One of the things that I agonized over when I first began to ship beads was how to pack them. I worried that they would break, but I did not want excessive packaging either. I have shipped several hundred packages now, and for those just getting started, I thought that I would share what I do.
A little disclaimer, I am shipping mostly sets of smaller beads – earring sets or bracelet size sets (up to 15mm). I have also shipped solid larger beads this way (up to 2 inches (50 mm) in diameter, and some 3 inches (75 mm) in length). I would not use this packing method on more delicate or sculptural beads.
First, I put each set of beads into a little zip bag. This is to keep the beads from going all over the place when they are unwrapped; who wants their customers crawling under a table to round up your beads? Not me! Next, I arrange the beads in a line near the bottom of the corner of a 6 inch x 6 inch (15 cm square) piece of bubble wrap. I reuse bubble wrap whenever I can – I just cut the pieces from wrap that I have received.
I roll the wrap, starting from the corner to about halfway. I try and make the wrap pretty tight around the beads – that way they don’t shift around while they are traveling through the mail. This is actually the trickiest part (getting the wrap nice and tight).
I then fold the ends in.
I continue to roll the wrap into a tubular roll-up. I do not tape it at this point.
I then put the roll-up onto a square sheet of tissue paper. I make sure that the pretty printed side is down so that it is on the outside, because I am compulsive about things.
I roll the tissue and fold the edges just like the bubble wrap.
Once the wrap is done, I put a tiny bit of clear tape to hold the tube closed.
This is now ready to go into a bubble wrap envelope. I also include an invoice with a written message and a business card.
Of course this only takes a few seconds. I hope that this helps someone who may be paralyzed at the thought of shipping beads for the first time. This is the conclusion of this exciting tutorial. Perhaps I will write a sequel soon on how I make and attach labels to the envelope.
UPDATE! Related tutorials: