It is very important to me that my wreaths, which I’ve spent countless hours on designing, shopping for supplies, listing online and marketing actually arrive to my customers in the same condition as when I ship it. When customers receive that huge box, I want them to be Wowed, Happy and Excited about their purchase from me. This just makes for good customer service. Below are the steps I take to box a wreath for shipping. The video is posted at the bottom.
Choose a Strong Shipping Box
I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to use a strong box made for shipping. Do not use boxes pieced together or recycled because they have a greater chance of falling apart during the shipping process. The shipping companies will throw your box around, it will fall on the ground or off shelving in the trucks so you need a strong corrugated box to begin with. Strong shipping boxes can be purchased at various places including online (with free shipping) and directly from a corrugated box manufacturer. For a list of online places refer to my shipping report of my ebook, www.learndecomeshwreaths.com. Choose a box that is 2″ smaller than the diameter of the wreath in order to save on shipping costs.
3” Packing/Shipping Tape
4-6 Pipe Cleaners
Awl (Punch, Ice Pick or Screw Driver)
Box Sizing Tool
Taping the Box
Tape the flaps on the bottom of the box together using 3” packing tape made for shipping. Place two strips of tape on the bottom flaps to close the bottom of the box. Using one piece of tape on each side seam, tape both of the unfinished seams of the box closed ensuring all four sides are smooth and will not be caught on something during shipment. Your taping should be in the shape of an “H”. Turn the box over to the open end.
Place your wreath inside the shipping box. If you have to maneuver your flowers to fit the smaller area, make sure to turn all the flowers in the same direction, either clockwise or counter clockwise.
Wire the Wreath inside the Box
To prepare, take the four pipe cleaners and twist them together to form two long pipe cleaners. Please note, if your wreath is heavy, you will need to add more pipe cleaners. Once the wreath is inside the box, search for a place to thread the pipe cleaner safely in the wreath; a place that will not smash the elements on your wreath. For deco mesh wreaths, I choose a place between the loops near the twist ties and around the heavy wire frame. Do not wire on top of a loop, run the wire in between loops, ornaments and ribbon.
Once you have found a place, use a punch or ice pick to punch holes on both sides of the metal wreath frame (or grapevine wreath) so that the pipe cleaner will be able to wrap around the frame. On each side, punch holes through the box and out through the bottom of the box.
Thread each ends of the lengthened pipe cleaner up through the bottom of the box. Be careful because the pipe cleaners sometimes get caught in between the mesh loops and you will need to guide them back to the correct area.
Once both of the ends are threaded and inside the box, pull snug to ensure the pipe cleaner is a tight fit against the outside bottom of the box. While pushing the wreath snug to the bottom of the box, twist the ends of the pipe cleaners together over the metal wreath frame. You want a very snug fit. Keep the pipe cleaners long and showing so the recipient can locate them to untie it from the box.
Follow these same instructions to wire the wreath to the box in a place on the opposite side of the pipe cleaner you just added by repeating the same steps above. If your wreath is heavy, more than 4 pounds, I would secure the wreath in three places.
Turn the box upside down where the wreath is suspended upside down in the air and shake. If the wreath slides around in the box or flops on one side, then the pipe cleaners are either not sung enough to the bottom of the box or you need to add another set of pipe cleaners in the location that flops.
Resizing the Box
It is important to make the depth of the box as small as possible to save on shipping cost. After the wreath is wired into the box, lay the box open on a table. Measure the distance from the tallest point of either an ornament or the wreath mesh to the top of the box. This is the space we need to eliminate. Set a box scoring tool dial to the number of inches you just measured. (For example, if my wreath is in a 12” deep box, I usually cut the box down to 6” deep so I would turn my dial to 6”). Then run the scoring box sizer tool along the sides inside the box.
Once I’ve scored all four sides, I use a box cutter to cut the corners down to the level of the scoring, this allows me to be able to fold the sides down over my wreath. Here is the tool I use to score the sides. I purchased mine at the same place I purchased my boxes but I’ve seen them sold on amazon.com click this link here. You could also use a scoring box sizer tool similar to a pizza cutter; however, you may need to score your box when the wreath isn’t inside the box.
At this point you can add a piece of tissue paper on top of the wreath so that if the box does rub against an ornament it will help to protect it. Close the top flaps of the box down. Note, if your box is more than 27” wide, I would cut off the extra cardboard after scoring on two opposite sides so that they do not hang down onto the wreath which can damage the wreath during shipping. But if your wreath is less than 27” wide, I would not cut off excess box material after scoring.
Taping the Box
Place two strips of tape on the top to close the top of the box. Use two additional strips of tape to tape down any area that may be sticking up due to cutting the box size down. Using one piece of tape on each side, tape the two unfinished sides of the box closed ensuring all four side are smooth (in an “H” shape and the same procedures we did for the bottom of the box).
IMPORTANT AND DON’T FORGET – Now place two pieces of tape on top of EACH of the visible pipe cleaners on the bottom of the box.
You can easily print off a return address label from a word processor; type up the return address and shipping address as if printing an envelope. Print off using a printer. Fold the paper and use packing tape to completely tape over the entire label so it will not get wet, if it rains.
Here is a video demonstrating the above steps:
For the complete shipping report that includes where to purchase boxes, how to save on shipping, different shipping options and why I only charge $15 to ship a wreath, refer to my ebook by clicking this link www.learndecomeshwreaths.com.
I hope this helps you box your wreath for shipping!