Thursday, March 25, 2010

my how-to of the month - recycled packaging

Now, when I thought of recycled packaging originally, I thought of that beat up manilla envelope with the lines on the one side that the teachers handed back and forth in grade school - the wrinkly, torn, scribbled thing that you thought should just be chucked out.

Then I read on Paddle My Canoe the shop of my friend Leah, that she used recycled cereal boxes and the like.  My first instinct was that she cut them up and made envelopes out of them.  Which works, but only for small things.  So I experimented, ripped a few boxes, cut a few the wrong way around, and then discovered that it is ridiculously easy to make a professional looking, simple cardboard package with only a bit of packing tape!

really, I just turned the box inside out.  Here are the pics:

there!  doesn't that look like a nice professional packing box?  You can also cut the cardboard (when it is still flattened) to a custom size - just make sure to leave enough cardboard to make flaps!   

I usually add a colour printed thank you card with washing instructions specific to the item, and a handwritten thanks inside!  Oh, and a couple of business cards, of course  ;)  If  I have any tissue paper from a recent gift, I'll wrap the article in that too..But I never buy the stuff...
I have whole-sheet printing labels - when you print your mailing labels online they stick on the front perfectly and just look so professional and purty!  And then I just stick it in the mailbox.. No waiting in line!

Sometimes things are so simple they completely escape us as good ideas!  I have a whole box of flattened cereal, cracker, and snackfood boxes...mostly cereal though.  This idea is good for shipping just about anything - and it's great for gift giving too - for boxing fabric gifts before trying to wrap them - or better yet, get your child to colour all over the flattened box and make it the wrapping too!  the forests will thank you!

Hope this becomes an upcycling project in your neck of the woods!

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