Many of us spend countless hours designing and tweaking our recipes for the highest quality product, but are you putting time into packaging as well? Many customers are ignorant to the amount of time put into soap and cosmetic making, but what customers do notice is your product packaging. Customers have a natural knack for gravitating towards pretty things, which include pretty packaging as well as your pretty soaps! Shrink-wrapping adds an element of professionalism to handmade products, and customers are more likely to trust your brand. In this column, we will discuss tips and tricks for shrink-wrapping commonly made products to elevate your homemade product to a handmade commercial commodity.
Cold Process and Hot Process Soap Bars
Unlike melt and pour soap, both cold process and hot process soaps need to breathe as they are continuously curing and losing water. Shrink-wrap bands work the best for CP and HP soap because two sides of the soap are left open to the air. This opening allows soaps to continue to cure and harden while also leaving some of the soap exposed so that customers can smell the lovely aroma. Shrink-wrap can keep your soap band label snug and secure on your soap while also protecting most of the soap from sticky fingers. Shrink-wrapping is that extra little touch that elevates you from hobbyist to soap making entrepreneur in the eyes of your customers. To shrink-wrap, slide the band onto your soap, making sure the perforation runs along the bottom of the soap bar. Lay the soap front side down and use a hair dryer or heat gun on low to heat the band until it shrinks tightly to your soap. Turn the bar over and continue to heat on all sides. Be careful not to melt the soap or burn your fingers!
Pictured: Shrink Wrap Band - 102 mm x 102 mm wrapping 4.5 oz. soap bar.
Lip Balm Tubes
Lip Balm Tubes are commonly shrink wrapped for hygienic purposes. No one wants to use a lip balm that has accidentally grazed the nose of strangers! It is human nature to want to smell the product, but as the business owner that is not always in your best interest. Shrink-wrap bands slide over the tube and label and will prevent customers from opening the product until it is purchased. To shrink-wrap, slide the band over the tube, cap and label aligning the perforation slightly below where the cap and tube meet, and apply heat with a hair dryer or heat gun until the band is tightly snug.
Pictured: Shrink Wrap Band - 28 mm x 63 mm wrapping 0.15 oz. round lip tubes.
Similar to lip balm, shrink-wrap is often used on jars to prevent customers from sticking their fingers in your retail products. The trick to shrink wrapping jars is to make sure the shrink wrap band fits over the top and bottom. If the band only covers the top, your customer can easily slide the band right off defeating the purpose of having it on in the first place. The shrink-wrap is applied in the same manner as for soap and lip balm tubes. Slide the shrink-wrap around your labeled jar, and then heat with a hair dryer or heat gun on low until the shrink-wrap contracts to fit snuggly around the top and bottom. We found it looks best when the shrink-wrap band is held tightly across the front of your label so that the front has the smoothest look.