Friday, February 20, 2009

Packaging and Presentation Ideas

As an online seller of handmade jewelry, I face the same dilemma as other jewelry artisans when it comes to packaging my wares for shipping: How do I create a beautiful presentation without either losing money on packaging costs or charging my customers either higher shipping fees or more for my jewelry?

First and foremost, my jewelry must arrive beautifully presented to convey how deeply I care about my work. I want my customers to know they've bought something special for themselves, a loved one, or a friend. I want them to remember the experience of opening my packages, which means my packaging must act as a sort of signature.

Presentation is pointless, however, if my jewelry arrives damaged so I must ensure my creations arrive safe and sound. It's easy to create a beautifully presented yet secure package. The tricky part is to create it on a budget.

Here are some ideas I've come up with so far. I hope you find one or more of them helpful for your online jewelry business.

First, here are the supplies I use:

Pictured above: Various colors of tissue paper, stamps and ink pads, a variety of colorful card stock, various colors of ribbon, hinged tin boxes, business cards, paper cutter, hole punch, and rounded corner punch.

I designed my own business cards and logo stamp in Adobe Illustrator. I uploaded the artwork for my business card to VistaPrint, where I purchased 250 cards for less than $10.00. They have a lot of pre-made designs for those who don't want to make their own. I uploaded my stamp artwork to an online specialty stamp company (I forget which, but there's more than one), and was able to create my custom logo stamp for less than $8.00. Had I been a member of Artfire at the time, I would have considered enlisting the services of one of the custom stamp makers on Artfire.

I shop the sales at craft stores. The ribbon, card stock, tissue paper, punches and paper cutter were purchased at Michael's on sale for 15% or more off. I purchased the stamps and ink pads on sale as well.

I use card stock to make my own jewelry cards because my earwires, for example, are handmade and do not always work with one-size-fits-all earring cards. I also like my packaging to compliment the colors of my jewelry, or reflect the season or a special occasion. I have a large variety of colors and styles of cardstock so I can either create a presentation to my liking or offer unique gift wrapping upon customer request.

To ensure my creations arrived safely, I want to use something more appealing than bubble wrap and more interesting than the usual boxes from jewelry suppliers. I searched long and hard for original packaging ideas and discovered these tins from Specialty Bottle.

They cost less than I would have thought--the largest are about $1.00 each when purchased in small quantities--and I also use them to store my finished pieces. They are the most expensive portion of my packaging, but in my opinion, well worth it.

I create my jewelry cards by cutting the card stock slightly smaller than the length and width of the tins so they fit when wrapped in tissue. I then round the edges of the cards with the rounded corner punch so the cards fit within the tins. I cut small angled slits in the two top corners for necklaces (see image above) and small straight slits on either end toward the center to accommodate bracelets. I use a small hole punch to create holes for earwires and thicker necklace and bracelet chains. Configuring your cards for your unique jewelry pieces will require some trial and error.

I also round the corner of my business cards to make them part of the overall presentation when possible.

I stamp the jewelry cards and tin boxes with my logo in opaque ink that will not smudge when dried. I can also stamp the tins with something fun like "thank you" or "happy birthday" upon customer request. I then place the jewelry on the card, wrap the card in tissue paper, tie it with a complimentary ribbon, and if using the either of the two larger tins, slide in my business card. (The ribbon is important because it is hard to pull the jewelry card out of the tin without it.) Here is an example of finished packaging:

To ship the tins, I save money by creating my own padded envelopes. I buy a large roll of bubble wrap from which I make sleeves that I slip into small standard catalog envelopes.

These are the simple solutions I use to solve my need to create beautifully presented, secure, and reasonably priced custom packaging for my artisan jewelry. I hope I am able to offer you some ideas and inspiration for your own packaging needs.


  1. True story: While I was arranging/taking photos of these items, my dog grabbed my logo stamp while I was distracted and chewed it up. That's why there's no photo of my logo on the cards. Well, at least I can get another one made inexpensively. ;)

  2. Thank you for these great ideas. Your finished product (packaging) looks lovely. Now I just need to work on mine.

  3. Thank you so much for the invaluable information. I also ship my jewelry items in tin containers however, you have given me some fantastic ideas. I would have loved to see your logo stamp! I did not know that you can stamp right onto the tins!


  4. This is brilliant!! Your packages look so apealing!!

  5. Wow - This is amazing! Thank you for sharing your secrets. I was just searching for a way to securely ship and present this large necklace that I've made. It's very large and expensive and I want to make sure the buyer feels amazing when the package arrives.

    Your packaging is inspiring and just gave me the right surge of energy to get back to work on mine :) Thank you for the great post!

    Here is the necklace, if you care to see:

  6. Great information,
    Thank you for sharing it!
    I'm struggling with packaging right now
    and seeing your lovely presentation is
    so inspiring!

  7. Great article, great ides. Thank you!

  8. Beautiful, beautiful packages! Your customers must feel like you are sending them gifts not purchases! Well done!

  9. Hmmmmmm.... this is making me reconsider my packaging.... Thank you for the tips!

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