Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Packing Plates

I really hate packing peanuts, don't you? They are messy and they get all over everything, and unless you want to buy those five-foot-high bags, they are really kind of expensive. And then you have to store them somewhere. Not to mention, they are not particularly environmentally friendly. When I did a lot more shipping than I do now, I used to get the wheat-starch biodegradable packing peanuts, which smell like popcorn but turn truly disgusting if they get wet, and absorb moisture easily from damp environments - no storing those in the cellar.

Lately that isn't a problem - I don't do enough shipping to need a lot of packing materials, but I was still looking for a way to bring down the costs. Double boxing is usually considered the way to go for things to arrive safely, but you can end up with a gargantuan box that costs a mint to ship. Yes, the buyer pays for shipping, but I still hate to send someone an invoice that includes an unpleasant surprise.

Last night I packed up a set of four plates, to go to Colorado. Hating to shop is the mother of ingenuity! I didn't want to brave the crowds even at Staples for packing peanuts.

I happen to have at home, left over from the former occupant, a whole bunch of foam insulating board. I used this to create secure, compact packaging.The four plates measure 11 inches in diameter; I got them securely packed into a 14 x 14 x 12 box.

Two bubble-wrapped plates with cardboard between fit into the ring; then another solid square of foam board, and the second pair of plates the same way. A solid layer tops it off, and then I cut the corners of the box to fold down, saving two inches off the dimensions.

The plates can't move, and they can't touch anything that could break them. the wall of the box is supported all around so if it is dropped from height - which it will be - or things dropped upon it - which they will be - it will hold firm. Best of all the foam is light, so whole thing was only 13 pounds.


-Rob, Simple Circle Studios said...

That is genius! And that foam is not all that expensive if you have to buy it.
I have been using a combination of reused packing peanuts and tightly packed, crumpled paper with success, but that has just been for smaller items. I will have to keep this in mind for shipping larger items.

Linda Starr said...

Great idea to ship plates securely.

Chris said...

And you could offer to pay return shipping by refund to folks who shipped the empty back to you for re-use/recycling!

bptakoma said...

this foam stuff is great for making slump and hump molds. Hit the locsl goodwill store and pick up an electric carving knife...

Lori Watts said...

BP - I've used it to make slump molds before, but never thought to use my electric knife! Thanks for that, will be trying it soon.