Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A lot of cereal

A month has slipped by in sweet summer time...it's like no other time in the year!

The kids go back to school on September 1st and my son is getting ready for the big transition to 'Secondaire'.  Here is Quebec, there is no middle school, just 5 years of high school with the big kids.  It feels ( to a mother, at least) like a lot for a boy who just turned 12 yesterday!   He is going to the same school as his older sister ( a very good thing, as they are close and she is sensible without being smothering) and it is an excellent International Baccalaureat program.   We'll just see how it goes.  None of his friends from elementary school are going to this program, so it will be a chance to re-invent himself.  Haven't you ever wished for that chance?

To ease myself back into work-autumn-blogging and the rest, I made this funny little tutorial about the way I wrap and ship things.  But what it really highlights is the incredible amount of boxed cereal that we eat in my family.  Of course, if my Etsy shop were booming, I'd soon be through all these boxes I've stockpiled and then I would have to beg my neighbours to save boxes for me or scout through their big blue recycling boxes at the curb before pick-up day.   Really, I need to stop - I'm enough of a scrounger as it is!  ( For the life of me, I can't pass up a discarded bookshelf at the side of the road...can you?)

Here are the basic tools that I use to make my shipping envelopes.  Unless I'm shipping large round beads, most of my work gets shipped this way:  this is to keep shipping costs down so that the envelope can pass through the aptly named Canada Post 'Slot of Doom'.  ( The package can be no deeper than 20 mm, or 13/16 inches)  This way of creating an envelope creates a rigid springy package that is fairly flat and can withstand a fair amount of handling.  I've had one breakage only since I started wrapping this way and that was a bead with projections...so therefore, understandably fragile!

I do this as each box empties as part of my morning clean-up routine...

Open up the cereal box


 Then, flip it over and on the centre back panel, make a score line with a bluntish knife (or with a bone folder tool).  It's really important that it not be in the centre, but to one side or the other.  This is to make the final fold want to sit to one side or the other.  I often just eyeball it because I can't find my ruler...note close-up of score on the printed side of the box.



Flip over and fold nicely with your bone folder (or the soft edge of your knife...)



Now, fold the fold over to the side that it naturally wants to be (because it is off-centre) .


Then tape it down and cut off the bitty ends that stick out. (this instruction is pictured below) Also, cut along the seam edge of the box through both layers on the edge opposite the fold you've just completed using the existing box fold/edge as a guide.  Now the envelope is nearly done and just requires a couple of folds to finish.




Then swing it around and on the open side make two score lines on the shiny side of the edge opposite the first taped double fold - again, one larger than the other!  FOLD....


Over lap and tape securely


Voila - the completed envelope!


For small orders I cut this in half and get two shipping envelopes from one cereal box.

I use origami 'star' envelopes for my inner package.  The folded paper (from whatever cardstock I can buy inexpensively) provides extra padding and rigidity.  Stuff that you are shipping should not be able to move about within the package if it is fragile.  I just really like the way these look, and they seem to give me some kind of mental tidiness around completing an order.  ( In complete contrast to the chaos from which it came, I might add.)  This system evolved over time and now I have all the components prepared ahead of actual shipping days which really helps me.


The next grid shows the origami package being filled.



Closing it up - they are surprisingly rigid!


Yup, it fits!



The final flourish of linen thread (collected over the course of my very pack-rat life)....


Done and shipped.  It probably seems a little weird since you can buy padded mailers for a song these days, but I haven't had great results with them as the Canada Post restrictions make them too bulky.  Besides, have you ever noticed how much cardboard there is all around?  Love cardboard, so useful....plus, as I said, we eat a lot of cereal around here....

Check back for news about the Bead Soup Blog Party and an introduction to my partner!  As you can see, I am starting to change my blog template and am resting with a neutral background until I decide what to do.







12 comments:

urracaa.com said...

I like your idea of using cereal boxes, although the pics of the cereal box are a bit too close up for me to know if I fully understand what it is that you are actually doing. It looks like your are folding it inside out and "getting rid" of the side of the box by doubling it up. Is that right?

Love the origami stuff.

Courtney said...

I absolutely love this! Thank you!!

mairedodd said...

this is just the BEST! thank you... i will definitely be trying the shipping envelopes... it is old torn jeans that fall prey around here to the inner packaging - i do love yours...
i have about 3 boxes in recycling right now to pull out and play with...

Genevieve said...

I'd like to start making my own envelopes - I am trying your method!
Oh my, we are so alike. We have many, many things found via "curb alert". The best of course was a sailboat - no kidding - a working, complete sailboat, sails and all!

Doreen said...

You are so talented! I must try this!

Birgitta Lejonklou said...

That is a fantastic way of recykling!
I should take on something like that.....great tip :) and the origami is wonderful ...still have some of Yours left and some I resent

Claire Maunsell said...

if anyone else is having trouble visualizing this,I'm thinking of making a 2 minute video of the process - would that help?

DK said...

This is great! Also, I would love a video as I can't seem to get it looking right.

I've been trying to figure out how to ship small things inexpensively and in an ecologically friendly way. I really don't have any background in origami, but it seems like it would be easy enough to find appropriate origami-type videos on YouTube.

Jenni said...

I love your way of packaging..both the cereal box idea and the prettiness of the origami style..gorgeous and very artistic.

Palimpa Lim said...

I love your origami packages and keep them all in a little box. Looking at these pictures reminds me on the feeling that I always have when one of your cerial-envelopes has arrived. It's a bit like christmas... :)

Kegénie said...

Excellent idée ! Très beau blog. J'ai également noté l'idée des petites boîtes en pâte polymère. A très bientôt !

Excellent idea! Very nice blog. I also noted the idea of small boxes polymer clay. See you soon!

SuziCQ said...

Thank you for this! This is so much nicer and neater than the way I do it! I do recycle all those cardboard, cereal-type food boxes and use them for packaging (and other art uses) because it just seems wasteful not to and I hate buying packaging if I have something else that works. Mine don't look good like these though :(