Thursday, April 16, 2009

Handcrafted Soap, Bath & Body - Ideas for Packaging

If you are new to the handcrafted soap, bath and body products business, you might wonder how to package your products for gift or sale. If you're just starting out, or you are making soap, bath salts, milk bath, or other products as gifts, you can create wonderful packaging at little cost. If you've established a brand identity, but want to experiment with new lines or packaging, you can also do this without ordering in bulk.

Here are three different examples of branding, simply using labels, before you decide on boxes or other packaging.

Desert Sal Botanical Soap Shop. Paper bands, labels, and shrink wrap. These go in boxes or gift bags.

Amelias on Etsy. This is a terrific example of using labels to create brand image. Simple, elegant, classy. Amelia tells us she orders her boxes from

Amelias on Etsy. Amelia makes these envelopes herself, but well worth the effort. They create a unique look that is very flexible.

Deshawnmarie on Etsy. A perfect example of great brand image, and says everything about her product.

When considering soap packaging, first decide whether or not you are going to wrap your soap before you box or label it. I always shrink-wrap my soap, and this is not difficult! You can order a great shrink-wrap kit from National Shrink Wrap, relatively inexpensively. If you're not ready to do that, you can shrink wrap one bar at at time. You can buy shrink wrap bags or sheets (I initially got mine from a dollar discount store), cut them to size, and wrap one bar at a time. Shrink wrap is not self-sealing, so you will need to use tape or something to hold the edges together before you apply heat. I used very light packing tape (Henkel Duck Crystal Clear) as it is so light it does not show the way heavier packing tape or wrapping tape does.

Tissue paper, craft paper, scrapbooking paper, boxes, and bags.

Don't overlook your local craft store, although you can often find discount suppliers.

Wallpaper border labels and handmade envelopes.

A variety of bags, jars, and bottles. I don't use glass for bathroom items. You can save bottles and jars from items in your home to see how you like the look and feel before you purchase in bulk.

On left, seam binding...very inexpensive as ribbon, with translucent craft paper. On right, handpainted paper cut to make bands. Once you have a look you like, you can scan and print, or have it printed.

Hand painted paper bands, computer-printed labels, to see if I like the look and feel of it.

Dollar store white boxes, approximately 15 cents each, with raffia and scrapbooking paper. The white flower petals are actually soap! made with glycerin and cornstarch.

Soap Packaging Links
World's Easiest Way to Shrink Wrap Soap - National Shrink Wrap
Papermart - Paper, Boxes, More - Bags, Organza, Tulle
India Handmade Paper
Idea Ribbon - Organza, Tulle, Acetate
Paper Addict
Handmade Paper Online
1-800 Gift Box
Bags & Bows
Bayley's Boxes
Box and Wrap

Or, see the Sidebar for Soap Packaging Links.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Coconut Oil Soap

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil - Product Review, Part I

A few weeks ago, I received 32 oz of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Standard Virgin Coconut Oil. Today, with some new essential oils I acquired, I put it to the test. Of course, it will be 4-6 weeks until the soap has cured, but so far, I like this coconut oil!

I also used olive oil in the recipe. This coconut oil was very easy to scoop out and measure. It is pure white, and smells faintly, not overwhelmingly, of coconut. I added beet root powder (for a faint, pink color, as I love roses!), and my own blend of rose absolute and lime essential oil. I'll let you know how the soap turns out!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Coming Soon....

I'm working on a post about packaging soap and bath & body items. It's almost ready! I've been taking pictures, and getting the links, content, and examples ready. For picture of new botanical soap, and two hints of packaging tips to come!

New Desert Sal Botanical Soaps

Beautiful creative packaging by Amelia's Soap Co. at Etsy

Desert Sal Wallpaper Border Packaging

The upcoming packaging post will be primarily for the smaller handcrafter who is developing brand packaging, but not quite ready to commit to bulk order packaging. It also helps if you have an established brand image, but want to experiment with a new look or packaging before you order it in bulk.