I started off wanting to use something biodegradeable and thought of real cellophane film. Not the cellophane that is generally sold (the type florists use) which is actually polyproplene but real cellulose which is made from natural products and is fully biodegradable. However, as much as you can buy this from what feels like every second store in the US, trying to get it this side of the pond seemed next to impossible.
Then I wanted to use handmade paper - a lot of handmade paper is very thick so wouldn't be suitable or is rather expensive. There are some really beautiful papers out there but I seemed to trawl through the net as much as I could and found the product I wanted but then they were a) too expensive or b) wouldn't send to Ireland. Friends kindly offered to send to them to the UK and they'd send on to me but that isn't sustainable into the longer term for financial reasons plus I didn't want to drive anyone nuts either.
I tested some lovely mulberry tissue that I found at a great price on ebay of all places and really liked it. I finally decided to choose the white paper with silver threads which I thought was classic and beautiful. It was thick enough to cover the soap well but thin enough to allow the customer to see the colours of the soaps plus be able to smell the fragrances though the paper.
So once I had the paper, I worked on the labels. As I was using white paper, I wanted to introduce some colour into the labels but also not overpower them. I needed to fit in all the regulatory labelling issues plus make that look attractive too (as any soaper will tell you, that can be very tough!). I wanted to include the I am Handmade brand into the labels too as it so wonderfully reflects exactly how all our products are made.
Once I had the labels, I put them with the wrapping but there was still something missing .. and, yet again, I found the answer on ebay in the form of lots of satin ribbon! I've ordered about 24 different colours (oh I was in heaven with them, I just so adore colour) and once I'd put everything together, I had my EUREKA moment!
Below are some images of the wrapping... please note that the label for the Fresh Orange soap is slightly incorrect because it says it has a lemon fragrance.. well, of course it doesn't, I just didn't change that bit from the Fresh Lemon labels (how utterly annoying to find that once you've printed them and cut them all out!). You look at a thing long enough and you can't even see it anymore! Argggghhhh.. oh well, I can re-print and re-do, I prefer to have it right!
A sample of wrapped soaps
You can see the threads in the handmade paper
I love the sheen on the ribbon in this picture
I choose a golden yellow ribbon for this soap as, even though I have tons of
colours, I didn't have a bright yellow ribbon - might have to remedy that!
Lovely paper, lovely ribbon, clear and simple labels
Arrggghhh at the typo on this label, I'm reprinting as I type!
Soaps laid out in postal box
Soaps in postal box covered with lots of shredded tissue
and added compliment card
I really hope you like my new packaging - as any soaper will tell you, sourcing packaging that exactly matches the image you have in your head, for a good price and as locally as possible is next to impossible. My advice... check out ebay!!