Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mailing a Package - It's a Wrap!

My son Jacob suggested that I do a Blog Post entitled, "How to Mail a Package". I thought everyone knew how to mail packages, and then I remembered being at the local Post Office a few days before Christmas when a frantic young couple rushed in with a giant 4 ft. package wrapped in festive Christmas gift-wrap and covered with colorful bows. They could not understand why the package couldn't be mailed in that condition! Maybe, he is right, so here's my techniques...

Materials to Keep on Hand:

  • bubble wrap & packing peanuts (from packages received)
  • tissue paper and shredded paper (from gifts, etc.)
  • brown paper bags, large mailing envelope, and/or brown Kraft Paper
  • sturdy boxes
  • wide clear packing tape
  • Permanent Marker (Sharpie)

Mailing a Book

Option 1

Mailing a book is very similar to mailing a box. First, wrap it in bubble wrap, and tape to secure.

Next, wrap the book. A brown paper bag works great for this. Make sure the writing is on the inside. Wrap and secure with wide clear packing tape, and you are ready for the address!

Option 2

Start again with bubble wrap taped securely around the book. Slip the book into a large Mailing Envelope.

Fold the envelope down to fit the book, and use wide packing tape to securely tape the opening closed. Finally, you can add the address of the recipient and your return address with a permanent marker (I prefer the Fine Point Sharpie). 

Tip:  Soft cover books can be mailed by adding a piece of corrugated cardboard to the front of the book and another matching piece to the back before covering with bubble wrap. Then follow the steps above.

Fragile - Mailing a Glass Jar

Glass jars filled with homemade jellies, etc., can arrive safely if the proper precautions are taken!

First, try to find a box slightly larger than the jar. Put a little newspaper and/or bubble wrap in the bottom of the box.

Wrap the jar in several layers of newspaper and then wrap in bubble wrap.
Place the jar in the box. If there's extra space around the jar or on top, add more bubble wrap and/or newspaper. Remember, the jar should not move!

After enough bubble wrap and newspaper have been added, securely tape the box closed.

Wrap the box in a brown paper bag or Kraft Paper. Add address and return address with a permanent marker.

Mailing Cookies and Goodies

I love to make cookies, and nothing is better than receiving delicious, freshly baked, homemade cookies! I think mailing them to family and friends is next-best to being there!

I usually bake cookie dough in large jelly roll pans. That makes it easier to bake and to mail. First, when the cookies are cool, I cut them into squares or rectangles. I then pack them in a single layer in quart-size freezer bags, press out the air, and zip them closed.

Last, I carefully place the bags of cookies in a sturdy box. It is okay to stack several layers of cookies in the same box, just don't crush them. Add tissue paper or other fillers so the cookies won't move. See above examples for closing, wrapping, and addressing the box.

Ms. Nancy's Tips:

  • Keep a few sturdy boxes on hand. You can "break the boxes down" by removing the bottom tape and folding them flat to take up less space. Heavy shoe boxes are great for mailing cookies and other items.
  • Other fillers: tissue paper, plastic store bags (like Walmart), packing peanuts, peanuts (in shells), popped popcorn, or cereal  **Just be sure the item you are mailing is protected from these items to prevent staining.
  • Always use name brand freezer bags for cookies to prevent tearing and to keep the cookies fresh!
  • If you have a lot of space left in the box, blow up a sandwich bag! A straw is helpful for this. When sealed, the bag acts as a cushion as it takes up space without added weight.
  • If you are mailing more that one item, wrap each item separately, especially if they are fragile.
  • Observe how boxes are packed when you receive one. Learn from the experts!

What's inside?
Could it be homemade cookies?
Check your mail!!


  1. Great tips, Nancy. I have one more suggestion. If you send a package with only books in it, it can go at "book rate," which is about half the cost of postal rates. However, it is only for standard shipping times, not priority delivery.