How to Package Your Designs for Bead Shows or Magazines

Aug 26, 2009

Well, I’ve got my tickets and hotel booked to go to Bead Fest Portland. I can’t wait! I get to spend 4 days beading with a bunch of other happy, eager beaders. I don’t know about you, but that’s simply heaven to me.  The fact that Portland is such a beautiful city is just icing on the cake.

I was so pleased when my classes for Bead Fest were accepted because I’ve discovered—especially in the last year or so—how much I really love to teach. So in an effort to get out there even more, I’ve been submitting quite a few class applications lately to shows, shops, and societies. When I sent in one application recently, the store owner suggested I share the way I package my pieces with Beading Daily readers . . . so here it is.

I learned this packaging method from Diane Fitzgerald. It works well for sending your pieces for any reason, such as entering a show or submitting to a magazine. It not only gives you a more professional look, it protects the piece, reduces the “we lost your necklace” factor, and lets you display your work the way it should be seen.

   1. Use a craft knife and metal straight-edge ruler to cut a piece of thin board large enough to fully spread out your piece on, but smaller than a gallon-size plastic zip bag. (I’ve been using painted cork board lately—it’s a good product because puncture holes heal themselves, you can glue stuff to it, it’s fairly cheap, it’s a little easier on the environment than Styrofoam, and although bendy, it still holds up well in the mail.) 
  2. Place your piece on the board. Use a beading awl to make holes in the board, one on each side of the piece in several different spots.  
  3. Use 3" pieces of 28-gauge wire to affix the piece to the board and trim any sticky-outy wires. (You can also use needle and thread for this step).  
  4. Glue your business card to the front of the board out of the way of your piece. 
  5. Glue a picture and description of your piece to the other side of the board. Spray mount glue works well for this. 
  6. Tape a piece of bubble wrap over the top of the piece. Apply the tape so the wrap opens like a door and the receiver doesn’t have to actually remove the tape to undo the wrap. 

7. Slide the board into a gallon-size plastic zip bag, and you’re ready to send! 

If you have other sure-fire ways to protect your work for submission, please share them on the website. And if you see me in Portland at Bead Fest, tap me on the shoulder and say hello—I’d love to meet you!

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on Aug 26, 2009 5:18 PM
Ooo... What a great way to protect your sample!
dacraftylady wrote
on Aug 26, 2009 8:33 PM
Thanks for sharing how to package your designs for bead shows or magazines. It is an excellent article and very helpful for mailing out designs to anyone. I really like the idea of the shaeet of paper with a photo and description pasted to the other side of the board. Thanks, Debb
Moushka3 wrote
on Aug 26, 2009 10:04 PM
Jean - what a useful, informative article! I've often wondered how best to send a piece safely and you've given me a great solution. Thank you.
kasi1983 wrote
on Aug 26, 2009 11:37 PM
great idea! If this is not safe - what else is? For smaller pieces like earrings I have always used CD jewel cases (without the tray inside). By adding some fancy description in the shape of a cd cover (which I always planned but never did actually) this could be made a good packaging, too.
KathyK330 wrote
on Aug 27, 2009 8:24 AM
Please discuss how to send customer purchased jewelry via USPS safely & economically. Bubble wrapped mailers have arrived torn and items crushed/damaged. Appreciate suggestions.
Art8 wrote
on Aug 27, 2009 4:57 PM
Excellent, Excellent, Excellent suggestions on mailing/submitting designs!!! Thank you SO much!!
Leslie.G wrote
on Aug 28, 2009 1:52 PM
I LOVE the shipping/display answer that you've come up with!!! Such a fabo idea! And this would work great for magazine submissions too - so that they know how your pieces SHOULD look when they go to photograph it! So Smart!
Cath@17 wrote
on Aug 31, 2009 12:51 PM
Awesome, this is super advice! I have a little folder in my outlook and it is called "Beading Daily's Best". Your message is stored there. Most of yours are actually. Thank you - and Diane Fitzgerald - very much for sharing.
nmblanton wrote
on Sep 1, 2009 9:01 PM
This is a great idea for packaging and displaying! I'm not clear on step #3. What do you do with those two wires sticking up? Thanks
on Sep 30, 2009 8:25 AM
I love this! I have been looking for a great way to prep some samples for transport. This is just great! Thanks for taking the time to share it.