Monday, June 8, 2009

HOW-TO make your own boxes!!!

So I try to recycle & upcycle materials as much as I can. I am also EXTREMELY cheap and can't justify spending money on new and shiny boxes to ship my items in. So instead I like to cut up old boxes to make custom sized shipping packages. It's pretty self-explanatory, but I thought I'd just share my process with you. Maybe it will give you some new ideas on how you can make your shop a little bit greener!!

These are the supplies you need to make your own shipping boxes. I use old cardboard boxes, a ruler, a mat knife, and some clear packing tape.

So I measure & cut the 6 sizes of the box to whatever I need. Think back to high school geometry class & you'll get the idea. You'll need 3 sets of 2 same sized sides. i.e. - a cube would be (6) sides that are all the same size. A box that is 3"x4"x5" would need (2)- 3"x4" sides (2)4"x5" sides and (2)3"x5" sides. Then layout the sides as shown to make the box. I tape the insides together with a small piece of tape so that it will stay together easier. *Be sure to turn the cardboard "inside out" this will give you a nice clean new box!

Now is the tricky part. You'll need to tape all the edges of the box on the outside. This will seal the box against moisture & hold it together. It's kinda tricky, but you'll get better with practice! Just fold it up and tape the whole seam! I leave the top open so that I can pack all the goodies in!

Besides the item, I put in some extra goodies. I always hand write a Thank You/Invoice note, put some business cards in, a couple of origami chickens, and hopefully soon I will get some postcards printed & add in a couple of those! I love getting promo materials in the packages that I order, it can help showcase other items you offer.

In goes the item & promo materials. I like to wrap everything in bright tissue paper. This is usually also recycled. I'd like to think people appreciate the effort that goes into using recycled packaging materials. It looks nice when it's all said & done, so I don't worry about using "used" stuff.

Here we go!!! It looks nice. I print out the address labels & hand write the shipping info on. Some people might go with more "professional" printed invoices, address labels, brand new shipping boxes, etc. BUT I try and stay true to the feel of Etsy. When you order an item from me, you are ordering something that is handmade with love. I think making and recycling my own shipping supplies just emphasizes the care I put into all my work!!

**Note - I make very few sales on Etsy as of now. This is how I can afford the time to make custom sized boxes. I'm sure this practice would change DRASTICALLY if I were a power seller, which hopefully someday I will be!! HAHA!!


  1. What a great idea. I ship too much to make all of my own boxes but i'll totally keep this in mind for when I just dont have a box thats the right size!

  2. Cool! I just had to make a box for one of my items. I had a 14 inch cube and when I went check the postage on it, the package was $18.00 more than if it were only 8 inches tall which was the perfect height for my item. So I cut the box in half and taped the two pieces together. I used less packing materials, recycled a box and saved $18.00. I'm happy to see other people recycle, too. For the most part I use the freebie USPS priority boxes. I live way the heck out in the desert and used card boxes are hard come by. There's a whole lot of people who do eBay out here so the competition is stiff. I have a friend who works for Walmart and she gives me all of their bubble wrap. I hope you're having a great vacation, Chrissy!

  3. Glad I could help with your shipping problems!!! You're right, it's not that hard to just cut the box & tape it up again! I'm so cheap, that I would have a heart-attack if a package I was going to mail was that much $$!!!! I try to do my part!!

  4. Nice advice for making own boxes. I like this advices.