Perfect timing for us in the UK, that directly after the hose pipe ban kicks in, all it does is rain. Oddly this actually makes me happy, I find it much easier to buckle down and work when it rains and I rather like the sound on the roof (the studio is directly under the eaves). On a slightly less happy note our underfloor electic heating has broken in this room, so it’s a bit nippy in here and I find myself working in fingerless gloves and wrapped in a scarf. Not ideal.
And so, I have a new toy, which sadly I hate.
I have been happily making do for some time now with my trusty little corner cutters bought forever ago, they have served me well, cornering all my business cards etc, in fact pretty much anything not pinned down gets cornered around here (even the tooth fairy sends messages on little cornered cards), but they are hard work and not really up to the job of slicing through the many mounds of thick card I need them to.
So I upgraded to a ‘Corner Buddy’ made by LeMORE and in all honesty I hate it. It’s a bit cheap and nasty, only it wasn’t cheap, it cost £60. It does have interchangeable blades (4mm, 6mm, 10mm) that are replaceable and that was a main attraction for me, I need 6mm for my business cards and 10mm for brooch mounts and ideally something I can buy new blades for when these get blunt.
Now, I do need to give full credit to the on-line shop I bought them from (Joyce on-line), the 6mm blade that came with the ‘buddy’ has a kink and they didn’t hesitate to offer to replace it, they were also friendly and helpful on the phone and had I of called them before buying my corner cutter, I know they would have helped me choose one more appropriate to my needs (ie, slightly more expensive but better. I would have paid more for the next grade up machine).
Anyway, it does do it’s job, so all is not lost, it doesn’t feel a quality piece of machinery but you get what you pay for and in terms of a heavier duty table top cutter it’s probably perfectly fine. I try to tell myself this, anyway, then I will feel less disappointed.
I have been meaning to do a post on packaging for ages, the ones I’ve done in the past have been quite popular so I thought it’s time for an update.
I am quite particular about how things are packaged, partly for the customer’s experience but also for mine when it comes to storing and ease of getting orders ready and posted.
For instance, I used to pack the ‘Little Birds’ in PIP boxes (so the ribbon tails don’t get crushed), they were mounted, ready on A5 cards, then packed with tissue (apple green, as always) and a MOO mini card with beads attached to hold the tissue (using a green dot sticker, as above) and a thank you card.
This was a bit time consuming and the birds were quite difficult to store, so now I still mount them on the same cards but I have figured out a way to be able to also put them in cellophane bags, so they can be stacked for storage and stay nice and dust free, and I don’t have to worrying about the tails being crushed. Perfect.
The cards I use for this are A5 size and printed by Overnight Prints. I use the same cards, cut down for mounting flower brooches on. I did consider, when placing my last order, getting some in A6 versions so I didn’t have to cut them, but I like the square look, and it was cheaper, in the long run, to bulk order A5 and halve them instead.
On this point, I have given up on paper cutters at the moment, I find they get blunt very quickly and in all fairness, most are not intended for cutting card, so I stick with my trusty Swann Morton surgical scalpel, a wooden cutting board from the kitchen (I’ve never bought a self healing matt) and 10A size blades (I have been using my scalpel handle since I was a design student, it has, and still is, serving me well).
I use a Woodcare Craft Collection hole punch, as it allows me to get holes quite far into the card….it’s not ideal and I could do with something a bit heavier weight, it needs to be able to punch at least 5cm in so any ideas are most welcome.
I swapped last year from using mini MOO’s on packages and additional ‘thank you’ cards to using a single business card on ribbon. I also buy these from Overnight Prints, they are great quality, they do take a while to arrive and are maybe not the cheapest but I will always return here.
I found threading the wooden beads on the old MOO mini cards etc took up a lot of time and it seemed silly to have a separate details/thank you card plus a repeat attached to the packaging. I’m pretty sure in a lot of cases these end up straight in the bin anyway. As above, on my original business card order, I only had one side printed and used a stamp for the other. I was trying to cut corners, I figured it gave me an option of small blank cards if I wanted to write a note and it was cheaper. Wrong move, I am officially crap at stamping and so I’ve just recently placed a new order with both sides printed.
I still use MOO a lot. I like to add mini MOO cards to larger items, I figure these are often given as gifts so it’s nice to have my details there as well as on the actual parcel packaging. I try these days to get the tags on directly after finishing a batch of animals and before storing them, anything to speed up the packing and sending out process is good, and I often attach care details if it’s appropriate.
I am also using the large MOO business card stickers on the backs of some of my cellophane packages, such as brooches and little birds. These products go directly into jiffy bags to be sent out so there is no added tissue or tag etc. In an effort to get even more tidy, I may get some sticker versions of my business cards printed, that way everything would be uniform, saying that I love that you can have a number of images for the same price at MOO.
Finally, I keep all my packaging prices written down and updated, it allows me to see exactly how much it is costing me to parcel something up, I also write down the postage (which is all about to go up in price I’m afraid 😦 ). I would love to say I am very green with my P&P but that’s not true, I do favour cardboard boxes and tissue when possible but there is a lot of work to be done reducing my use of jiffy bags and new love of cellophane.
Below are my most recent lists, some details may be wrong and may need updating, the ‘-‘ price is the price per item, even when you can’t order them individually, it simply allows me to see how much each one costs. These lists are really for my records but I thought they might be useful anyway 🙂 :
All excluding P&P at £10/order
Brown Standard Postal Boxes (bought in 50′s)
A6 215 x 155 x 50 – 35p each
A5 310 x 220 x 50 – 50p each
Lrg Flat 430 x 310 x 50 – 80p each
Lrg 430 x 300 x 120 – £1-65 each
Rajabul Mailers (their Jiffy)
White 300 x 450 (50/pack) – 44p each
Tissue paper (bought in a Ream/500 sheets)
Green – 4p/sheet
Kraft bags (bought in 250 packs)
Very Small 120 x 190 x 45 – 5p each
Small 160 x 250 x 80 – 9p each
Large 240 x 390 x 75 – 16p each
Brown Paper Roll
Recycled 220m @ 90 gsm – £30 (inc vat)
Smart Packaging Store
I bought Jiffys (Jiffylite) from here simply because I needed them in a hurry and they offer free next day delivery.
Lrg Letter 220 x 320 (min 50) – 26p each
Lrg Letter 170 x 245 (min 100) – 15p each
They allow you to order small quantities and delivery is £4.50 for next day (optional). I had struggled to find a supplier of mailbags in small quantities, more importantly they had a good price on large Biodegradable Poly Bags.
Prices exclude VAT and there is no min order
Clear Cello Bags 230 x 167 (A5) – 7p each
130 x 210 5p each
Jiffylite 115 x 195 (A6) – 19p each
290 x 445 (lrg) 43p each
Featherpost Bubble 180 x 165 27p each
Biodegradable Poly Bags – 595 x 430 – – 36p each
Love em! Prices below include VAT @ 20% and allow £6 postage towards each pack of cards on the basis of ordering 2 lots each time so this covers the £12 set delivery
A6 postcard, one-sided, no extras – 25p each (on 100)
A5 postcard, one-sided, no extras – 30p each (on 100)
DIN Long, one-sided, no extras – 12p each (on 250)
Business cards, one-sided, no extras – 11p each (on 250)
Including delivery and vat @ 20%
Moo Mini – £28.36 (box 200) – 14p each
Moo Stickers – £35.08 (box 100) – 35p each
Free P&P plus prices shown include VAT
For the below DL (long and thin to fit DIN packages) size, the Die Cut make up into a box, the other needs to be taped into place.
DL 217 x 108 x 20 Die Cut (bought in 100 batch) – 33p each
DL 217 x 108 x 20 (bought in 150 batch) – 20p each
C5 (fits A5) 218 x 159 x 19 (bought in 100 batch) – 33p each