Monday, December 3, 2012

DIY Tutorial: Air Mail Package Pouch

So as everyone knows I am a prolific supporter of Etsy and the whole handmade/ pre-loved online market, a.) because you can buy cheap, unique goods for bottom dollar and b.) because the sellers genuinely care about their presentation including their packaging. Also it allows me to shop online from the comfort of my own home and still find some of the best treasures from bygone era and emerging artists.
In particular an honourable mention goes to
Ginette Lapalme who I secretly think is my new best friend in terms of Etsy sellers and people I've bought stuff from is concerned. 
Last week I received a package from ginettepomette who runs the ette store and although I was keen to get my grubby hands on my new acquisitions I carefully cut a slither out of the side of the package since it was just so cute. JUST LOOK AT IT! 

Children's story books such as Spot and Grug couldn't be cuter if they tried. Anyway, after searching on the Internet I couldn't find an instructional page to help my transform this uber cute package into a pouch or a wallet so I decided to write my own. Is my first written DIY tutorial so please be nice or ask questions if you are unclear about anything. I just want to be like mother nature transforming the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, but in this case it's an adorable baby duck and the swan is almost as magical as a unicorn. OK, serious inventory listing time.

You will need:
  1. Your favourite cute packaging (preferably intact as much as humanly possible)
  2. An appropriately long zipper
  3. A hot glue gun
  4. Some clear book contact
  5. Some patterned book contact/ children's band aids/ sticky tape/ scrap booking tape
  6. Pretty embroidery thread and a sewing needle
  7. Cute key chains/ beads to decorate with/ stickers
If you are using something that was sent to your home address, you may wish to block out your personal details in case someone finds your car keys/ keys inside and they're not a very merry soul. Be smart, protect your personal details and stuff. I'm keeping mine there because I would never in my right mind let this wonderful item leave my side. Ever.
First off, you will need to patch up any holes or tears which are not going to be where the zipper is. I am putting silver holographic book contact over mine, but sticky tape could also be used and is probably a little easier to manoeuvre. I've just been in a silvery, swamp witch mood all week. Cut into place the new spot for the zipper and try to leave as much of the package left as possible- this leaves you more material to work with.

Cover the entire thing (excluding the newly cut hole) in clear book contact but wrap the contact around any of the new edges to smarten up the presentation. If you wanted to change the design of the package you could use a patterned book contact (I have butterflies and space aliens from my childhood for example), but the importance of this step is to give the pouch a water proof finish and a bit more durability. Try not to remove the package from the sticky surface over and over again, it may rip your pretty package paper material (oh no!). If you are really without experience when using sticky contact, maybe ask for someone else's help while you do it and when applying it, use a ruler to eliminate air bubbles being stuck on your pouch forever.
Some pointers for book contact wrapping:
  • Do it slowly and gently in case you need to pull of and do it again.
    Do each flat side individually.
  • Leave small incisions to decrease overlap.
  • When removing the sticky side from the paper side, flip the paper side over to place the sticky side so you can see the outline shape more clearly.
  • Place the edge on first and then lie the package flat.

My package already had bubble wrap on the inside to make it even thicker and protect the contents, but if yours is without bubble wrap I highly recommend putting some on the inside or adding a material a lining if you so wish. I am not going to put a fabric lining in my pouch-pursey thing because it really emphasizes that this was a cute delivery bag. If you want to add bubble wrap, cut squares just smaller than the package and using a hot glue gun stick them to the inside. Do a similar thing if you want a material lining in a pretty pattern/ colour- you could even add a secret pocket in there if you wish.

Great! The outside is cosmetically done, all you need is something that will let you close and open your pouch for access to your jelly bean stash, iPhone complete with Instagram app and iPod for awkward situations. I suggest a zipper, being a child of the 1990s and not having a lot of material to add buttons to.
To attach the zipper, place the folds of material underneath the cut in the package and hot blue gun them in place. Wait for the glue to warm up for about ten minutes or so, then generously drizzle molten glue onto the top of the zipper material to press on the inside flap of the bag. Press firmly for a few seconds when doing each section, roughly the width of three of your fingers.

I am also going to sew them in place for piece of mind and to double the strength of security. You could match the thread colour with the pattern, but I'm not going to bother because it's far too much craziness to deal with for a sane person.
  • Try not to let the thread catch on the zipper teeth.
  • Have as little material from the zipper showing as possible.
  • Try not to prick yourself.
Finally, add the cutest key chain charms and beads that you can find to the zipper pull tag. My mother got me this one with a kitten that says "best friend". That nicely sums up how pathetic my life is. The mushroom bead is something that I received in this package so I'm trying to keep them together for all eternity and make everything come full circle. Thanks Ginette Lapalme for sending me the cutest packaging ever and inspiring this DIY! This is coming with me next weekend for a friend's eighteenth.

There's only one thing left to do- hit the town with your new creation and show off what a crafty/ feisty feminist DIY monster you are. I know I will be. Also a cute outfit is very welcome in these types of situations.

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