Packaging Tips

Bath Teas
Here's the idea I had for the garage sale, etc. Get a bunch of quart jars and decorate the lids (with fabric, bows, etc) and make cards that say relaxing herbal bath and list the ingredients (but don't tell the proportions - tell them it's an old family secret. That way you keep it unique). You will also need to attach a small drawstring muslin bag to each jar because they will have to fill the bag with the herbs, etc.

Relaxing Herbal Bath - To make a mixture, use equal parts of Rosemary, Basil, Thyme, and Sage. Use a double measure of Lavender.

You will use approximately 1/4 lb. per bath. To use: place 1/4 c. herbs into muslin bag. Boil in 1 quart water, simmer 15 minutes. Take infusion (herbs and water) and add to the bath. When finished, muslin bag can be reused after washed and rinsed. Very easy and when you make the decorative jar, instruction card, and attach the muslin bag, you have an attractive package to sell. It is a strong smelling mix and I thought at first it would give me a headache, but when I got in the bath I really did relax.
Peggy J. Dorton 5/18/98

Bundling Is Not Just for Babies
As many of you know many retail businesses earn 80% of their profit from September through December, the rest of the year they lose money or break even, so for people who make & sell items such as toiletries that many people think of as splurge purchases for themselves, it makes it difficult to compete with all the promotions, etc stores have this time of year to draw in customers.

Bundling is putting a group of items together to sell. For example gift baskets. However, just a couple bars of soap, etc can make for an expensive gift basket. Instead start thinking ahead to next year, and what you can do. Shop the super bargain sales for items that go along with the products you sell.
Last spring Kmart had a clearance on beautiful appliqued towels. I bought a bunch of sets, last week I made leaf soap to match the leaves on one of the towels, put the soap on a simple plastic soap dish and gave it to my Mother. Big Hit. Just wrap a big ribbon around the whole thing and price it.

Friday I was at Wal-mart, found some adorable bear bathgloves for kids $1, bought 3, I am going to make bear soap, put the two together as gifts for my nieces.

I also found a soap dish that looks like a half shell (beautiful plastic that looks like marble) I am going to make seashell soaps to put on it.

I make dinosuar soaps, put them in Barney snack containers I bought last year for 50 cents, and give them to kids. They love them!

A word of caution, make sure you buy good quality at a discount. Don't buy at full price or you will lose money in the long run. I do not have a business hence no license, but most of the time I can get better deals than people who buy wholesale.

Also get to know your store and the employees. When I find an item I really like I ask if I can have a discount if I buy in quantity or if it will be going on sale soon. Since I check back often many times they will set things aside for me when they are marked down and let me know when I come in that they have something I might be interested in. For example, remember the "thing" molds I mentioned in the lemon drop soap recipe? I checked back at the store today, they put a big box in the back with my name on it to save anything they can find that might look like I can use for a soap mold (I also give alot of soap away, it helps!), plus they told me about some Winnie the Pooh blankets that they just got in and that if I came back on Monday I could have first dibs on them! I am amazed at how many times people will special order things for me. The key to all of this is to be very very polite. No one likes pushy bargain hunter, and I make an effort to get to know each employee. I always pick one favorite though and give them a little extra attention. I also have learned to carry little soaps in my pocket to hand out.

Recently I went to pick up some medicine at the pharmacy and realized I didn't have enough money, since they had gotten to know me well, the pharmacist paid for the medicine for me! I immediatelty went home, got the money and returned with the $ and a bag of soap as a thank you.

Designing Baskets by AnnaLiese
How about adding a wash cloth to give it some filler? I build my gift baskets either from the front to back or the center out. Use the tallest things in the back or middle and degress (sp) from there. Bring cellophane up and tie with a bow (why not a little bowtie or a soap on a rope) the cellophane will hold things in place. Another idea is to throw in a bunch of little candies to fill in the empty spaces. I melt and pour green apple soap (for some weird reason kids love it) into dinosuar lollipop molds. Makes nice little soaps. Use them as fillers too.

oh oh great idea, my brain is really working now! Cut a long piece of string, lay both ends down in your melt & pour shapes (two separate shapes small ones like lollipop molds would be perfect) when it is firm you can use the string to tie the cellophane up & you have a double soap on a rope ( mini shapes, perfect for a kid)

PS bagging groceries is an art! I used to work in a supermarket and now when I pack my own groceries the baggers always are impressed! Seems they don't teach them how any more! AnnaLiese

Designing Baskets by Melanie
1. Ribbons - lots, in different effects.
For example you could have inexpensive curling ribbon in various colours sitting on top of your packing material, and then put the soap on that. The colours of the ribbons should contrast with the soap, drawing in the eye to the soap rather than the ribbons.
A thick ribbon bow in the centre, or slanted over one corner. Bright rich colours to contrast with the natural appearance of the soap. Ribbon bow hot glued to outside of the basket in the same colour. Different colours for different scents of soap.
Velvet ribbon rosette. When at craft fairs wear one in your hair. EMBOSS the ribbon (watch the back - some may melt) by misting it with water and then putting it velvet side down on top of a rubber stamp, then press a hot iron to the back. Good move if the rubber stamp happens to be custom made, bearing your logo. Time consuming, but maybe worthwhile for upmarket display.
2. The natural look.
Gather long grasses (good time of year to do it in Nth Hemisphere!) and wind them round in a 'nest' shape to fit your basket. Leave to dry for sufficient time to avoid mildew problems after shrink wrapping. (cool dry well ventilated room out of sunlight but not dark - around 3 weeks in summertime) Place soap on nest and tie a raffia bow/knot. Decorate outside of the basket with some sisal or hemp rope, for a 'country' appearance.
Petals. Rose petals are nice, but be sure to include some of the darker roses for contrast and interest, as the light colours often dry to a uniform, sepia tone. Dry some tiny rosebuds, and then place one or two on a dried leaf (silica gel is expensive, but a good dessicant) decoratively in the corner of the soap.
Wood shavings. Contact your local woodturning group. May make a nice backing for a man's soap... Fine shavings will need to be sifted to get rid of the very fine (almost dust) particles. Could be intermixed with wood chips, bits of bark etc. One natural soapmaker here in ozzie ties the soap to a piece of bark (some trees lose their bark here) with raffia, and then adds a printed tag to the raffia, attached through a hole in the tag. Very simple, but not your usual basket, and the price of the 'basket' is right!
A 'bed' of packing covered with gingham fabric and a raffia knot or bow on the soap.
Soap resting in the arms of a straw angel. You want to make the arms disproportionately long to go round the soap and hold it in place. Won't post any instructions here as I already chat too much.
3. Glitz
Crystal shreds, cellophane shreds (various colours) paper shreds with 2-3" lengths of sparkly yarn cut up and mixed in, shredded white plastic bags (I kid you not - used these as a backing for a single rose I made in Cold Porcelain, and it gives an almost glacial appearance - youd have to use a coloured soap though!!) lightly scrunched aluminium foil, heavy circular aluminium foil tray cut into sunburst 'petals' with the soap resting in the centre of the 'flower', some petals curled inwards to keep the soap in place, others curled as you please. Space age soap LOL!! Holographic wrapping paper, lightly scrunched.
Holiday season? Line the baskets with a tinsel 'nest', add a fake holly leaf and a couple of fake red berries to the corner of the soap.
Basic cellophane - soap on a bed of packing, basket on a large square of cellophane, draw up the edges, tie with a glitzy bow, and arrange the top of the cellophane atractively. The soap may be small, but the end result is huge! Do not attempt to transport these in the car (ask me how I know lol!) due to the room they take up. Pack flat instead and take a table and chair, and set up in a prominent area at your point of delivery and make them on the spot, provided you are in the public eye. (your very own craft fair LOL!!) the movement will attract the interest of passers by. Of course get the store owner's permission to do so in advance, but s/he will probably be grateful for the extra public attention, particularly if you do it on a day that is usually slow...
4. Found objects - moving into art
Wire mesh, scrunched into a basket shape. 'Tie' with a piece of thin wire. Chicken wire might do for this, but I was thinking of something with a smaller mesh.
Painted patty pan. Sponge, daub, whatever, rather than 'real painting' The effect needs to be raggy, careless, with splotches of the original patty pan showing through. Raffia bow with a bit of dried grass, wheat head, wild oat seed whatever, on the top.
Get the local kindergarten kids to fingerpaint some butchers (blank newsprint) paper in bright colours and scrunch that up inside your baskets. Then sell the soap baskets back to the kinder as a fundraiser. (The parents will love it because the painting inside was possibly by their child....) Then sell the unpackaged soap to the kinder as a fundraiser and let THEM do the work - you move on to the next kindergarten!!
Weathered fencing. Make sure you know what's been put on this wood in the past... old paint used to have lead, so I understand, and bare wood can sometimes have a coating that includes some kind of arsenic. Makes sense to be a bit careful - but the effect of a bit of weathered timber against your pristine soap makes a lovely contrast.
Great for the creamy-whites in your range. Tie with thin wire and twist ends to look like a baling knot, or the kind of finish that wire fencing in your area has. In various parts of Oz we have "not-junk" shops. there one can find the most amazing things priced at almost nothing, as the inventory is donated by companies who would otherwise trash it, and the beneficiaries are often charitable organisations. End-of-run bathroom tiles. Centres of picture-framing mats that are too small to be useful (good size for soap, though!!) Perspex offcuts - now these WOULD make a great base for soap! Plastic corrugated sheet (like corrugated cardboard found in cartons - used for making signs). Small squares of carpet and linoleum. Paper confetti of various sizes and shapes (1" diameter bright yellow circles for example. I got a large grocery bag full of these plus another one of white rectangles and another of white keyhole shapes, for $1 the lot!) are great to line baskets with. and so on and on.
Maybe you could choose in advance the type of effect you want and go search for companies likely to have such things as a result of their manufacturing process. I can vividly remember going to the Ford car factory in UK when I was about age 8, and pocketing a handful of steel shavings (like wood shavings, only metal LOL!) the oil they used to preserve the steel against rust stank, but the shavings were SO pretty! These days many larger companies will attempt to recycle what would otherwise be 'junk' - but smaller companies may not have the reSupplies to do so and may be glad to get rid of it to a good home. Where there are printers, there will always be paper shreds, for example. If the shreds are too wide, curl them against scissors. You will use less, and the effect can be very nice in your basket. Add a few paper curls to the outside and vwallah!
Check out your local junk shop. China painted plates, teapot lids, wooden paddles - think laterally. The end result of all this work may not be to *your* taste - but it definitely WON't be "blah" - LOL!!

Melanie Dunstan

Not TOO Pretty
Be careful of making your packaging too pretty! Our best advantage in sales is that our product is a repeat purchase item IF people us it! When I first started out I wrapped my soap in fabric and it looked lovely - then I'd run into customers at future shows and ask them how they liked it - the inevitable reply was "it's too pretty to use" argh! So, now I package it very simply and people do use it and come back for more!
Di Brooks

Single Use Bath Toiletries
I read an alternative packaging method for single-use bath items that I really like - I think I got this from a Kelly Reno book. You take a coffee filter, and pour 1/4 cup of your milk bath / bath salts / whatever into it. Gather the edges. I tie it with some dental floss since it holds well. Then take some lace, tulle, organza, or similar material, that's bigger than the coffee filter. Put the filter in the middle, and gather the material edges and tie with a ribbon. If you want, you can use a long ribbon - tie it around the neck of your item, then make a big loop and tie again at the top. This way you can hang the item under the faucet while the tub is filling.
Karen W.

Single Portion Bath Salts
Pour one bath's worth of salts into a square of clear plastic (polythene), twist together with a twist tie. Do this for 8 bags. Using twine, or fishing line or colours of glittery cord (your preference) tie the bags together one after the other to make a string of bags (like a string of garlic) tie the other end of the string to a long cane. (garden shops, canes are used as stakes for tomatoes and stuff like that). Get an offcut (about a foot high) of stormwater pvc piping. Any decent plumbing supplies place should have some out back, and my local one just gives me the offcuts. Put the canes into the pipe on the table, so you have lots of them and it only takes up a tiny bit of table space and is an unusual and eyecatching display. Then play with one over your shoulder during the show. Movement attracts the eye don't forget...

Now you can decorate your pvc pipe with whatever you like - paint, fabric etc., and a sign on it indicating these things on the fishing line are bath salts. If you want to be clever about it, put a cute saying on it like 'bathing is next best thing to fishing' or something like that.
Melanie Dunstan

Bath Salt Envelopes
Make envelopes for Bath Salts by cutting squares out of freezer paper and ironing the shiny sides together 1/4" all the way around 3 sides - fill it and seal last side with iron. It makes quite a bond. Freezer paper is great b/c it's waterproof and supposedly vapor-proof (we'll see), and easy to find. Paste your label on the outside.

I thought for the really beaut. stuff - like roses & dried milk bath - a window would be nice. I did one the same as above, but I cut out a window out of one sheet and sandwiched a sheet of clear cellophane, same size as squares, between the two freezerpaper squares. It worked nicely, but the iron must be really HOT to seal the cello between the freezer papers. (Without the cello you can seal the freezer paper with a warm iron). Then seal up the last side after you add the milkbath or whatever, and paste on your label on the back.
Kim 11/5/98 Updated 12/10/98

Ornament Bath Salts
Pour one bath's worth of salts into a square of clear plastic (polythene), twist together with a twist tie. Do this for 8 bags. Use a pretty paper d'oyley and wrap around the outside of the bundle, gathered at the top with a bit of coloured/glittery cord whatever to make a loop and a big floppy bow. The loop is to hang on the christmas tree. Make a paper tag (different colours for different days) saying 'Monday' etc to 'Friday' and attach one to each bag. You could have another paper tag saying 'Bathday', and another one in smaller print saying 'For my once-a-year bath, whether I need it or not', and another one saying 'From Santa, bathtime bliss' or something like that. You could display the seven days of the week in a basket, and have sets of them ready in brown paper bags under the counter to sell - since these are designed to be Christmas tree ornaments, it won't matter that they're not "Properly" packaged.
Melanie Dunstan

Sand Pictures with Bath Salts
How about those sand bottles, where you use different colored sand to make a landscape in a bottle. Wouldn't that look neat as a gift made out of different colored bath salts?
Sandra Good

Lotion Bars and Deodorant Containers
Push-up deodorant containers would be great for packaging lotion bars... then you could easily carry them around with you without messy melting or anything..
Gemma Perano

Lotion Bars and Lined Drawstring Bags
I have been making cloth draw string bags lined with the ziplock bag type plastic. I take a large ziplock bag and cut it open so it is one layer and lay it on the wrong side of the fabric - then sew the bags treating both layers as one - that way there is no greasy residue that soaks through to the fabric.
Jane in TX

Lotion Bars and Butcher Paper
How do you wrap lotion bars in a way that would stop the oil-stained paper mess. Why not butcher wrap/freezer paper? The plastic coating should keep things neat -- just look how it works on meat juices.

Lotion Bars and Clear Vinyl
I found a *cheap* method to package lotion bars that I really like so far. I bought a yard of the clear vinyl that Wal-mart sells in the sewing department. It's on a long roll with the tablecloth type stuff. This stuff is great! I cut it a little shorter in width than the lotion bar (regular rectangular lotion bar shape) and long enough to wrap around the bar and overlap. It sticks to itself so I didn't glue it or anything. As we use the bar up I just scoot the vinyl down and eventually cut it in half or so widthwise. It gives you something nice and "clean" to hold on to when you use the bar.

Lotion Bars and Takeout Containers
One of the best ideas that I have found is to make them in the small take out containers (like they put ketchup or tartar sauce in) This is not my original idea. I was in a soap swap with someone who sent us samples of these that she had made. Her company name is Chestnut Farms but cannot remember her name. Anyway, they are great. You can buy these containers at Sam's or probably any club of that type. They are very inexpensive - work as a mold and container and no problem with the greasiness soaking through. They also work great for keeping in your purse because of the lid.
Jane in TX

Lotion Bars and Florist's Foil
I can get plastic coated florist foil at the Floral wholesalers, this is great for wrapping lotion bars, and they do not permeate through the plastic. It is plasticized on the inside; pretty colored foil on the outside, and sold in rolls.
Louise Storkey

Lotion Bars and Candy Bags
How about the small bags for candy that you can find at the craft store under the homemade chocolate/candy section? Just tie a bow on top- plus it can be a place to keep the lotion bar once unwrapped. To keep *them* from getting grease spots all over!

Labeling Deoderant Containers
Labels for the deoderant containers. Designed the labels, print them on regular paper. Use a little dab (very little) of rubber cement to hold it in place. Take some cable shrink tubing and put it over the container. Shrink the stuff. Trim it and it looks like a professional job!
Bea Hall

Pretty Labels
Try taking your own picture of flowers or whatever - have it scanned at a Kinko type place and go from there. 10/5/98

Various Labeling Techniques from Shucky
The ink in my wonderful HP printer is not waterproof, so I approach my labels in two ways.

1) For anything in a regular jar or bottle, I use black ink on 8"x11" adhesive label paper, cut the labels by hand with an exacto knife and steel ruler, and make the labels up from Word.

2) For anything in a fancy jar or bottle, I make tags from print/paint shop programs or art I have downloaded from the Web. These I print in colour with design work that accents the container. Each design is different for each product. During the year I tie them on with a ribbon, or metallic thread at Christmastime; or I just poke them in beside the product before I shrink-wrap it.

I love my shrink-wrap machine, and I'm so glad I have it. I haven't had anyone complain they couldn't smell the soaps, because they say they can; and the labels stay very nice because they are protected. Folks tend to be impressed.

This year I made a really nice soap for giving to friends. It was in layers, tot look like a fruit cake; the bottom layer was brown with red and green marbled blobs, and the top layer was the colour of cream icing. Handcut, I made labels with a jolly black border, used an Old English font, illustrated them with holly and nutcrackers with olive and red, and was able to start handing them out last week. So far, people have been knocked out by them.

No more labels ruined by humidity, and I can be as creative as I wish.

Water Proofing Labels
Use chunks of solid wax-with a square edge. Just apply some pressure and run the wax (at a 45 degree angle, using the corner where the length and thickness of the *brick* meet as the contact point on the paper) down the page of labels holding the page secure to the table at the top. I found that with the bricks of parowax, four overlapping *stripes* covers the whole 8 1/2 x 11 sheet. This is much better and far less time consuming than doing the labels individually when they're already on the bottle. You'll get a few *flakes* of wax loose on the page, just lightly brush them off with your hand.

I experimented with industrial floor wax, Future floor wax and a few other things. None of them worked as well as the Parowax, and they all tended to make the label darken or yellow and/or cause it to be stiff. I can't remember if I tried car wax or not. By all means experiment! If you find something that works better, go for it! (and let me know! ;-)
Sherri-Lee Gagnon

Water Proofing Labels Revisited
I just tried using clear, transparent "Contact" paper ~ the shelf liner type that comes in rolls~. I cut squares larger than my labels and placed over the label area (used on plastic squeeze bottles). So far it is sticking nicely and it really is clear. Real test will come when the bottles go into the showers. Next try will be on glass. Hey, if it doesn't work out, I still have something to line my shelves and drawers with!
Iris Emily

Water Resistant labels
I print my labels on my bubble jet printer, and the ink tends to run quite readily UNLESS I put the printed paper in the oven at 250F for about 10 minutes or so. The paper won't brown or burn (Paper burns at 450F- remember Farenheit 451?) and the heat 'sets' the ink so it won't run. This does not waterproof it, but it helps, and if a little moisture gets under the label, this will help keep the ink from running.
Peggy Dodd 9/28/98

Coloring Labels with Artists Paint
I wanted to make labels for bottles using the 2x4 avery printer labels but really wanted at least some background color. I took some gloss artist paint (Deco?) and thinned it out with water, then used a sea sponge to sponge paint the labels very lightly. When dry it did not curl up, nor did it affect the printer! Looks nice! I did use a bold lettering so it would show up well against the colors.
Deborah Scott

Spray Painting Labels
Mix some paint and water in a pump bottle and mist the paper with it before printing labels.

"Laminated" Labels
I got my soap labels made with two blank spaces.One for the soap type name and one to rubberstamp in a leaf or flower,etc.I can use different color papers and ink to get varied attractive results and even though most soaps just have that paper wrapper,I get many comments on how nicely they are wrapped,so it must work.I had wrapped each bar in lined tissue,etc but it took so long and the papers got yukked so easily at shows I needed something simpler. So the few seconds to rubber stamp saves me a minute or two to fully wrap each bar.

As far as labels for lip balms,small jars of eo blends,etc. I now use paper with tape over it. There are two widths of regular magic tape in our Walmart.They work for almost all the small labels I use that are straight strips. But I love having a cute,herby label on the top of lip balms. Now follow this if you can, I don't know if I'll explain it clearly enough: Take a round white label the right size for your lip balm lid.Cut it off the big sheet,leaving it on backing. Rubber stamp image on it.I use a rectangular large herb stamp and it captures a nice portion covering the whole label. Leave on backing.Take a piece of the large clear packing tape that is long enough to cover label. Put sticky side of tape over right side of stamped label. Press together. Trim tape and backing from label. Now you have a "laminated label" for the top of the lip balm.

Labels for Lip Balm Tubes
I use the 1x2-5/8" address labels & then run it the length of the tube. That way you can see if the tube has been opened or not (torn label).

More Labels for Lip Balm Tubes
I use Avery 08167 (5667 or 5267). I make 2 labels, one with the name and a separate one with the ingredients. They both fit the length of the tube.
Connie Henrie

Packaging Milk Baths
I put a cupful (about 170gms)in a 4X9 plastic bag, then into a 4X8 brown lunch bag which I ran through one of those paper-rippler gadgets. Folded the top over 3 times, stapled, name label on front, how-to and ingredients on the back. Silly little raffia bow around the folded over part just for fun. I think it looks cute. I'll tell buyers to transfer the contents into their own pretty little jar. Didn't have any scoops, but what the heck.
Anita Watts 6/20/98

Containers for Bath Salts
I put my bath salts in plastic containers (like the type you put left overs in). I like the plastic ones incase they break in the bathroom.

Bath Fizzies that Fizzle
I had made a large batch of these wonderful things, placed them in corked bottles, placed them in tightly closed lidded jars, and ... no matter what I did, no matter what natural preservatives I used .... the same thing happened: and more (eeeeek!!!) I had a *lovely* mess as bottles and jars oooozed and gooed and made messes all over the place. Thank God I didn't sell them *first*!@!!&()&)(*&)(&

Now I sell them as salt scrub/glo/bathsalt "kits". The person can use the dry mix of salts etc. alone ... or add the oil a little at a time, as they use the product in varied ways.

Packaging Facial Mixes
Suggest 2 parts for the consumer to blend together. Depending on how upmarket you are targetting your audience you could have:
  • Part 1 Dry ingredients
  • Part 2 Wet ingredients (and don't tell it could just be spring water)
  • Part 3 The Bowl for mixing
  • Part 4 The Spoon for mixing
  • Part 5 The Brush for applying
and so on and on. And you could have refils of part 1 and 2. Or just keep it simple as part 1 and 2 alone.

It came to mind when I read your posts about the plastic packs with the internal seal that has to be broken to allow two liquids to mix to create a cooling pack, for example. I suspect, though that this would be a complex thing to fill and seal, so maybe just two phials to mix together, or one to tip into another, re-cap and shake, might do the trick.
Melanie Dunstan

Bath Salts Bottles
Save bottles, 'beer bottles' (brown), red bottles, wine bottles, (green/etc.) save as many coloured bottles you can, then put the bottle in a very thick cloth material, (we use very thick muslin cloth, but a drop cloth is just as good as long as it is thick)... wrap it very well, sides and everything, it's advisable to wear safety goggles, put on any gloves you can find and then hammer the well covered glass and then when you are done, sort out what you want and use some shards for petals, stem, sun, trees, you name it, any design you want. If you are not sure what you want, draw a rough draft on paper and have the shards closely match your drawing.... now, use carpenters glue, (very carefully) put the glass on the pot that is already glued... keep doing this till you have your design completed but BE CAREFUL the ENTIRE time! When the glue has dried completly, use oh I forgot what that is called, but you know what is used between grouts, ... white/offwhite caulking?.... get a bucket of that stuff and be extremely careful when you apply it, do not 'slide' your fingers up and down the broken glass, but in a way you cannot cut yourself... apply it as thick as you can , don't worry about covering the glass... when you have completed this, get a cloth or just use your hands and run water over the pot just to wash off enough so you can see the designs... you want to leave the caulking in the grouts. You can also do this with marbles, mosaic tiles, many things... it is very pretty!

This is not a very involved project at all. I'd say from start to finish, at least an hour, depending on the size of the clay pot and also depending on the design you want... It can be as little as 30 minutes!

Sometimes I get tired of giving just bath/body/household products... so every year a little of 'something' different is nice to add in!

Bottle Stoppers
Glue a round colored marble to a cork. Sounds simple, but looks very elegant, and is be easy to do.
Karen W.

Bottle Stopper Cover
Just thought I would mention a neat idea I saw with corks. I was in WalMart (naturally), and they were selling our seashell soap dishes, with a small bar of glycerin soap and a small bottle of bath get. THe bottle has a cork, and they sealed it with wax around the lip. Interesting idea I thought. Then when I poppped the cork, I realized that the cork itself was covered with a stretched plastic film, and the wax was really to hold the film in place over the cork! Would solve any problems with "sanitary" concerns...

Wedding Cake SoapWedding Cake Soap
Why NOT make a cake out of soap? Who eats wedding cake anyways (And for those that do, they could have a choice...) Primary mould is a square soap container with overly-rounded corners, to look like a true wedding cake. Inside can be swirled, marbled, or dark brown vanilla with chopped up bits of red and brown M&P to look just like the real thing....

And the icing on it? Remember Melinda Coss' new book? About to come out? She tells you (shows you?) exactly how to ICE your soap. Pretty flowers and stuff.

Vwallah. The new wedding sensation. A keepsake forever - or at least until the next bath. A top tier for the wedding couple to use for the first year of their marriage (or at least the first few months). Something that everyone can take home and enjoy, instead of an expensive confectionery that tradition dictates we eat (and get heartburn from) whether we enjoy it or not.....
BJ O'Dwyer via Melanie Dunstan

Scenting Packages
When I ship my orders out, I put some droppers of eo's in the box filled with peanuts... sometimes I just put some droppers of eo blends on tissue paper. You can also put a paper towel or napkin on top of the business cards and use droppers right on top of the paper towel/napkin to prevent oil stains.
Linda Coffin

Bath Oil Tip
Bath oils are a great place to display all types of things. (as long as those things don't self destruct!) My favorite is sea shells and beach stones. This summer i collected so many wonderful shells, but very tiny ones. They get lost with the larger ones. But when i drop a few in the bath oil bottles, they show up like gems! I have to admit, the best ones are in MY bath oil bottle, but the ones i give away are still pretty ;-)
Ginger Stathelson

Another Bath Oil Tip
There is something to be said for simplicity in design. I got some pale green Italian bottles for a sensuous massage oil. I designed a tag for it that matched both the bottle's colour and the name of the scent, did a shrink-wrap on the cork, tied the tag on with metallic thread, and shrink-wrapped it. My massage therapist was impressed with the overall design, and the oil itself was blended from sweet almond, hazelnut, walnut, and macademia nut oils with my secret dusky scent. Though mine was simpler-looking than those in the stores, it was far more elegant and professional looking.

Packaging Tips from Tammy
We decided to keep it basic and inexpensive so our packaging didn't end up costing more than our product! I scanned in a background of scrunched up brown paper bag, a piece of ripped corrugated cardboard and some twine. I then added text and this became the basis of our business cards and labels. We wrap our soap in saran and then put them into the small snack-sized brown paper lunch bags. On the front is our brown printed label. We fold down the top of the bag - punch two holes and string through twine tied into a bow!

The milk bath and bath salts are in clear glass apothocary jars with our brown labels on the front and the necks are tied with twine. We then had a few businesses inquire - so we had to make up packets to send out! I made up a brochure using Microsoft Publisher - which tells who we are and how we got started, information about our products, new things we will have coming out, and we've included an article on "Why You Should Use Handcrafted Soap!" We also have copied that article off and given it to shop owners to give out to customers! In the packets we've included samples of our soap.

We cut little 1" x 2" sized bars and put them into a clear plastic organizer I made - on the order of a jewelry or shoe organizer! We then labelled the front of each one. I then made a large mailing envelope out of brown grocery bags and punched holes in about 1 1/2" all around and threaded twine through and tied. I printed the address labels from our same brown background! So far. . .everyone who has seen our packaging has been impressed. Our local community apple orchard has a gift shop and she bought wholesale from us. She also runs a store for the months of Nov. & Dec. in our mall and will have our things there as well! We have also sent a packet to a local beauty salon which is in the process of buying another building and opening a rejuvenation spa! We have an appointment with a local candle/gift shop on Friday - as she wants to buy wholesale as well!
Tammy Gargano

Packaging for Bath Bombs
I put my bath bombs in candy boxes. I can fit 6 bath bombs in each box. The bombs are small, bonbon size.

"Sealing" Wax
For homemade solutions, try:
Sent to me by Debra (In reply to message left on

Melt paraffin wax on a low heat, allow it to cool a little so the wax thickens, then "paint" one or more coats on the top of the bottle with a paintbrush. OnceYou have a couple of coats on, let them cool and harden, then turn the bottle upside down and dip it in the wax, until you have the thickness you want. For color, melt wax crayons in with the wax, which will give whatever color you want. It es very pretty when finished. Then tie some raffia or ribbon to match the color of the wax.

I've also seen the suggestion of melting old candles or candles stubs instead of buying wax. Using a double-boiler or a can submerged in water would work great, decreasing the chances of igniting the melting wax.
Kelly Lamontagne

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