Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Can Do It Myself!

So it's a toddler rant. One I've heard I sang to my mother endless times and what I'm hearing now from my two year old. Let's just say that sometimes independence never dies- sometimes (always about everything if you ask my husband) I still say it.

I have been frustrated lately on managing my shipping costs. I went to my friendly office supply store last week to get some shipping envelopes as I had run out of my stock of ones I had salvaged. Holy Tamales Batman! They wanted maybe $1.49 for a bubble mailer? That's crazy, right? That's how much it costs to ship my stamps- I'm supposed to double my shipping costs just to buy the envelope it goes in?
In my ever-searching quest for fantastic product packaging (that I can do all by myself) I've settled on brown wrapping paper tied with jute and I attach a cute little handmade wooden skeleton key and an engraved cardstock tag. Cutesy- but I use my laser engraver to do it. That's what I bought it for, right? To use it?

So I was packing up a larger stamp last week and it occured to me that I was out of shipping envelopes in that size. I really didn't have time to go to the post office or office shop to get one becuase... well I wanted to go to the zoo with my son. That was way more important to me than getting an envelope, driving back across town to the post office, and then scurrying to the zoo. The gorillas are only active in the morning! We had to go right away!

I decided to use some of the brown wrapping paper I've been using to package my orders as the outside packaging material- or envelope only it was messier than that. I mean it's a 50lb weight paper- very sturdy. Plus- I bought a 200 foot roll of it and it's a mega four feet high. I paid $25 for it from Amazon with free shipping. If I figure that a 9x12 envelope takes about double that for total square inches (conservative estimate I think)- which is 216 square inches, I could make over 500 9x12 envelopes on my own. Five Hundred Fancy Envelopes! If that's all I used the kraft paper for, it would cost me 5 cents an envelope. Of course I use it for other things and my envelopes will generally be smaller but hey! I can save nearly $1.45 an envelope- even more if I buy a lower weight paper. I know, I know- I'm not including labor costs, electricity, glue or tape or whatever but once I spend time making the file, it will only be a few short minutes before I have myself an fancy envelope- a process I can reuse. I usually tape over the store-bought envelopes anyway becuase they are a bit flimsy- certainly not 50lb weight paper! I figure it will come out in the wash- at least i'm not have to spend time on ordering or driving to find shipping envelopes. Silliness.

How's that for independence. (That bumblebee song that I sing to my kids is now in my head... "Won't my mama be so proud of me..." Hmm. Doesn't matter- I'll love my homemade envelopes.)

I didn't want to take the time to create a cut-file in CorelDraw so I used a flat block of wood to measure and cut- much like a Christmas wrapping. I think though that I could totally create a cut file that makes fancy envelopes- I even have a bone folder around here somewhere. Anywho- so I will post about how that whole process goes and maybe even share the cut file with you in case you wanted to make your own.

Side note on independence- I'm also going to try and make my own laundry soap. (Yes, really!) It's something that has intrigued me for a while but while I was at my office job I rarely had the time to brush my hair- much less make soap. Now that I'm more flexible (although still very busy, but a happy fulfilled busy), I'm going to try to make it all by myself. Me Do It!

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