DIY photography packaging ideas

In celebration of the Propel Workshop by Caroline Tran this week, I'm posting a few creative photography packaging ideas to give you an idea of what you can do in your own home studio. Obviously you wouldn't want to do this type of thing in mass quantity, but I think personal touches like this can make a big impact on your clients. If you're a photographer just starting out, this is for you! creative photo packaging using fabric

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Need to wrap up some prints? Why not use fabric instead of tissue paper or wrapping paper? Here I used a small piece of striped navy and white cotton fabric to wrap the 5 x 7 proof box; in lieu of satin ribbon, I used white cotton webbing. To keep the fabric in place, I wrapped it like I would any other gift, using good ol' Scotch tape.

My suggestion would be to browse your local fabric store and look for inexpensive fabric that coordinates with your branding. You can mix and match solids and patterns, as long as they're in the same color family.

creative photo packaging using fabric

creative photo packaging using fabric

Another tip: When wrapping gifts, I always use the bow technique that keeps the ribbon (or ribbon replacement) flat on the bottom. This prevents your box from wobbling around and lays nicely in a shipping box. (If anyone is interested in a photo how-to for that, just let me know.)

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creative photo packaging using butcher paper and lace

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In this example, I used a small sheet of kraft butcher paper to wrap a jewel case. Instead of wrapping it fully, I simply wrapped the paper around the slim case leaving the side ends open - similar to a sleeve. (This was cleaner than folding the sides under the case.) To spruce it up for newlyweds, I included a short strand of cream-colored lace and a super skinny, mint satin ribbon. Taped to the bottom right corner is the photography logo printed in mint on white cotton paper.

To make it more personal, I wrote the newlyweds' names in white ink.

creative photo packaging using butcher paper and lace

This type of treatment would be great if your branding is romantic and natural, with a hint of vintage or shabby-chic.

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Chalkboard paint seems to be everywhere these days, so why not use it for packaging?! In this cd packaging example, I used a variety of materials: real wood sticky-back paper, kraft paper, white and brown twine, chalkboard paper, washi tape, and a rubber stamp.

creative photo packaging using real wood and chalkboard paper

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On the left, I simply cut out a piece of wood paper, and stuck it directly on the outside of the jewel case. I made a custom belly band by printing the photography logo on 8.5 x 11 kraft paper (then trimming it down and taping the ends together), and I stamped a camera onto the wood in white ink. (You can print directly onto some wood papers, but some take to inkjets better than others. This sticky-back paper is really thick, and doesn't run through my Epson very well. It's best for stamping or screen printing.)

On the right, I made a custom cd sleeve using another sheet of 8.5 x 11 kraft paper. On the front, I put the logo, and on the back, I personalized it with the couple's names and wedding date. To add something more memorable, I tied a chalkboard paper gift tag with twine around the front. (Yes, you can actually write with chalk on these! I used the white ink and rubber stamp to keep it clean.)

creative photo packaging using real wood and chalkboard paper

This combination is a bit more masculine so it's more male-photographer-friendly. :)

creative photo packaging using real wood and chalkboard paper

creative photo packaging using real wood and chalkboard paper

*Custom rubber stamps are easy to order online - so you can have one made using your own logo.*

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diy project

A Simple DIY CD Sleeve

Instructions:

1. Download our blank template HERE. The template will provide 2 belly bands (each measuring 1.25" x 11") and 1 CD sleeve (measuring 6" x 5").

2. If you have Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator, you can add your logo to the PDF file; otherwise, a custom rubber stamp works great. (For placement, see the image below.)

3. Print your PDF file, then cut and score. (Scoring tip: To score properly, use a metal ruler and X-Acto knife. On the outside of the sleeve (the side with the logo), push down about halfway through the paper with your knife along the blue lines indicated below. This will create a clean fold line and won't crinkle your paper.)

DIY CD Sleeve Template

4. On the inside of the sleeve, apply 2 strips of double-stick tape on the outer edges. Be sure to leave enough room for your CD or DVD.

DIY-CD-Sleeve-fig2

5. Fold the sleeve in half so the tape sticks securely, and you have yourself a custom CD sleeve! Keep the flap closed with twine, tape, or even a paper button.

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creative photo packaging | embellishing priority mail boxes

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Opening something like this in the mail would definitely make ME smile! Here's an idea for embellishing what's already free: USPS Priority Mail boxes! In place of a small thank you note, I made a "greeting" that fits perfectly on the inside flap. (I used an A9 flat card made with 100% cotton to give it a nicer look and feel.) Since most people only get professional photographs done for special occasions, I figured "Congratulations!" would apply to most clients, making it easier for YOU to produce a bunch of these at one time.

creative photo packaging | embellishing priority mail boxes

If you want to make it MORE personal, add a hand-written note. I printed the couple's names on the top of a small sheet, then tucked into the coral-colored fabric (which I used to wrap another jewel case). This would be the perfect spot to write them a special thank you. To finish the look, I wrapped a piece of yellow "pom pom fringe" around the fabric.

For a little extra time and at most $5 in materials, this type of presentation makes a lasting impression on clients...and that's worth every penny to me!

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If you have any questions about where to find these materials, just comment below. If you're not a DIY-er and have never stepped foot in a craft or fabric store, and you would like help with your packaging, that's [one of many things] we do! Just give us a holler.

Good luck and happy packaging...I am off to PROPEL!

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