In the beginning I was super opposed to using shrink wrap, because I felt it went against the true appeal of natural soap. Don't you hate it when you fret and worry over something only to realize it doesn't matter to anyone else in the least? What I've found is that people really like the tidy, shiny look of the shrink wrapped bars, and not a single person has admonished me for using plastic as opposed to all natural packaging like I had feared.
I print my labels myself, which took a lot of tweaking to get to this point, but I really like them now. With the holidays drawing closer, I'm trying to make my labels within a week of cutting them so I don't get too backed up. Life is easier this way for sure. I also love the look of a cigar band and I try to find paper that compliments the color design of the soap. If I can do this when I make the labels, it's all ready to go when they are fully cured.
I cut the bands out of scrapbook paper (oh so many choices!) in one inch strips. I use a simple off white card stock for the front tag and sticker labels for the ingredients on the back. When I wrap them, I weigh each bar and and hand print the weight on the ingredient list. I use 4x6 in shrink bags and cut about a half inch off of the sealed end. When you apply the heat gun, the ends remain slightly open to allow for plenty of customer sniffing as well as air circulation for the soap. The end result is a nice looking bar that can withstand some bumps without bruising. Even the inevitable dropping from time to time doesn't leave any significant marks or dents. See the photo at the top of my blog page for a look at my finished bars.
Learning to use the shrink bags and heat gun requires some practice and patience until you get your own groove going that feels comfortable to you. I had to watch a bunch of you tube videos, but be prepared to waste plenty of bags in the beginning...you will get the hang of it eventually. I definitely recommend watching Jen's video from A&N Suds and Such a few times for starters. She's so down to earth and funny, plus she
never sweats the small stuff. Amy from Great Cakes Soapworks has a really good one too - plus she's just a real sweetheart in person (one of our local experts who's always kind enough to offer advice or help of any kind.who I feel super lucky to know!).
I'd love to hear some other solutions you all might have come up for your own packaging quandaries. What woks best for you? Well, it's off to bed for me. Another Monday of real work, not making soap, is on the agenda again. Many of you know what I'm talkin about, I know. Nighty Night Friends!
PS...what do you all think about the updated look of my blog? I'm kinda loving it....much more appealing.
Reminder: Lunar Eclipse, Winter Sunset and Suit & Tie are all available to purchase as of 10/19/15. Just CLICK HERE to buy now!