So you have sold your first sewn item. Isn’t it thrilling? (And no, it never gets old!)
This goes without saying: never just dump your finished piece in a mailing box and send it off to it’s new owner.
That would be like baking a cake and serving it with the icing on the side (just, ew). It doesn’t make a pretty presentation (also, I only eat cake for the icing. Thought I’d throw that in there!)
Your sewn item was made with careful precision- it needs to be finished, packaged up and shipped off in the same manner. It will allow your customers to take you seriously and it’s a great opportunity to stick a sticker (with your company’s name!) on the wrapped tissue paper, or tuck some business cards inside for more marketing opportunities.
Finish, Package and Ship Off
First things first… You need to have a tag with your name/company name/”sewn by me” details inserted on the inside of your product… or in an inconspicuous outside spot.
Don’t panic, ok? I promise this is super easy (and really fun) to do. Follow the steps below and embrace your inner professionalism:
1. You’ll need a computer with Microsoft software installed, an inkjet printer and fabric “paper” (you can find this at Fabric stores: like JoAnns, Hancock Fabrics. I couldn’t find any in places like Hobby Lobby though!)
2. Go to Microsoft Word, and click “mailing address labels” as a new project.
3. Choose any size labels! You can experience with different sizes.
4. I wanted my tags to fold with the short sides together. I wanted my name on one side of the fold; my company name, website and some details about my products on the other side of the fold. To do this, I divided the label in half with two text boxes.
Make sure you have some room on the edges, especially the shorter side edges if you are going to fold the tag.
5. Experiment with fonts and text sizes to create your own personal look. Make sure the font size is large enough to read… Size 7 or smaller is not gonna cut it. To make a “copyright” symbol, type a “c” inside parentheses. For example: (C).
6. When you’re finished, press print. Your computer should automatically set up the labels in columns. I printed mine with 16 per sheet.
7. Finalize the print, but before you do, make sure the fabric paper is inserted in the paper tray of the printer! Most printers will need to take the fabric paper right side facing down because the machine will flip the paper around during the printing process. Test on regular paper first, if you’re unsure.
8. All printed!
There are a couple options for adding the tag to your product, but for each option you must:
Trim your tags to a desired size. (I cut mine 1″ wide by 1.5″-2″ long)
Peel the paper off the back of the cut tag.
Folded Tag: fold the wrong sides of the tag together, width wise. Press (yes, they can be ironed!). Position the raw edges of the tag inside an opening you left on the inside of your project; pin well then finally stitch across both the hole and tag.
Unfolded Tag: If you want the tag unfolded and just sewn on the fabric: simply pin tag to the place on your product you want it to go, then topstitch or zig zag stitch around the edge of the tag.
Wrap it up!
Get creative with this. My sister loves wrapping presents. Every year since we were little, it was her job to wrap presents for birthdays and holidays. She was particularly talented with curling the ends of that ribbon curling string stuff… You know what I’m talking about? She used scissors and really got those ribbon tails to bouncy, Nellie Olson curls. To this day I try and try, but my ribbon tails kink and bend into ugliness. I am horrible at wrapping presents.
In the past, I used to get down on myself for it. I used to try to prove to myself I could wrap with amazing style and ease. Yeah, I am over proving myself to myself now!
That said, I don’t use curling ribbon to package up my products. I love twine. Plain, brown twine bound around my wrapped item practically sings along with the Sound of Music: “brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things!”
What I am trying to say (with too many words, as usual) is that you need to find what works for you and own it.
Some wrapping ideas:
- old newspaper
- Light muslin fabric
- Hand stamped brown paper
- clear plastic bag tied with a strip of scrap fabric
- Gauzy drawstring bags
Finally, fill the package with a few business cards, if you have them.
(Psssst! If you want to get business cards for cheap, type in “free business cards” on google and you’ll be surprised how many people are giving away free cards! It’s wonderful.)
You could also add a sticker to an outside package if you wanted, too. I made up some little sewing kits, and I found these stickers at staples:
Avery has a website you can go to to design the type of sticker you would like and everything. So simple and fun! Also, Staples is FULL of cool packaging tools, but be careful. I’ve been known to spend way too much $$ in that store.
Check out those stickers on my packaging for little sewing kits to make stuffed animals:
This part is self explanatory, but do ship off the package in a timely manner, and to the right owner. I like to include a little “thank you for ordering” note, and you could also send a coupon for 20% off on their next purchase. Or not.
Have fun making money!