Top tips for creative packaging ideas for your handmade business

Sunday May 24, 2020
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Today, I want to talk to you about the one thing that’s often overlooked by many creative sellers. The packaging!

I know what you are thinking….how does my packaging really matter? Surely, it’s the product that the customer wants and cares about not the packaging?

Well, let me show you how packaging can create the outer layer (pun intended!), not only for your product but for your business too. While some of your customers might not notice the subtle difference, the majority will and it can make a big impact on your sales!

Just think about it. There is a big difference in receiving a handmade gift in a beautiful, custom made box with your label, pretty tissue inside and everything carefully wrapped, so that it can withstand the journey or receiving a recycled box with the gift you’ve just purchased thrown in, half creased from the journey.

It’s not just the practicality; it’s the image that this creates. And something like thoughtful packaging can really make your customers feel special and set you above your competition.

Let me share with you my seven tips for creative packaging to help you to create an amazing brand and excellent customer relationship.

Make sure your packaging reflects your brand

Most people think that branding is expensive and only something that large companies do. But you can do a lot with inexpensive stickers to your logo, strapline or contact details. If you are adding a complimentary thank you note (and you should!) include all your details there, too.

Think about all the elements of the packaging and what it says about your and your brand. Choose recycled or cardboard packaging to demonstrate that you care about the environment or leave out the bubble wrap and replace it with shredded paper. 

Tissue paper is a great way to enhance your branding in a subtle way. Choose a tissue colour from your logo or website to make your branding coherent.

If your budget permits, you can even have professionally printed packaging, which is a great way to make your business stand out.

Creative packaging ideas - using cardboard packaging to ship out your products.jpg

Go beyond the standard

Do you know the saying, the extra mile is never crowded? Depending on what you sell you might like to think about adding little extras that will make your customer extra happy. It could be something that compliments your product, like a small bag of sweets, or product sample, business card with a special discount code for the next purchase or something like that. 

Choose practical packaging

Packing your products has to be practical to make sure everything arrives safely. Depending on what you sell, you might need shredded paper, padded envelopes or bubble wrap to keep everything safe during the journey to your customer.

But adding a layer of tissue in your brand colours, is not only a subtle way to extend your branding, but it’s also lovely for the customer to unwrap your product as if it was a gift! 

Decide on your packaging budget

You should decide on your packaging budget as you are designing and making your products and try to keep within it. The only way to do this is to buy your packaging in bulk, even if it means spending your six months or annual budget all at once. The trick is to find a packaging company that can provide everything you need and buy as much as you can afford in one delivery.

This way, you are saving not only on volume but also on any delivery charges. This will also save time, as you won’t need to order from different companies and then wait around for several deliveries. It might not sound like a big deal, but it all adds up!

Treat your parcel packaging as a separate job

I’ve learned this one the hard way! Your life will be so much easier if you set up a ‘packaging corner’ in your creative studio or office. Keep all your packaging in the order you use it to wrap your products, from tissue paper, stickers, logo labels, cardboard stuffing and all the outer packaging. It will make you more efficient and you will be able to get your orders out a lot quicker.

Adding a little thank you gift to your parcel.jpg

Make it personal - include a 'thank you' note

This is the easiest thing you can do to add a personalised touch to your order. It can be as simple as adding a note with a ‘Thank you for ordering from xxxx….and your first name’. Your customers are more likely to re-order from you if they feel they have a personal connection with you.

Make sure your packaging is functional

If your product is fairly fragile, is it’s worth considering using two boxes instead of one. You can buy double-walled boxes from specialist suppliers, but you can also create one at home. I discovered this tip when I was packaging a large order of my handmade chocolates and was really worried that they would get damaged during transit.

I tightly packed all the chocolates in one box, making sure that all the items were individually packed first. Then I found a box that was about 20cm large (10 cm on each side and top and a bottom around the whole box) and filled it with shredded paper, then added my main box and covered it with more shredded paper and made sure the sides were filled up as well. This way the box was sort of suspended in a large box and it didn’t matter if, for example, somebody dropped it or dented the corner of the box.

The chocolates arrived safely and the customer was pretty amazed at my genius way of packing the order. 

I hope these tips are helpful and give you a few ideas on how you can apply them to your creative business. I’m sure there are plenty more tips out there, so feel free to share them in the comments below!

Magdalena