Down with ugly recycled packaging!

I regularly receive boxes full of books, magazines & DVDs on my doorstep, and I also send boxes full of books, magazines & DVDs back out to polymer clay addicts everywhere.  As such, it only makes sense that some of those first boxes should be reused to serve the second purpose, don’t you think?

I do reuse boxes where I can, but I have to admit that those old boxes make me cringe.  With their dinged-up sides, their remnants of old shipping labels, and their torn up packing tape, – they offend my aesthetic sensibilities!

I like my packages to look neat and clean when they leave my house, their labels affixed straightly.  And I’ll admit it – I love the crisp look of brand new packaging.

BUT.  Brand new packaging costs money.  And natural resources.  So, I came up with an idea to make me feel better.

Dressing up an ugly box

This label features a stylized recycling symbol and the words “I may not be the prettiest package, but I’m helping to save a tree!”  I can put this nice, crisp label on any old crummy-looking box or envelope, thereby appealing to my desire for attractive packaging, and absolving me from any blame for such an ugly parcel.  Heh.

Dressing up an ugly box

Ok, I’m half kidding.  I wouldn’t really throw away a perfectly good box just because it was ugly.  But I’d want to, LOL!  I plan to use these labels, and if you think you could also use them, they’re yours for the taking.  You can download your pick of two formats:

  1. PDF to use as-is
  2. Word document to allow you to make small changes (margins, wording, etc.)

Dressing up an ugly box

Print the document onto a sheet of Avery-8160-compatible labels, and you’re good to go.  Use them on shipping materials, boxes, envelopes, even non-traditional gift wrap.  Enjoy!

(Oh, and I should probably also point out that perhaps buying a new batch of labels for this purpose wouldn’t be considered particularly green, but if you’ve already got them laying around… why not?)

26 thoughts on “Down with ugly recycled packaging!

  1. thank you so much for sharing! I always feel funny when I mail a package out in this terribly-ugly recycled packaging- so I try to make up for it on the inside- by wrapping it in a special way.. these labels are great!

  2. I always re-use shipping boxes, and often take a bunch from work to have on hand. Just think of how you are also saving on your costs by not buying new!! Thanks for sharing the labels with us. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    See what MelissaS has been blogging about: Hoppy Birthday, Mason!

  3. Lisa,
    what a wonderful idea. I have the same problem and this is really a cute solution.
    BTW my daughters name is Lisa too, it was the most popular name in 1991 in germany, as I found out later.

  4. Pingback: Lisa Clarke

  5. lisa—again fantastic!! i do have to let out a little secret…someone i know sends her stuff in sewn packaging. She buys the brown paper at a home store (used for painting cover) in the big roll. Cuts it into pieces and sews the 3 sides. Then sticks whatever in and then sews the 4th side. and mails it. Maybe that might work too with the mags and books 😉 just a thought….plus no more toppeling piles of boxes -oh, that would be me–

    See what becky has been blogging about: Idol time?

    • That is such a cool idea! Too bad I am entirely too lazy, LOL! Ok, maybe “lazy” is too harsh a word, but I really can’t see myself doing this when I have 20+ orders to mail.

  6. Thanks Lisa for sharing your wonderful idea, I’ve an online store and are always wondering how can I make the recycled packaging looks better or more eco-friendly. Your labels are such a sweet way to tell our customers that we are trying to save the earth.


    See what Charlene has been blogging about: Presents for our dear friends…

  7. Thanks so much for posting these! What a great idea. 🙂 I’m going to have to print some of these out for all the packages that I’ve been mailing lately.

    I hope that it’s okay that I posted about this on blog. You rock!

  8. Since the USPS requires a securely taped package, instead of using purchased label sheets, print out on the back of already used letter paper, then cut apart and tape the label in place using CLEAR wide mail/strapping tape. I also save and use the infamous peanuts, and every kid’s favorite, bubble wrap.
    It amazes me how many businesses use one side of a sheet to print four pages. The “empties” are recycled for puzzles, coloring pictures for little folk, and print-at-home patterns. Nehmah

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