Christmas is a month-long state of mind for me. This festive time of loved ones, parties, gifts, and religious celebrations is so special.
Giant Red Bow
Protecting a Bow on a Wrapped Gift in the Mail
Mail a present with a lovely bow without it being destroyed in the shipping... sounds great. How does one do that?
Wrapping a gift to mail seems futile if it arrives with a mashed bow, looking all bedraggled. Here's a way to decorate gifts with lovely bows, but ship them without that problem. This is an easy and inexpensive way to protect that pretty bow.
Once you see my tips, you'll smack your forehead and say "why didn't I think of that?" It's very easy to do and not costly.
Pretty Presents Are Part of a Merry Christmas
Tutorial for Protecting a Bow in the Mail
Start with a Sturdy Piece of Cardboard
Estimate how high the bow is. Cut the cardboard into a long strip. The width of the strip needs to be wider than the bow is high.
If the bow is 2 inches high, then the cardboard needs to be at least 2 inches in width.
It can be corrugated cardboard cut from a box that's going into the recycling bin.
Form the Cardboard around the Bow
Bend the cardboard strip to form a triangle or a square shape. Make sure it leaves enough room in the center for the bow.
Tape the ends of the bent cardboard strip together.
Pack the Gift in a Larger Box
with the bow protector in place
Place this bow protector over the bow on the package. Place it in the mailing carton with bubble wrap or packing peanuts around the package as usual.
The bow should arrive uncrushed.
Now if you have a small box that fits right over the bow, use that and skip the cutting and taping I showed above.
Cover the Bow with a Sturdy Plastic Cup or Container
You Need These Supplies to Cushion and Protect the Wrapped Gift - Tips for Mailing Safely
►Whenever you receive a package, save the foam peanuts and bubble wrap to reuse. To me, the packing peanuts are the easiest to fill in around the cardboard that is protecting the bow.
I just store them in a plastic bag or a box until I have something to mail. Hopefully others are saving these as well and they get reused over and over and over. Keep them out of the landfill.
►I keep big rolls of bubble wrap on hand too. It's marvelous for packing and won't add weight. Keep all the bubble wrap that comes in packages that you order.
►Use a sturdy box to keep the whole gift from being crushed (not just the bow). Think of dozens of boxes piled on top of each other with yours at the very bottom. It can happen, so make sure the pretty present arrives in one piece.
►Office tape isn't strong enough to secure the mailing box. Keep some strapping tape on hand for that.
Cushion the Gift with Foam Shipping Peanuts
I save up the foam peanuts from mailings I receive. When I need some, I just bring out my big bag that I have stored in the garage.
You can buy foam sheets from Amazon to cushion packages, but I save up the ones that come with various electronics that we order. I know eventually I'll use them.
Decorate Some Gifts Without a Big Bow
Thrifty Tip #2
I save my bubble wrap, rolling it up in a big roll. This stuff lasts forever, so don't toss it in the trash. Use it again and again.
First, Remove Your Cat from the Box
Thrifty Tip #3
Save suitable mailing boxes when you purchase something online. Even items that you buy in a store often have sturdy boxes that you can reuse.
If you need a larger box to hold multiple presents, ask at the public library or at a liquor store. They get boxes in regularly and they are very strong to hold books or bottles of wine.
How Many Package Do You Mail for Christmas? - If you have a big family that lives far away, you probably mail a lot of packages.
All These Gifts Fit into One Box
Alternate Method - Making flat bows for shipping
This video shows how to wrap a pretty present without using a bow that would be crushed in shipping. Very clever.
Some Mailing Advice for Christmas
Other mailing advice is welcome too. Don't forget to mail early. This past Christmas shipping was delayed by the volume and sometimes the weather holds things up too.
© 2012 Virginia Allain
Share Your Tips for Mailing Gifts or Other Items Safely
Karen Kolavalli from Lexington, Kentucky on December 13, 2015:
You're right--why didn't I think of these common-sense solutions?! Today I'll be getting my Christmas packages ready to mail, just in time for the busiest mailing day of the season at the Post Office!
Frischy from Kentucky, USA on November 21, 2014:
This is so helpful! I always seem to have this problem, and was just about ready to give up on bows altogether. Thanks!
Brandi from Maryland on September 13, 2012:
Great tips, Virginia! I've never put bows on when I'm mailing the gift, but now I will! :)
Ruthi on July 17, 2012:
Great ideas for protecting bos during shipping! I love your Happy Present Postcard!
Angela F from Seattle, WA on July 16, 2012:
Clever packing tip!
oceanfaerygoddess on July 16, 2012:
Very clever - will have to remember this!
Heather B on July 16, 2012:
A brilliant idea! This lens will be a hit at Christmas ;-)
aquarian_insight on July 16, 2012:
That is so simple but an absolutely wonderful idea! I shall definitely be using your tip! Thank you!