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Make your Handmade Products Stand Out! Using Creative Packaging

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How can you make your products look special?

There are some easy and creative ways to make your handmade products different from the rest at festivals or shows and make a special surprise for customers ordering your products. This lens is all about using creative packaging to make your creations stand out from the crowd and make them memorable for your customers.

How much time and effort you want to put into your packaging is totally up to you. You can quickly create simple stylish packaging or spend more time creating something totally customized to your business.

Why Is Creative Packaging Important?

You are competing with not only other producers of handmade products but with mass produced items. Your handmade products are more expensive than those from a factory assembly line, but, for very good reasons. The extra time, effort, and expertise (not to mention passion) that goes into handmade products are what make them worth the extra price to your buyers. Your packaging needs to reflect this care, effort, and passion.

Here are a few general tips:

  • Include photos of your packaging in your shop, let your customer know how their items will arrive.
  • Plan your packaging ahead of time and keep all your packaging materials organized in one place (I just use a large box).
  • Any tools for your packaging like scissors, rubber stamps, paper punches, etc. should also go in the box.

Packaging Interview

Interview I gave on packaging, craft shows, and Etsy.

Books on Creative Packaging

Customizing your Hang Tags & Display Cards

Instead of basic white price tags or stickers try making your own creative tags or have some printed for you. The same goes for the little hanging cards for earrings.

Ideas for making your own tags

  • Print tags out on colored cardstock.
  • Use big shape punches to create fun shapes for your tags.
  • Use colorful ribbon, yarn, or embroidery floss to tie your tags on.
  • Add beads or tassels to the tag for added decoration.
  • Emboss the tags.
  • Add color with markers, colored pencil, or watercolors.

This is a tag I used to use (redesigned them a few months ago). Not only do they have my business name for my customer but they also have my contact info, background on my creations, and how to care for my polymer clay creations. I think the glass bead on each adds a nice touch.

You can use these same tips to create custom earring cards as well. The Handmade Business Blog has this post on how I made mine.

Tips and Resources for Making your Own Tags and Display Cards

DIY Design Book

Giving your customers something to keep their purchases in is a very helpful touch that they will appreciate. But instead of a plain bag or box give them something special. Try some of these ideas for making your gift bags and boxes stand out.

Spicing up gift boxes.

  • Use custom printed stickers
  • Or a custom rubber stamp
  • Sign them
  • Add ribbon around the edge
  • Decoupage vintage clipart onto them
  • Add a charm or button on top
  • Use ribbon or cord to make a carrying handle
  • Draw or paint on them.

Embellishing gift bags

  • Add beads to the drawstring
  • Print out your logo onto iron-on transfer paper and iron the design onto the bag
  • Screen print your bag. Here is a DIY screenprinting tutorial
  • Sign the bag using fabric markers
  • Use iron-on transfers or applique
  • Add a hang tag to the bag.

Try making your own bags and boxes!

Earrings packaged in small plastic bags with colored cardstock backing and labels printed with my business name. You can also see my new tag and examples of the different fabric bags I use.

Tutorials and Patterns for Making your Own Gift Bags and Boxes

More Packaging Ideas

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Recently I began packaging some of my jewelry differently. While I still packaging most of my jewelry in organza bags I also package some in plastic bags with a printed fold over for hanging at craft fairs and other events. It's easy to do and looks very polished.

Custom Bubble Mailers

Bubble mailers are those cute little padded envelopes that are great for sending small items. They also work great as protective packaging for your small items sold at shows and festivals. 27 Things has a great tutorial for making your own cute custom bubble mailers out of colorful art paper.

Make Your Own Bubble Mailer Tutorial

Alternately you could cover pre-made mailers with wrapping paper, add a custom sticker, or rubberstamp of your logo to one. You can even order bubble mailers in bright or metallic finishes.

Other Easy Ideas

Try incorporating some of these into your packaging.

  • Instruction or care sheets. Make these colorful as well as useful.
  • Custom rubber stamps.
  • Use embossing powder to give your stamps some added impact.
  • Custom stickers (you can buy sticker paper for printing them at home)
  • Business cards. Include one or two with each purchase.text
  • For jewelry makers make custom earring and pin display cards.
  • Ribbons are always an easy touch.

Packaging Resources and Inspiration

Things to avoid in your packaging.

  • Inconsistent. Keep things looking consistent, I don't mean everything has to be the same, but the style and theme of your packaging should all have a similar feel.
  • Inappropriate. This should be easy, make the product and packaging match. If it's retro styled give the packaging a retro look. If it's Victorian don't put it in a tied-dyed box.text
  • Unprofessional. If you're here I'm sure your not planning to just slap something together quickly. Make sure glued items don't have edges sticking up, corners aren't ripped off tags, all text is correct and spellchecked.
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Presentation at Art and Craft Festivals

Festivals and shows are a great opportunity to put your packaging ideas to the test. Don't hide all your packaging away in a box behind the checkout area. Put out a little display to show your customers exactly what they'll gets when they purchase one of your products.

Keep it fresh! Rethink your packaging regularly and how it fits into your brand.

Updating my Packaging

When I first wrote this lens a few years ago my packaging looked much different than it does today. You can see some of the differences in the pictures but they are still a bit different to what I currently use. I reconsider my packaging on a regular basis and think about what I can do to make it better and more in keeping with my current branding.

Currently my cephalopod jewelry is sent out in an organza gift bag in a color that compliments the piece, colorful tissue paper, a shipping box that is rubber stamped with my logo, a brochure with care instructions, a business card, and a coupon. You can see the photo below shows what it looks like.

Pen a Message - Leave your comments or questions here.

ajkzjskj on November 07, 2017:

lol lol lol lol lol

fathomblueEG on May 19, 2014:

What a beautiful lens. You are a true artist and your creativity inspires us all. Keep up the amazing work you do.

Jim Houston from Wilmer, Alabama on March 17, 2014:

Excellent. Packaging can make or break a product and is as important as the product itself. Great lens.

Invoiceberry from London on October 30, 2013:

No matter what you do, packaging is always very important. people care about the presentation whether it's food, website, product etc.

minpinmojo76 on October 25, 2013:

Great info, packaging is often an overlooked feature. great lens

anonymous on September 29, 2013:

That 's awesome . Thanks for ur useful information :)

Erin Mellor from Europe on September 20, 2013:

@socialcx1: Professionally crafted packaging really does make a difference, and I'm sure makes products more attractive so will more than pay for itself. Great resource.

socialcx1 on July 18, 2013:

I think you have done a fantastic job here. Thanks

seodress on June 25, 2013:

Um awesome!!!

Pinasheart on May 02, 2013:

Thanks for all this lovely information!

larrybla lm on March 24, 2013:

Placed in my favorites. Resourceful information.

pauly99 lm on February 26, 2013:

Good ideas. I make custom pens and it makes sense that the packaging is unique as the product. Heck, the packaging could sell the product.

anonymous on February 22, 2013:

packaging adds value.... to the product...

www.jankioiltools.com

anonymous on February 08, 2013:

We offer creative packaging design through sustainable packaging, eco-friendly labels, and tree free promotional stickers. Let me know if we can help! Michonne@distantvillage.com | www.distantvillage.com

myzone2012 lm on December 13, 2012:

This is an awesome lens. thank you for sharing

TravelEase on December 03, 2012:

Creative handmade products and equally impressive packaging. You can go into business with these great ideas.

microbio on November 28, 2012:

Love this lens, very simple and creative ideas that can be done with a small budget. I use hang tags as business cards myself :)

anonymous on November 11, 2012:

Best squidoo i have ever read!! thank you

Freestuffer LM on November 06, 2012:

Love this lens! I have a business and nice packaging really attract customers. Thanks for sharing

anonymous on November 03, 2012:

Lovely ideas. Thanks for this lenst :)

loveirishcrafts1 on October 26, 2012:

Thanks for the useful tips...I have the pleasure in stocking goods from some of Ireland's finest traditional crafters and its so important to get my packaging right and in keeping with their goods...I will be exploring your lens more

handcrafted-coolery on October 23, 2012:

Thanx for this lens it is very helpful

homesweethomebi1 on October 22, 2012:

This is great detailed information for someone who makes and sells handmade items.

jimmyboy88 on October 21, 2012:

very creative ideas

anonymous on October 13, 2012:

Very nice lense :)

Thanks for sharing it...

Elastara on October 12, 2012:

Hi Sheryl, I got a friend who asked me if there is anywhere she can buy jar necklace. I gotta give her this link so that she can check it out ;). You are very creative, keep it up :).

Alessandro Zamboni from Italy on October 09, 2012:

Lovely lens! I was searching for some ideas to package my handmade candles, and this page gave mo so much ideas I could start to give value to my objecs.

Thanks so much, three thumbs up :)

Sheryl Westleigh (author) from Maine on October 09, 2012:

@skegnesslad: I've never thought of it that way. Since my products are handmade they do change over time as I've become a lot more skilled in all areas of making and my packaging reflects that gradual improvement.

pmeonlinesolutions on October 08, 2012:

I wish I had read this article last month when I was traveling. lol Very good lens and thanks for the ideas. I will try one of these on my next rip when I bring back lots of fish and shirts.

diesel54 on October 06, 2012:

As a packaging engineer myself you are definitely on a good road here. A lot of people are unaware of the importance of packaging.

skegnesslad on October 06, 2012:

Great Lens and I know all too well that changing your packaging designs slightly over time makes people think they're buying a new product or the product inside is slightly different. Therefore tricking people to buy your product.

kiratalley on October 04, 2012:

What a great idea for putting crafts to good use!

Joy Neasley from Nashville, TN on September 22, 2012:

Thank you for the great ideas.

VladimirasRiabcevas on September 15, 2012:

Nice lens!

anonymous on September 11, 2012:

great lens, squidliked, G+1 and pinned.

PatriciaJoy from Michigan on September 10, 2012:

Blessed by a Squid Angel. These are great ideas. Thank you.

JesusDensford on September 07, 2012:

Great ideas here indeed. Thanks!

JonoAdams on August 30, 2012:

Interesting read, thanks for sharing!

KarlHarer on August 30, 2012:

Thank you for this lens. Some very good ideas here! :)

Dianeyp LM on August 30, 2012:

These are great ideas. Good decorative packaging also works well for displays. I displayed crafts in a craft store and was not selling much until my daughter changed the way they were displayed with better packaging and sales doubled. It does make a difference. Great lens!

mouse1996 lm on August 19, 2012:

Very good ideas here. I make my own baggies for my products and I want to get a little creative for what I will put the products on. This gave me some great ideas.

koukatn on August 05, 2012:

thank you,well done

DMVAgent on July 19, 2012:

Very informative lens. Will watch more of this. :)

steph-naylor on July 18, 2012:

Thanks for sharing Lens! It was very interesting!

web-writer lm on June 22, 2012:

Hi Sheryl, I was looking for this. Thanks!

ChrisClark1 on June 11, 2012:

interesting I would have to say. Nice work

expertseofrance on June 07, 2012:

thanks for all the tips! it's really helping me out!

EmergencyPrepar on June 05, 2012:

I do think creative packaging is a HUGE part of marketing. You can have a great product but if the packaging is lacking, your item may not sell. Great lens.

freshAPS on May 27, 2012:

Creative and basic ideas, love the post. It's always good to know how to market yourself and make anything differentiate from its competitors

Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on May 21, 2012:

Great suggestions! Thanks.

makeupbrush on May 18, 2012:

Great ideas!

sihemkhalil on May 18, 2012:

Blow me away!!!

makemoneyonline5 on May 10, 2012:

Love your ideas, really nice lens :)

stargoldteam12 on May 09, 2012:

Great lens. I like it.......

Millionairemomma on May 08, 2012:

I really love your ideas!

fashion-mayhem on May 01, 2012:

Brilliant Lens, I have added your lens Url to my blog

gemmawild on May 01, 2012:

Hi Noadi, after reading this helpful lens and spotting your unusual sealife jewellery, I added you to my I Heart Handmade Jewellery lens =)

JoyfulReviewer on April 27, 2012:

Nicely illustrated tips and ideas ... a very helpful resource for anyone selling physical products at arts and crafts shows, etc. ~~Blessed~~

themeanviolets on April 26, 2012:

Great ideas and Beautifully Packaged Lens :-) You have some darling pieces as well! Bravo!

BestRatedStuff on April 26, 2012:

Great advice, like the ideas you show here.

anonymous on April 25, 2012:

wonderful lens...great advice!

anonymous on April 25, 2012:

You have so many excellent ideas here. I do love to receive gifts in small handmade boxes and bags. It shows the giver has gone that extra mile and had good thoughts about the receiver too.

aarulved on April 23, 2012:

wow your lens is superb

DotComBusted on April 16, 2012:

Handmade products always stand out in my opinion. It brings something personal to the table. Excellent work. Everything handmaded is good. I don't really like automation...

Please visi my Just Been Paid lenses too...

mistyblue75605 lm on April 12, 2012:

Also, congrats on the purple star!

mistyblue75605 lm on April 12, 2012:

I enjoyed the lens and ideas!

mistyblue75605 lm on April 12, 2012:

:)P

cristina-sokolowski on April 12, 2012:

SO helpful!! Thank you!! :)

infiniti99 lm on April 08, 2012:

I know exactly where to send my kids.Excellent crafting source.Thank you for sharing

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on March 31, 2012:

This page is an excellent resource for crafters!

Fred Alb from Uruguay on March 27, 2012:

Congratulations!! very good and informative lens.

ephemerania lm on March 27, 2012:

Clever ideas !

elsiesflat on March 27, 2012:

Another great an informative lens for us Etsy sellers. Thanks again.

anonymous on March 25, 2012:

thank you so much for this lens... i was searching diy packaging for baby bow crafts and here you are...

anonymous on March 23, 2012:

Very cool... I like it...

anonymous on March 23, 2012:

thnks...nc for u'r lens...

like back..

please

:)

AndieDee on March 19, 2012:

Wow, really nice. The packaging can be so nice.

Rob Hemphill from Ireland on March 17, 2012:

Great tips on packaging - the devil is in the detail, and you sure have it!

brynimagire on March 14, 2012:

Great great package! nice lens.

Close2Art LM on March 13, 2012:

very cool packaging! Blessed

goo2eyes lm on March 12, 2012:

your packaging tips can really help. i am familiar to the gift bags. angel blessed.

Skylermeyer2012 on March 11, 2012:

Hi Noadi, Your lens is really informative and useful especially to those who wants their business to stand out among the others by using Creative Packaging.

anonymous on March 03, 2012:

One of the best lens I ever read.You gave me some ideas to implement in my business. Thank you very much. http://www.mbmsoft.com

Hagglecoins on March 01, 2012:

Great lens, my kids will love helping me with the stamping project!

JZinoBodyArt on February 29, 2012:

Fantastic lens! My favorite purchases from Etsy had really thoughtful packaging. I also love when sellers include a little thank you note. It makes me, as a buyer, feel appreciated. :)

JollyJ on February 28, 2012:

Love this, great Lens :)

krislindahl1 on February 22, 2012:

Great Lens! Nicely presented with lots of info!

BetsiGoutal1 on February 20, 2012:

Love this, what a fabulous source of ideas!

CrazyIM on February 19, 2012:

Very informative lens. Thanks for sharing.

karanlugani on February 17, 2012:

Great lens. Packaging matters and presentation of packaging should not only be good but be great.

merinaau on February 16, 2012:

Nice ideas... people can improve their ideas by the help of your lense, thanx.

eternaljoi on February 11, 2012:

Great lens! I sell Young Living Essential Oils and the information you have provided will be a great asset to my business. Thank you again! :-) http://eternaljoi.com

MelonyVaughan on February 10, 2012:

Great ideas! I'll be forwarding this lens to a friend of mine. She'll love it!

joekoeman lm on February 08, 2012:

Very inspiring. Thanks for the information.

starzraven on February 03, 2012:

Nice packaging ideas! :)

adyculi on February 03, 2012:

Lot of good infoirmation . thanks.

giftedgirl on February 02, 2012:

Love all the information! I am big or great packaging and branding. Thanks for sharing!

Rebeljohn on January 28, 2012:

Very nice work thank you for posting

nikyweber on January 23, 2012:

thank you for sharing nice lens!

myamya on January 22, 2012:

Awesome lens! Thanks for the info

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