TIP TUESDAY {Packaging}: Top 10 TOOLS to make your Packaging ROCK!

I think that the packaging of a gift is just as important as the inside.  It is the icing on the cake.  It is first enticing glimpse of the awesomeness inside and whether you are giving a gift or selling an item, how the packaging looks determines the first impression.  

Here is a list of the Top 10 TOOLS 
to make your Packaging ROCK!
Check back for updated ideas for each tool!

1.) Fine-tipped pen
Having a nice pen – usually black – will make the writing on your card or tag look pristine.  Even if you don’t have the best hand writing, a fine-tip pen can help the message look elegant and give it a more professional look.  I love to either use a ultra fine-tipped black Sharpie on cardstock or glossy surfaces or a black fine tipped Vision Uni-ball on regular paper.   And if you want to go an even extra mile to add sophistication to your gifting, you can use a dark shade of a color that coordinates with the rest of the gift.  Dark red, purple, blue, pink or brown can be great compliments to coordinating color schemes.

                                (Need ideas for enhancing your handwritten message? Checkout 5 ideas  HERE)

2.) Brads
Using a brad to attach layered tags together or a strip of ribbon to a card is a simple way to add detail and character to a card or tag.  It gives the project some dimension and adds a level of sophistication.  Brads come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, I often find myself using simple little silver ones.  Once again, this style is so versatile and can be used with any variety of color or pattern.

3.) Hole punch
There are a few sizes of hole punches that can come in handy for different projects, but to start off you should have a simple handheld single punch.  This tool allows you to easily add a hole to a tag to add a ribbon and then tie it to a gift.  It also can be used to add a bow to a paper plate, card, paper bag, etc by punching two holes which allow a ribbon to be added.  For such a cheap investment, you get a reliable tool that will be well used.

4.) Ribbon Variety/ Jute (brown, thick twine-like cord)
Adding ribbon or jute to a project is like adding icing to the cake.  You don’t need a ton of it, but if it is not there, you will notice.  You can start out your collection of ribbon with neutrals like black, white and cream and then add hues coordinating with colors you work with often.  I find myself using Jute often because it is so neutral and seems to be the right width when tying on a tag.  While there are a variety of patterned ribbons available, I find myself using a lot of solids because not only do they go with a variety of patterned paper, but they also allow the paper to be the star of the show.

5.)Paper cutter
If you make cards or work with paper a lot you probably already have one.  But if you have not made this purchase yet, I would recommend it.  Paper cutters are awesome because they take the guess work out of cutting a straight line on your own with scissors.  It is also invaluable because when you need to make precise measurements - like a square to fit nicely on your tag- you are going to be spot on.  And while I have only owned a few, I would recommend a blade that is circular and rolls OR one with a handle that cuts as it is pushed down as opposed to one that slides on a wire (My wire slider blade had to be replaced A LOT, which made it expensive and it didn't even last a year before the wire it was supposed to slide on started to fray! Talk about a major disappointment)

6.) Paper Variety
 For obvious reasons, having a variety of paper to choose from can make creating a tag or card a lot of fun– especially if you are trying to match a certain wrapping paper or gift bag.  In this variety it is nice to have some solid colors to compliment vibrant patterns and a variety of paper weights including cardstock which makes for a more durable tag.  And your paper variety does not have to just be new stock.  It can include cute left-over wrapping paper too small to wrap anything (but too cute to throw away!), scraps of paper from previous projects or even paper recycled from mailings, used cards or packaging.  Anything that you can tape or staple down is fair game.
 (Using paper scraps, you can really upcycle pantry containers to Gift Cookies...No Plate!)

7.) Tag Punch
You can save yourself a bundle of time if you invest in a Tag Punch.  With a simple squeeze you will get a quick tag.  You can even layer two different patterns for a more sophisticated look.  Tag Punches are useful not only for making a tag that can be attached to a gift bag or present, but can also be used to make embellishments used to adorn cards or projects.  There are a lot of tag shapes available, but if you pick a neutral shape, you will find yourself using it for a variety of gifting themes ranging from a masculine décor to a nursery theme to wedding celebration not to mention Christmas and Birthdays!

8.) Treat Bags
Clear treat bags are one of the best tools you can use in packaging.  Because they are clear, they will go with ANY color combination or theme.  They can be tied-off at the top with a ribbon, jute, or material.  They can be folded down and then covered by a scrapbook paper folded over the top attached by a staple.  Or they can even be flipped upside down to cover a homemade sucker treat and then tied off.  They come in a variety of sizes and can even include zip tops and so they work for such a huge variety of items like homemade treats or small gifts.  They are super cheap per bag and are incredibly versatile.  They take a great homemade treat or gift and make it sophisticated.

9.) Double-sided Permanent Tape
This adhesive has several benefits First of all, because it is double-sided, you don’t see it therefore adding a more professional look Secondly, because it is permanent your embellishments that you are adding will stay. (For really heavy items, just use a glue gun – yes, even on paper!) And lastly, this adhesive is not messy and does not leave a residue on your fingers, your card or tag, or your working surface.  And for small embellishments, you can easily rip it into even smaller pieces to fit.  It is fast and you do not need to wait for it to dry.

10.)  Stapler
A simple stapler can be used in a variety of ways.  It can add character to a tag when you attach embellishments with it by giving the tag depth.  It can also be used to attach scrapbook paper to the top of a treat bag ensuring stability.  It can be used to layer embellishments together or to quickly add a ribbon piece.  And the possibilities are endless.  It is a cheap and fast way to add a glimmer of metal to any project you are working on.

(Like to see some examples of exposed Staples and how they add depth? 
Checkout the 5 Step 5 Minute Card)

With these TOOLS, you can really create a powerful impact on your packaging and embellishment development.  They are versatile enough that they can go with ANY color or pattern combination which allows you creativity and flexibility.  

Look for more on TIP TUESDAY to add ideas 
to your portfolio of gifting.  

Happy Tuesday and Happy Gifting!

- Sabrina


  1. So I Had To Look Up What Color Jute Is....These Are Great Tips For The Non Creative Soul Such As Myself...Love it

  2. What a great list - I got it all and am working on making my packages rock!

  3. I look forward to seeing your projects on your blog!


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