Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The A-Zs of Packaging: F-J

Announcements at the end.

Welcome back for another fun-filled day of packaging.  For those of you just tuning in, we are spending this week exploring some of the items that turn an ordinary gift into something extraordinary.  Yesterday we covered letters A-E, touting the importance of everything from... yes, Altoid tins to construction paper, candy, die cuts, boxes, envelopes, and DCWV paper.  But the real star of yesterday's post was "C"ellophane.

Cellophane catches light and by doing so makes your treat sparkle and appear fancier.  It crinkles when you touch it and it makes most anything look a touch more crisp than it would otherwise.  If you don't own a roll, invest in one.  A little bit goes a long way and it is well worth the money.

Maybe you're not convinced.  Maybe you don't buy into the idea that packaging is as important as I'm suggesting.  Here's a recent example of how packaging influenced my decision making.  

My mother in law invited me for lunch and a pedicure on my birthday.  It wasn't the first pedicure I'd ever had, but pedicures are not part of my normal routine, so I was E*X*C*I*T*E*D.  When we walked into the spa where our appointments were booked, we were met with cascading water behind the receptionists desk and warm and welcoming smiles by the women who were working.  Soon we were escorted to the back, immediately swept off our feet, warm neck pillows put in place, masks placed gently over our eyes, and all while sitting in comfortable reclining chairs.  I'd love to tell you more, but truth is I fell asleep.  Yes, I did say pedicure, not massage!

This was by far the best pedicure experience I have ever had (or ever heard of anyone else having), beginning with the ambiance of the spa, the calming music, the voice of the nail technician, and on an on.  That pedicure was well packaged.  Could I whisk down the block to the strip mall and, in the end, have the same painted nails, while sitting under flourescent lights and watching cars come and go from the parking lot?  Sure.  But the packaging of scenario two would not keep me talking for weeks.  And it certainly isn't where I will go when I, in turn, want to give the gift a pedicure.  I will go with option one.

My pedicure is an example of how we might package a service to make it more appealing, but in anticipation of my Eighteenth Annual Random Acts of Kindness Party, we will stay focused on the packaging of items - presents if you will.  Today's letters... F-J.  Let's get busy.
  • F: Foam Shapes.  I'm sure there are a lot of other "F" items you will come up with, but this is the one for me.  I LOVE foam shapes for how effectively they add dimension to a package.  I have them in countless color and shapes.  I have Halloween pumpkins, witches, and ghosts; fall leaves; Christmas trees; snowmen; snowflakes of all shapes; hearts; letters; animals; weather related shapes, like clouds, lightening bolts, and raindrops; geometric shapes, and more.  This will be today's showcased item, so stay tuned.
  • G: Glue Gun.  Thing about my foam shapes is that they are made impossible without a glue gun (a hot glue gun, that is).  Do you have one?  If you don't, drop what you are doing this very minute (which is reading my blog) and proceed to your nearest craft store.  My blog can wait.  I'm serious.  If you do not own a hot glue gun it is not o.k..  I cannot rest until I am quite sure that everyone who reads this blog has one.
  • H: Hot glue gun and hole punches.  Have I mentioned the essential nature of a hot glue gun when making any real attempts at extraordinary packaging?  If you're still reading this and you don't have a hot glue gun, you have not taken my plea seriously enough.  If you already own one, then we will move on to Hole Punches.  I love hole punches.  Hole punches can be used to embellish a simple index card or to create homemade confetti for inside a card or package.  I have quite a few shapes, but my recent favorite has to be the fall leaf I just sent Chris Peres (who won it while bobbing for apples (F is for Festival, 10/16).
  • I: Idea or theme.  Yes, sometimes your idea for packaging will come from the "theme" of the party or gift itself.  For example, Cassie recently had a birthday party for her boys.  The invitations looked like magic hats with rabbit ears sticking out (pull the ears and out comes the invitation).  A magician was scheduled to be at the party, so I thought it might be fun to have the packaging be magic related.  We painted long white mailing tubes black to look like magic wands and then dipped the ends in silver glitter.  Once completed, we filled the tubes with magic tricks and other treats.  Point.  The theme of the party inspired the idea for packaging the gift.  Below is another.  Richard got cowboy boots for his birthday.  I didn't have fun wrapping paper, so instead I used the box and let the gift inspire the wrapping.

  • J: Jewelry Accessory Bags:  This was a hard letter, but then I remembered about a recent purchase I made.  I bought a package of 100 small jewelry accessory bags, not to hold jewelry, but instead to hold small treats that I sometimes want to package.  Patchwork patches are a good example.  Instead of just throwing your hard-earned Patchwork patch in an envelope, isn't the treat made just a little bit nicer by sealing it in a small bag?  I think so.  
Today's Featured Item:  Foam Shapes!

The $5.00 treat... Dishtowels, per one of your Friday suggestions.


Pre foam shapes and post foam shapes
 (though admittedly not the greatest photograph)

Today's Treat: Yesterday's packaged treat was given away as a Random Act of Kindness, per the suggestion of Amy - one of the Bobbing for Apple participants who won a Random Act done in their favor.  Today's treat goes to Lori who, while bobbing for apples, won one of this week's treats.
DCWV Giveaway:  Peggy's on a roll.  She is yesterday's lucky winner of the pad of DCWV paper (seems rather appropriate).  
Pumpkin Patch: Remember, earn a pumpkin patch for your Patchwork jeans by submitting a picture of a carved Jack-o-Lantern to kkolkmeier@gmail.com by Wedneday, October 29 at 5:00 p.m.  The winning Jack-o-Lantern will receive a prize in the mail. 
Blog-a-thon: Difficulty getting people to participate means we will be forced to do two things: (1) move the day of the Blog-a-thon to Wednesday, November 5 and (2) shorten the length of the Blog-a-thon to 10:00 am - 10:00 pm.  Hopefully the changes allow us to be successful in reaching our goal to raise money for the Helping Hand family we adopted for the holiday season. 
Paint the Town Red: I know some of you continue to stay committed to our  goal of collecting as many Reward points as you can for Heather's friend Julie.  Maybe Heather will post a comment today with the latest standings.  For more information see post labeled, Paint Your Town Red, 9/13.
Fess Up:  If you don't have a glue gun, get it off your chest and tell us now.

Signing off until tomorrow...

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