Thursday, March 26, 2009

Turn Packaging into Mailers

This little symbol is on one of the boxes that I turned into a mailer. Inspired by this article about turning cereal boxes into mailers.

My sewing machine is acting up, so I've stapled or taped the edges of these cereal boxes instead of sewing them shut. You aren't just limited to cereal boxes, think of all the snack, cracker, and other food boxes in your kitchen! It's a great way to re-use these boxes and make some creative mailers.

The only problem with staples is they can be very sharp, so I recommend putting tape or gluing paper over them.

I love how these turned out! If you don't like the look of the packaging on the inside, you could always tape or glue wrapping paper or fabric on the inside.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rate Increases in May

Not wanting to be the bearer of bad news, but don't forget that the rest of the US Postal rates are going up in two months. (Priority and other services already saw their increases in January.)

The big ones to note are stamps, which are going up to $.44 but if you have forever stamps, they will be good always. Postcards, International packages, extra services and others are also slated for an increase.

If you start doing your research now, you can figure out if you need to adjust any of your shipping rates so it won't be a burden in May. the meantime, it's Saturday! Please enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This is a technique to add strength to any cardboard box. If you are shipping something fragile, or just want to add extra protection to a box without spending a lot of money, this is for you!

Please Note: This requires the use of a box cutter so please be very careful when using sharp blades!

You will need:
Cardboard Box
Pieces of Cardboard
Surface to cut on
Box Cutter

I have a regular ‘ol cardboard box, but with just a few scraps of excess cardboard I can double the strength in minutes!

I always keep extra cardboard around- be it from dilapidated boxes, Ikea furniture boxes, etc. It always comes in handy. Here I use a sheet of cardboard under the cardboard I’m cutting so I don’t damage the floor.

First cut a piece that fits in the bottom of the box. Just set the box on top of the cardboard and draw around it, cutting a little smaller than the drawing so it fits snug in the bottom. You can also measure out the sides. I do it by hand since I’ve done it so much. Do whichever works for you!

Cut squares to fit on each side of the box. Just lay a piece of cardboard in front of a side and cut to that width. Then hold the piece against the box to see how tall the piece needs to be. (You can also just measure the sides and draw them on the cardboard, whichever you prefer.)

Since two sides are usually the same, you can easily cut two for the front sides and two for the longer ones.

Assemble the pieces inside and voula! You’ve got a box double the strength and it didn’t cost you anything except for re-using cardboard! You can also add more to make the box more secure if you want.

Cereal Box Mailers!

I just saw this great thread on Etsy from Pierogi Picnic who sews cereal boxes to reuse as mailing packaging! It's brilliant! Please read her post on her blog!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hangin' in there!

Oops! Sorry for the lag in-between's been a busy year so far. I've got a really cool tutorial coming up tomorrow on how to easily, and cost efficiently double-box or add strength to a regular cardboard box. Please check back to see it tomorrow!

Sleep well!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

International Shipping: Restrictions

Wow, it's already March...crazy! Thanks for keeping an eye on my new blog, the Snail Mail Shipping Guide. I hope my last post about international shipping helped you gain confidence in shipping overseas. It will open you up to millions of potential customers!! There are other tips on international shipping I'd like to share that I didn't quite fit into the last post. One topic is restrictions; some countries restrict certain items to enter their country. For instance, Italy (a country notorious for losing packages) doesn't allow hats into their country.

When you use the Postage calculator on the USPS website, after entering the country and weight and clicking continue, click on the link above the table that reads, "Price Charts and complete information for (the country you entered)". It will give you a list of items not allowed into the country. These can also be a comical read... This will save you time and money if you know that a item you sell is not allowed in a country that you're shipping to.

There's also helpful information on pricing, customs forms, size limits, extra services and more if you scroll down the page.

I hope this nugget of info was helpful!