Thursday, April 16, 2009

Festive Mailers Tutorial

Okay, every once in a while I DO come up with a good idea. The seeds for this one came to me one day last summer when I accompanied my husband to the post office as he was shipping a large number of items he had sold on e-bay. Since he had a rather large number of boxes to ship, I went along to help carry some of the packages. While we were waiting for our turn at the counter, I noticed a display of the cutest mailing boxes all decorated for different events: Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduations, etc. I hadn't even realized that you could mail in anything other than a business type mailer. What a GREAT idea! I glanced at the price -- like all novelty ideas it was overpriced.
For several days afterwards, my mind would slip back to how much fun it would be to receive a festive package like that in the mail -- especially if you were a child. I kept wondering how I could duplicate this idea. The trouble was regular gift boxes and wrapping paper could be torn and smashed too easily in the mail.

Then it dawned on me. Why not use sturdier shipping boxes. Hmmm... but, the regular gift wrap paper would still be too easily ripped.

But sturdy gift bags would work perfectly. I could get the large size gift bags at our local Dollartree Store for $1.00. If the box needed to be larger, I could simply buy two identical bags and tape them together with clear mailing tape.

Here's how I go about making my own festive mailing boxes. I first open the seam at the edge of the bag and then open up the bottom of the bag so it wil lie flat.

Next, I trim away anything I won't be using (in this case -- the unprinted bottom.

The pic above shows the extra waste and the bag prepared to wrap the box.

(The weather was so nice today, that I worked on this project outside on the picnic table. Sorry, I know that this didn't make for the best of pictures.)

Because the package has to make it through the bumps of shipping, I use clear mailing tape and completely tape over any place the paper is seamed, so there are no loose edges that can catch on something and rip.

The last step in the process is to attach the adhesive-backed return address label and the mailing label. I also tape over these with mailing tape to prevent them from being pulled off.

Just so you know, I have mailed other packages this way, and the recipients received them with no problem at all. Most have really appreciated the festive look which makes it feel much more like a gift from the moment you see it.

The special mailing boxes at the post office come in a limited number of sizes. By making my own, I can box the gift I am sending in whatever size shipping box I need and at a much lower price.
I just thought this was a fun and special way to mail things and thought I'd share it with you.

Y Blessings,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Let Me Introduce Myself. . .

It has been so very long since I have posted anything here at Brambleberry Cottage that you might wonder if the cottage is now vacant. I must say that I almost wonder if I should reintroduce myself to you.

It all began in mid-February with the usual late winter doldrums and escalated into head and chest colds which sapped our energy to do much of anything. Our family fought against it for several weeks until at last we succumbed and retreated to our beds.

Meanwhile, we were trying to do all the paperwork that is needed for our firstborn to go to school to begin the process of becoming a Registered Nurse. Applying for grants and scholarships became a very time consuming task.

In addition, there have been some other difficulties for our family (I'll not bore you with the details) that have taken a toll on us. And so... by the time I might have had the time to sit down to the computer to post anything, quite frankly, I had neither the inclination nor the heart to follow through. And so by now, I'm wondering if I will even remember how to do this or if anyone will care to hear even if I do.


The last I told you, my serger had broken; and I can't seem to sew without it. We took it to the repair shop Friday a week ago. They will be calling next week to let me know if it can be repaired (I HOPE, I HOPE!!!) If it can, the first thing I will have to finish is the little doll dress that I was in the midst of making. My little friend has been patiently waiting.

While I have been without my serger, I finished crocheting this baby ensemble for the arrival of a very special young lady.


I have also crocheted a cloche and poncho for an American Girl Doll.

Here's a close up of it. I decided to design it in a shell-stitch pattern. I need to write down the pattern for the set so I don't have to design it all over again the next time I want to make it.

I also made a matching size-three poncho for my little friend.


Well, I guess that is quite enough to tell for now. I hope this finds all of you enjoying the approaching warm weather and the world which is awakening around us. It was good to visit with you again; thanks for stopping by.

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