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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Packaging Minis to Mail

I am so sorry I didn't get any more done on the crib project. My week was interrupted by real life when we had somewhat of a household emergency. That took up two complete days of my week to get cleaned up and partly fixed. Hopefully the remaining fix will not be too disruptive.

Since I didn't have a project to share with you I decided to answer a question I get asked a lot. That is how to safely mail you minis once you have made them.

I used to do lots of swaps and if you have the time it takes to do them and want to grow as a miniaturist I do recommend trying them. You will get to practice making items and in return get some wonderful minis (and a few duds) that you can use In your projects. Swaps are a great place to get new ideas, learn new ways to make things and just to have fun. Also if you think you might want to try your hand at selling minis I do recommend trying swaps first because this is a great place to learn to make multiples of the same item. You may find you love making 10 or more of the same thing or you may discover that after the second or third one you never want to see the project again. It is better to learn this on a swap than after you have set up a business. Also most swap groups are very helpful when it comes to helping each other out on ideas and how to make things.

So now you have your swaps all made, you know where to send them but how do you make sure they are going to arrive intact? I know I have received many swaps that were broken in transit some I could fix some there was no way to salvage (so sad when you think about the person that spent time and money making the item)

Today I am giving you some tips on how to package those minis so they are more apt to arrive looking just like they did when you mailed them.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video -and it is really important- is make sure any glue or paint is completely dry before you package!!!! I know that seems on the surface to be obvious but apparently it isn't from the number of items I have received over the years with the wrapping stuck to them.

If your item is flat and not particularly fragile a plastic zipper bag should be fine.

On those not flat and more fragile items I like to use the plastic eggs that are available around Easter. If you have kids you may have some in the back of the closet already. They come in at least 3 sizes I use mostly the regular size ones but I like to have the smaller ones and the jumbo ones on hand too. You might look at garage sales and such over the summer for them too. These eggs are cheap even before they come on sale and after the holiday they are really cheap. I usually buy a couple hundred of them every few years.

First step (after you have picked a plastic egg that is a good size) is to carefully wrap your mini item to give it some padding. I use either tissue paper or bubble wrap depending on what I am wrapping and what I have on hand. Make sure to minimize the amount that your mini can move around inside the egg. After putting the item in the egg I use either tape or a small address label to help seal the egg shut. This way it can't pop open inside the shipping box. The labels are nice because you can fill in needed information on them before attaching them to the eggs.

If you are in a swap group be sure you understand the rules for mailing. Most swap groups want each swap (for each member) individually wrapped and then grouped in some way by swap. So say you are in a kitchen swap with 10 other people you would put your individual swap items into 10 plastic eggs (being sure to pad them well) and label with your name and the name of the swap – and any other info required. Then all 10 of these eggs could go into a large plastic zipper bag that is also labeled with your name and the name of the swap. This bag (and any other bags for other swaps that are running at the same time) goes into a box usually with the money for the return postage and gets mailed to the swap hostess. Here is where you need to check the rules for the group you are in to make sure you have everything in the box that is required.

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