Hello, I'm so excited to be guest posting on one of my favorite blogs today!! I'm Jane, and I blog at The Borrowed Abode - usually about rental decorating, furniture building, or DIY projects, but right now I'm on a craft fair and retail merchandising kick. For the last two years I've also attempted to run Janery, my handmade home & pet accessory business, in my free time.
When Jenn asked me to share one thing I'm loving this fall, I couldn't think of a single decor, food, or fashion trend - because I'm suffering from a severe case of Craft Fair Brain this fall. Have you heard of this? It's the condition where one is completely obsessed with preparing for a craft fair. Symptoms may include overzealous pinning of craft booth images, coming home from work every night to craft for hours on end, and lying awake at night pondering the tiniest details in product packaging.
Yep, I've got all those symptoms, because I was accepted to Art on the Avenue, a huge festival on Oct. 6 in Alexandria, VA. For some reason I'm just as excited about my product hang tags and packaging as I am about creating the products.
I know not all of you have handmade product shops, but I think that some of these packaging ideas may be inspirational for holiday gift wrapping, too!
Who knew a brown paper bag could look so good?
Source: Whisker Graphics
I know it's a huge trend to use brown kraft paper packaging and business cards right now, but I can't help loving it. It's eco-friendly, affordable, and exudes a warmer, more rustic feeling that I'm drawn to. Of course, this packaging idea would come in more handy as "gift wrap" or for packages ordered online. At the show itself I'll need to have my products visible, which leads me to . .
Paper Banding, or Wrap-Arounds
Source: Papier Market on Etsy
This is another look that I'm loving - and it's one that's easily DIYed. This example, from Papier Market on Etsy, appears to be letterpress - but a similar look can be achieved with a custom rubber stamp or two. I think wrap-around paper bands make a shop's products look much more "legit" to a customer.
This modified wrap band, made from a simple business card and twine, may be an even easier way to get the boutique look at DIY prices. I had a blast looking at all of her Etsy listings - she's done an amazing job with her branding and packaging.
Source: Misopolis on Etsy
But it's not all about brown paper packages or items tied up with string!
Source: Little Minnow via Renegade Craft Fair Austin
This scarf packaging also stands out to me, and I think I could try this style for my tea towels and pillow covers. The clear plastic bag keeps the product neatly folded and displayed, while the graphic and bold info card makes the contents clear. I especially like that the "handmade in Austin, TX" part is proudly displayed.
I've laid awake at night dreaming of Hang Tags.
Source: Palette Royale on Etsy
Because items such as my pillow covers range in price, and because I want to convey the different care instructions for them (some are machine wash, some dry clean), I'm designing hang tags for them. One side will have a scrap of fabric sewn to it, and the other will have my logo, care instructions, "handmade in Vienna, VA", and the price. (At the time of writing, I'm not quite done with the design - so I can't share it yet! Sorry!)
Finally, I keep wishing I sewed tiny enough items to package in cute hand-stamped boxes like these, just so that I could wrap them with fun washi tape.
Source: Petit Plat on Etsy
That's just a peek at the packaging ideas I'm obsessing over right now. Handmade packaging offers so many ways to express creativity, and even a simple little effort can make your products stand out amongst your customer's other purchases at an event such as a craft fair. Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas, and after October 6th I hope you'll stop by my blog to check out some of my new rental decorating projects!
Jenn, thanks so much for letting me guest post today! :)
from Jenn: Jane, thank you for stopping by in the midst of getting ready for your upcoming fair! If you all live in or around Alexandria, VA -- go see Jane at the fair! I LOVE Jane's products (see more about her pillows here).