Packaging on a Budget

Having a shop - online especially but also a brick and mortar - it's important that your packaging be a reflection of your brand and of your business.  But let's face it - custom printed bags, earring cards, boxes, envelopes, etc can be expensive!

So how do you navigate these costly waters without costing yourself a fortune and sending your new (or even established) small business into the red?

DIY of course.

My first earring, necklace, and bracelet cards were made from index cards that I hand cut to shape and stickers with my company logo that I printed onto sticker paper.  That whole setup was less than ten dollars and served me well for the first year.  

Not my photo - found on Google
Now though they sell these earring hole punchers at craft stores that would make that process SO much easier!  You cut your cards to the size that you want them and just line up this punch and-boom!  Super easy!  They also make punchers that are shaped like gift tags.  How cute is that?  

These punches can run up to about twenty dollars but both Hobby Lobby and Michaels run weekly sales that give you up to 40% off of a single item.  If I'd known that this thing existed when I started making my own packaging I SO would have jumped on it.

Another great idea (and one that I still employ to this day) is to watch the craft stores for when they have a 50% off sale on scrapbook paper and cardstock.  I recently bought three giant packages of cardstock and craft paper for about ten dollars each.  So much prettier than just plain white index cards.

For those who already have one or those who want to step up their packaging game slightly there is the Silhouette Cameo.  I bought this because I wanted to add vinyl decals and decor to my Etsy shop. I had no idea at the time that it would become my main source of packaging and branding.  

I created a template for my bracelet cards, necklace cards, and nail decal cards (in white) with a simple "M" cut out.  I stamp the bottom with a budget stamp that I bought from Vista Print (as an add-on with my business cards - it cost me less than ten dollars) to add more personalization.

I want to state right here that it is COMPLETELY possible to make things like this without a cutting machine.  But I will say - it's a lot easier with one.  I set my machine to create a 12X12 page full of them and it does all the work.  

I can also create boxes, bags, and envelopes with my logo and paper of choice.  For me it worked out without adding expense because the Cameo was something I purchased for another reason and it just happened to be perfect for packaging.

Is it absolutely necessary to have immaculate packaging with your items?  No, of course not.  But it DOES make a positive impression on your customers.  In fact, people leave feedback on my shop to tell me that they like and appreciate my packaging.  

Full Disclosure:  I am not as neat and organized with my packaging as this post would lead you to believe.