Handmade Packaging for Your Handmade Beaded Jewelry and Beads

Handmade Jewelry Packaging

Adding Emotional Value to the Wrapping that’ll Have Your Customers Saying, “Wow”!

If you sell your polymer clay creations online, then shipping is going to be an important part of your business. Unfortunately, many artisans don’t put nearly enough thought into the packaging. Going the extra mile with attention to detail, can make a world of difference when it comes to giving your customers a wow experience.

Today, I’d like to walk you through a recent packaging story of mine. It involves Jocelyn who is a valued member of the community here at the blog and in the library.

She contacted me a few weeks back wondering how she could get a hold of some of my pirate crossbones beads to use in a lanyard that she’s making for a well known musician friend of hers. Sorry but I can’t reveal the identity of Jocelyn’s companion quite yet. The lanyard is a gift and the last thing I would want is to ruin the surprise.

Anyways, in preparing to send the beads, I quickly decided not to do the boring bubble wrap envelope thing. That’s just not my style.

So I found a small square jewelry box with some jewelry packing fluff inside. I laid the pirate beads on the fluff and well… that just looked dumb. Edgy skull and crossbones beads on prissy fluff. Not very appropriate. Besides the beads rolled around too much and I would be worried about them getting damaged in transit.

Then I found a little faux suede draw string pouch and put the beads in there. Better, but the beads still moved around to much.

Eventually, to solve the loose beads issue, I decided to sting them all onto a piece of suede cord, knotted at each end. This string of beads was then put into my little suede treasure pouch. Perfect!

The fluff in the bottom of the box was replaced with shredded brown paper. This suited the pirate theme so much better.

Handmade Jewelry Packaging

To wrap the box, I used kraft shipping paper. But to give it more of a pirate feel, I burnt the edges of the paper.

Using the same kraft paper, I also made a tiny scroll with burnt edges. It was tied with string as a handwritten note to Jocelyn (see the photo at the beginning of this article). This scroll was slipped into the box before the wrapping went on.

To “dirty up” the “To” and “From” labels, ink was rubbed around their edges. Finally, some parcel string was added as a finishing touch. This pretty package was then placed into the standard postal shipping box. Crumpled newspaper, foam chips or bubble wrap can be used to fill up any extra void space in the outer box.

Hopefully you can see how this type of jewelry packaging can really add a lot of character to your overall presentation. It’s not expensive and doesn’t even take very much time to put together. The trick is to just be creative.

Think about the first impression your customer will experience when they handle your package. It should say something about you and the quality of your products. It should feel like a gift, and should show that you value your work.

But don’t go overboard. If your ‘little extras’ are costing you more time and effort than your actual product is worth… well that doesn’t make good business sense. You will have to find the right balance that fits your situation.

I have received beads that looked beautiful online. But they arrived in such a way that I was disappointed. And in my mind, their value went down.

You work very hard to get a customer. Do what you can to create a little “magic” for them. Chances are your extra effort will translate into repeat sales. And a repeat customer is the best customer you will ever have!

Thanks Jocelyn for being a wonderful person. I hope you love receiving your pirate beads as much as I enjoyed sending them.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anna Sabina, 19 May, 2009

    Excellent points. After the holidays I found packages of those cardboard jewelry 25 cents for 5 boxes. I bought up a bunch and plan to stock up again next year.

    I am on vacation this week because I have family here for my youngest daughter’s high school graduation. My sister and mother were really excited about the beads I made. As you may know I have this problem with my beads multiplying and I get more beads and more beads and more beads. So, I am going to string them this week and take photos to get them on Etsy. I can also sell some to coworkers and have been pondering about being Green with my packaging. Now, there is a difference between tossing something in a plastic grocery sack and what you have done here.

    I thought using the paper envelopes from junk mail. Maybe make them into a little envelope or stamp and shred them. I think newspaper would transfer the ink onto the beads.

    Any other ideas out there?

  2. aims, 19 May, 2009

    Another great idea Cindy! Thank you!

    How true that a little thought – really about anything – goes a very long way.

  3. Jocelyn, 19 May, 2009

    I cannot tell you how lovely it was to receive that package of Cindy’s beads. So intricate and meaningful to me! Felt like it was my birthday!

    Opened the package in the community room in front of many elderly friends. Some business possibilities here…only they all adored the box, materials, note, and wrapping details…..they weren’t too sure about the “skeletor” (as one of them put it) beads. Ahahaha.

    Cindy’s effort also triggered a wonderful memory for me, one that I have cherished since.

    When my eldest niece was in second grade, her boredom in class led to many problems culminating with her teacher mandating she write a class apology (she deserved it). She was horrified and terrified. To take the sting out of it, I hauled out the “antique letter” approach.

    First we stained the paper with tea, then used old timey ink pens and print style to write the note. As a final touch, I showed her how to use a lighter to burn the edges of the letter. We rolled it up scroll style, and tied it similarly to the way Cindy tied the package, with just thin string, multiple wraps. Mr. Steve was suitably impressed.

    What I remembered and cherished most was the look of wonderment on this child’s face as we constructed the project, and how tightly this precious non-huggie child bear hugged me that nite before bed. Extra special moment for her Aunt and Godmother, I can tell you, and who knows if I would have ever recalled it if not for Cindy’s packaging.

    Thank you Cindy. For the memory so special, for the effort, for the art, and for you.

    Can’t wait to use those beads in the lanyard. They are spectacular, so perfectly finished. I am having trouble putting them down, they feel so soothing in the palm of my hands. Kudos, and much fondness, girl!

  4. Sandy, 19 May, 2009

    Thanks for sharing–I do believe that packaging a product can make the difference in the customer experience!

  5. Julie, 19 May, 2009

    This is an excellent post, Cindy! Some great thoughts here – I shared it with our readers at Craft Gossip.

    Hope it gets you some visitors! :)

  6. Linda, 19 May, 2009

    I have been thinking of ways to promote my etsy business and how to present the jewelry I make. Thanks for this post. It’s very helpful!

  7. Catalina, 19 May, 2009

    I have always made polymer clay gift boxes for the rosaries I make. I get more comments on the boxes than the rosaries! You can check out what I have done on my ETSY site. Just search under SELLERS: designsbyCATALINA. Let me know what ya think, too!

  8. intothedawn, 19 May, 2009

    Fun ideas for packaging! I think that’s an area that often get neglected by sellers.

    I like to do a real neutral packaging– I use VersaMark ink to stamp suns on my jewelry boxes and tie with bit of ribbon. Simple, but effective.

  9. iris mishly, 19 May, 2009

    very good point here, this makes me want to improve even more :) thank you cindy!

  10. Arlene Harrison, 20 May, 2009

    Your post brings to mind how impressed I was with an ornament I received in an exchange last year. Not only was the ornament well done but it was packed in a gift box and the artist had glued her initial in a circle on the front of the box.

    That made me rethink how I package for mailing. I now use a silver foil jewelry box with padding and wrap that in bubble wrap. I do still use the padded envelope because it saves on postage in most cases.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 20 May, 2009

    Thank you so much everyone! I am pleased you all liked this post!

    @Anna: There are lots of green alternatives when it comes to packaging. Popped popcorn, dried herbs, shredded paper, shredded tissue paper are just some ideas.

    @Jocelyn: You are more than welcome! It was my pleasure and very fun to send that to you. Your story was touching. I loved it!

    @Julie: Thank you so much for posting about this post on your blog. I love that sort of thing! Made my day!

    To everyone else your comments and ideas are fantastic and I thank you so much for commenting! What a great bunch you all are!! :-)

  12. Debbie, 22 May, 2009

    Your poly clay boxes are nice!

  13. Freda, 22 May, 2009

    The packaging idea is great, but the outside packaging surprised me. I was told that the post office (US) doesn’t want wrapping paper around a box. They want it sealed with tape.

  14. Jamie, 22 May, 2009

    Hello Freda. I think Cindy meant that she wrapped the package her way first, and then placed that into a standard mailing box. I have done the same thing myself when sending gifts. I have used hankerchiefs for small boxes, and silk scarves folded nicely for larger boxes, then added a bit of ribbon. Its like getting 2 gifts that way, since they can wear or use the wrapping.(very green) I have also used pouches of various materials as well. Silk scarves and hankies, or even silk neckties can be re-cycled for making the pouches if you want to go green again, and are simple and quick to make. The idea of stringing the beads or what nots on wire or heavy cord does save a lot of wear and tear on them in shipping too. I usually wrap them on the wire in a matching piece of felt that I have trimmed the edges on, using the fancy edging scissors available. Then just slip them in the bag. For necklaces and bracelets or earrings, just put a few holes in the felt and string them onto it, then fold them up inside and tie with a ribbon. They will arrive tangle free. Even an old map can make cool wrapping for an appropriate gift. Thats how I sent a pair of driving gloves once. I just love to scout around and find lots of “new” old stuff to use this way. Half the fun is in the hunt! Hahaha!
    XOXO Jamie

  15. Adrienne Lindsey, 25 May, 2009

    Hi Cindy, I really like the advice you presented here on the need to be more attentive to packaging ideas & solutions. I have found it to be very important to show a profession finish for your hard work and the customers purchase. Thanks again for your advice.

  16. Cindy Lietz, 25 May, 2009

    @Debbie: Thanks!

    @Freda: Jamie answered your question wonderfully! Thanks for commenting.

    @Jamie: Thank you so much for popping in and answering Freda’s question. Love the tips too! Never thought of silk ties. That would be cool. Especially for the guys gifts! Maps would be great as well. Very good ideas!

    @Adrienne: I agree that your packaging should give your products a professional look. It can be almost any style or material as long as it suits your work and it doesn’t need to be expensive. Just something that looks like you value your beads and/or jewelry.

  17. Silverleaf, 16 June, 2009

    My knitted hedgehogs are wrapped in tissue paper, with a silver leaf outline sticker on the front.

    Once I get through my stash of coloured tissue, I’ll switch to white recycled paper – wonder if there’s a green alternative to sticky tape? I do re-use as much packaging as I can.

    I often get comments about how elegant my packaging is, even though it’s only tissue and stickers!

  18. Cindy Lietz, 20 June, 2009

    Silverleaf I think that the fact that you wrap your little hedgehogs like a gift and seal them with a sticker is something that people relate to as classy, like a fancy store would do. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fussy. Just something that shows you care about your product.

    One green alternative would be a hair elastic or ribbon. Something that can be used again, is always greener than something that gets thrown out. Though a little sticker and a thin piece of tissue is not a huge offense! :-)

  19. Jocelyn, 17 July, 2009

    Shortly, it seems I will have a new member to add to my home, an African origin hedgehog!

    All thanks go to Anne/Silverleaf for her wonderful knitted inspiration hedgehogs, they are adorable. Her site is: silverleafshinystuffshop.blogspot.com/

    In the ordering back and forth with her excellent site, I ran across an excellent site for currency conversion, and wanted to share it will all of you since so many who participate here live in different countries.

    Here you go, hope it helps: coinmill.com/GBP_USD.html#GBP=00000

    Anna, be getting back to you shortly with the specifics and thank you so much!!!

  20. Silverleaf, 17 July, 2009

    You’re very kind Jocelyn, it will be a pleasure to make a hoggy especially for you. :)

    Reminds me that I need to make up some more and put them in my Etsy shop. Quite a few people ask me for special colours or combinations of colours (like in their school or team colours) but I like to have a nice collection ready-made for people to look at as well.

    Wonder if really tiny ones would make cute earrings?

  21. Jocelyn, 26 July, 2009

    Sadly, no hedgehog. They turned me down!!!!
    Too funny. Something about not having a high enough income. OK.

    So, Anna, if you’d like, we can add a pair of earrings (you choose the color) to that existing request.

    As soon as the check clears, I will be contacting you to finalize the financial side of the deal, lol.

    I cannot wait to have these objects in my hands to examine all the details!!!

    Think you should make millions, they might take off as the next media popular animal, and if so, in my opinion, you deserve every dime you will make in tribute to them.

  22. Lolla N, 27 July, 2016

    fluffy – prissy – love it – gave me an almighty chuckle – thanks Cindy!!.


    Absolutely you are correct. Packaging is so important. I have spent many hours
    researching the various materials and finishes and have finally decided on my marketing packaging!

    I figure if you are going to spend so much time, effort, sweat, beers (HA!) and tears and goodness knows what else in creating your works of art, after all… they deserve the best showcase – packaging!

    Personally I love the rustic style of Kraft Paper and a home made & printed label…

    So much creative food for thought out there, i’m bloated LOL!

  23. Cindy Lietz, 31 July, 2016

    Thank you Lolla! I wrote this so long ago, I had to go back and read it, to know what you meant. And Yes, it made me chuckle too! :)

    I love it that your work takes blood, sweat and beers! Mine would be blood, sweat and tequila sunrises, but that really doesn’t rhyme, so I’ll have a beer too!

    I am glad that this article gave you some inspiration for your own packaging. Whether you are packaging your pieces to sell or to just give them as a gift, the way the packaging looks, sets the tone for the value in the eyes of the recipient. It should show that you put some thought into it and that represents what’s inside. It doesn’t have to be expensive… it should just ADD to the jewelry not SUBTRACT from it.

    I too love the rustic style of Kraft Paper. I love it tied with jute or cotton cord. And it can be paired with some many styles like, lumberjack plaid, hand painted watercolours, wild flowers, woodsy theme, woodgrain, even heavy cotton lace. Everything goes with Kraft paper! :)

  24. Lolla N, 02 August, 2016

    Thanks Cindy – glad you enjoyed the chuckle! Have to say – I never thought of the fabricsy’ spin, but being a sewster…have a fabric notion stash for want of a better phrase! Oh golly gosh – creativity knows no bounds!

  25. Isla P, 22 August, 2018

    Great ideas. Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing post. Really love it.

  26. Mohsin Awan, 29 August, 2019

    Very informative blog. And your blog helps me to make a beautiful and attractive jewelry box at home. Thanks

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