How you store and ship your hand crafted goods is important
When you’re selling your handmade art and crafts, it’s important to make a good quality piece. It’s also important to take care when storing and shipping your items as well.
I have sold and shipped hundreds of my handcrafted items all over the world. Some artists are so focused on making great crafts that they forget how important storage and packaging are. I’m going to share a few tips with you that will help you keep your goods in top condition on their way to your customer.
Storage is very important no matter what kind of arts or crafts you create. Whether you paint, sculpt, make jewelry, clothing or any other craft, you need to keep your work safe between the time it’s finished and the time you ship it off to the customer. It is always a good idea to seal your finished work in some sort of container to protect it. You want to make sure your containers are kept in a cool, dry area away from moisture and animals. You also want to protect your creations from dust and odors.
Plastic storage containers with tight lids are great for most items that aren’t very large. I also recommend sealing each item into a plastic bag. I put my jewelry into a zipper sandwich bag, and then put the bags in a plastic storage unit. For larger items you can use zipper freezer bags. For really big items like sculptures or paintings you might need to use trash or lawn bags and tape them shut. Bagging items is of extra importance if you allow smoking in your home, as smoke will permeate items and customers will be very displeased.
For fabric or paper items it’s a good idea to put a dryer sheet in with the product to keep it smelling fresh. However, if you do this you need to be sure to specify it in your sales description, since some people are allergic to perfumes and will need to know. I have personally switched from using dryer sheets to using a paper towel that has been misted with Febreeze. Just be sure that if you’re putting this in with a painting or drawing, that you allow the paper towel to dry completely before putting it in the bag with the art.
If you keep your art sealed up and use Febreeze or a dryer sheet, you should be able to keep your items fresh and clean. You never want to ship out a product that smells or is dusty. Make it a habit to bag and store every item after you have finished and photographed it. I have learned from experience that a customer may be more aware of an odor than you are. Just once I mailed out a pair of earrings that hadn’t been sealed up and the customer complained of a musty smell. I sealed and freshened every item, no matter what it was made of, after that. I have never received another complaint.
When you ship your items, keep them sealed up. You never know what is going to happen with the postal service. I have had items arrive to the buyer with the package torn, wet or completely destroyed. My inner wrapping saved the product. At very least you should have every item sealed in a bag. If you’re shipping something bigger than an envelope or shipping many small items, try putting the bagged items into a small plastic storage container (like the kind some lunch meat comes in) and putting that container into a box. This will also provide extra stability to protect the item.
If you’re shipping larger items, place the bagged item into a box, then add your padding materials and seal the box. Having the items bagged not only keeps them clean and protected, it will prevent things like newspaper or packing peanuts from clinging to the item. For artwork, I suggest placing flat cardboard on both sides of the bagged artwork, then wrap that in paper before placing it into a box or envelope. This adds extra stability and protection. I do not recommend using mailing tubes for most art, as they can easily be crushed or damaged.
Don’t be afraid to get creative when packing your items. I keep boxes from cereal, crackers, pasta, items that are shipped to me, and I also collect resealable containers from sandwich meat and other foods. All of these can be used to protect and package items. If you use food boxes, just turn them inside out and re-glue or tape the seams. I have had people compliment me on my use of recycled boxes and for the care with which I package my items.
Always take care when storing and shipping your art, and you will keep your customers happy. It may be a little extra work, but it is well worth it to keep your precious art and crafts that you have put effort and love into safe. Your customers will also take note of the extra steps you have taken, and it will add to your good reputation as an artist and as a seller.