for your comment!

rosebud101 said...

Wow! Karolen, those boxes are beautiful! They are works of art in themselves! Interesting comments about the brown paper envelopes. I hope to hear more about this.

Karolen said...

Thanks rosebud!

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