One of the goals I set for myself when I opened my Etsy shop was to try and use recycled packaging materials wherever possible. At first this was easy, as I reused the packaging my supplies came in. As business picked up, I started making my way through the pile of packaging I’d been saving over the years because I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away (pack-rats, unite!!) Then, I started begging friends for their used packaging materials (which got more than one funny look, oh well!). However, one day I simply had to face the fact that I was going to have to come up with a better solution.
I looked around for recycled paper bubble mailers, but no one seemed to carry them. The only option I could see was to buy recycled paper regular mailers and add my own bubble wrap, which was ok, but not ideal. Then, one day I was looking at my pile of magazines that were headed to the recycle bin and a lightbulb went off! (a CFL one of course, lol) Why didn’t I just make my own from the pages of the magazines?
So, I did! Here’s a brief photo tutorial, I’m sure there are a million ways to do this. Note that I use labels when I ship, so the “decorations” on the pages aren’t a problem.
(click any photo to see it larger)
First, gather your supplies:
You will need: bubble wrap (see below for a link to a shop which sells recycled bubble wrap)
an old magazine, newspaper, brown bag or some kind of pretty paper, scissors, and either a glue stick or double sided tape. oh! and packing tape!
Cut out two magazine pages to act as top and bottom of the mailer. The covers work best because they are the thickest, but you can also glue-stick two thinner pages together. Remember you will need a “flap” to fold over, so make one page about an inch and a half longer than the other.
Using glue stick or double-sided tape, attach the bubble wrap to the inside of both the front and back pieces. It helps later to leave a little space at the outer edges and also where you will fold over the “flap”.
I made these using a roll of regular bubble wrap, but have since found that UHaul sells bubble wrap made from recycled bottles. Even better! (they also have biodegradeable packing peanuts, recycled cardboard boxes AND they have their own flex-car program! Go UHaul!!!!)