Happiness Comes in Brown Packages

by Lindy on May 4, 2011

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I’m behind on some blog-keeping and realized I haven’t reported my Half.com earnings for March:

1 book sold = $11.00


But that makes for a pretty boring post on it’s own, so I thought I’d liven it up by teaching you my cheap and easy way to mail books!!! (<—it’s scientifically proven that multiple exclamation points liven up blog posts too.)

If you’ve been around this blog from the very beginning (if so, *waving* that’s awesome!), you may remember the time I was irrationally obsessed with finding the world’s cheapest bubble mailers.  I needed them for shipping out video games I’d sold.

I won’t make you go back and read that article, because, well, it may have been against my better judgement to write a whole post on bubble mailers.  But what I ultimately ended up doing was making my own.  This was also against my better judgement, but that’s another story.

The point is, I had all this leftover material from my DIY mailers, so I came up with a way to use it for shipping books too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

cheapest way to mail a book

  1. Bubble wrap
  2. Thick kraft paper
  3. Packing tape
  4. Scissors (not pictured)

Print up your packing slip and write a friendly note.  Don’t forget to draw happy face, it translates into positive feedback (<—this is scientifically proven as well).  Plus, making people feel happy is fun!

Fold the packing slip under the front cover before you begin.

wrap it in bubbles

Lay your book onto the bubble wrap as shown.  Then start rolling it up in the wrap, pulling tightly so it’s firm around the book.  For soft covers I wrap until each side is padded by three layers, hard covers, two layers.

Secure with packing tape along the long edge, as well as the top and bottom edges.  The latter step should stabilize your bubble wrap contraption so it doesn’t have as much bend.

wrap it up in paper

Next, wrap it up in paper just like you’re wrapping a present.  One layer is all you’ll need.  Tape securely along all edges.  Sometimes I like to reinforce the corners with packing tape too.

You now have a happy little brown wrapped book, secure for mailing and ready to go!

The process takes about 10 minutes.  Sometimes less if I’m feeling motivated. I calculate that I use about 65¢ worth of materials for each book.  It may not be a screaming deal, but the end product is just so darn satisfying.  I have no idea why.  Maybe because it reminds me of a certain happy song…brown paper packages tied up with string

Or, maybe I’m the only one who gets a great deal of satisfaction from these cute brown packages.  Hmm.  Maybe this post was against my better judgement too.

If that’s the case, well then…

:o)   :o)   :o)   :o)    :o)    :o)   (<—scientifically proven to make you leave on a happy note.)


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  • You have officially unleashed the ebay-er in me! How did you get $11 for a book? Your ebay sales have been a huge success, you should definitely write a book about it.

  • Who would have thought that a blog post about shipping a book could be so entertaining! Thanks :)

  • I feel so happy right now :):) plus I’m humming songs from the Sound of Music!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I feel happier now after seeing the brown paper package and smilie face. I love brown craft paper – you can do so much with that stuff. oh, and the bubble wrap is fun to pop as well. ;)

  • Kate1020

    This is amazing! The store down the street sells bubble mailers for more than $3 apiece, so this will really help save money.

  • missannmcd

    Well, I just stumbled in today and so far, you and I have a ridiculous amount in common. Love the flow you have developed in your writing style.
    Anyway, I had a ton of homeschooling books at one time which I sold on Ebay for months. I did really well with them, made hundreds of dollars in fact. I also wrapped them quite the same as you have shown here and it IS economical. I would buy the kraft paper rolls, shipping tape and bubble wrap from the Dollar Store. It is always readily available there. I sometimes used the kraft paper to wrap a box for shipping and I would add stickers of florals and victoriana but that is as far as my creative abilities go!
    Look forward to doing more reading and spending time here. I like this site. Thanks.

  • Brandon Piper

    Very nice. For something that the buyer might be picky about the condition I would add some cardboard or something to protect the corners and edges.

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