01 of 08
Different Ways to Package Your Handmade Soap
So you've created a recipe, or borrowed one from a soap making book, and you've made your first batch of soap.
Well, if you're just using your soap for personal use, you can tuck it away in a shoe box or other (not airtight) container, and pull out a bar whenever you need a bar.
But what if you want to give it away, or even sell your soaps? That's when you're going to need to learn about the various ways to package your soap.
When I was selling my own soap at craft... fairs and online, I realized that packaging was as important, or even more important than the soap that was inside the package. I would often look at other people's soaps and their packaging. Sometimes their soap would be great...but the packaging not so great. Other times the soap would be quite average, but the packaging would be incredible.
Guess who sold more soap?
The next few pages have some examples of various types of soap packaging that you can try. These are just examples that I've collected over the years.
Before you even get started dreaming about what sort of packaging you want to put your soap in, be sure that you understand the guidelines for soap and cosmetic packaging.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Cigar Band Soap Labels
The first type of label I ever made for my soap (and often the first type that soap makers try) is a simple "cigar band" label.
As you can see in the two soaps on the left, it's a simple piece of card stock with the name of the soap and ingredient information on it - and wrapped around the bar either horizontally or vertically. The two soaps on the right and the one on the bottom were shrink wrapped after the cigar band label was put on. The one in the upper left is bare except for... the label.
One advantage of cigar band labels is that they are easy to make, and can be printed simply at home. One disadvantage of cigar bands is shrinkage. Even after you label it, the soap will continue to cure - which means that water is evaporating out of it. When water evaporates out, the soap shrinks a bit. I'm sure you've seen soaps sitting on shelves in stores where the cigar band label is loose or falling off of the soap. That's due to the soap continuing to cure. The shrink wrapping helps this quite a bit.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Shrink Wrapped Soap Labels
If you want your soap to be completely protected from dirt, fingers, and scratches, shrink wrapping may be the way to go for you.
Here are two soaps that are very simply shrink wrapped. The one on the left has the label on the outside of the shrink wrap. The one on the right, on the inside of the shrink wrap.
The advantage of shrink wrap is that it's a nice, clean, well-protected covering for your soap. The disadvantages are that unless you leave a part of the label open, you can't smell... it. The soap on the left has an opening on the top and the bottom - so you can smell it easily. The one on the right does not.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Soap Boxes and Other Complete Covers
One really easy way to package your soap is to drop it in an appropriately sized box. There are many companies that sell soap boxes, and, like the soap on the upper right, you can just add your own label and/or graphics to it.
The box on the upper left is a custom box with a die cut cutout in it. It not only looks professional, but it gives a little window onto the soap so that you can see its color. That's the disadvantage of a soap box - not being able to see the soap that's inside it.... The advantage is that it looks clean and finished and you have all the sides to put your text and information.
Another option that I'm putting in the "box" category is the soap on the bottom. While not in a box, it's completely wrapped like a Christmas present with a label added.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Wrapping Round Soaps
Those of you who make round soaps in PVC pipe molds have a different challenge - the shape of the soap. You can shrink wrap them like shown previously, or here's another option - use a coffee filter (like on the left) or a round piece of paper (like on the right) and wrap that around the soap. Then, place a label firmly over the edges of the paper. It's a simple, clean, nice-looking way to wrap round soaps.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Half Box Soap Wrapping
A method that I used to love is the "half box" - it's a combination of the cigar band and the full box that covers the soap on 5 sides with a box - but leaves the top half open. The advantage is that the soap is well covered and stable - especially on its base - but still gives you a clear view of the soap and allows you to smell it.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Specialty Soap Wrappings - Boxes and Bags
Sometimes a plain old soap wrapper just isn't enough. Here are some examples of specialty bags and boxes for soap.
The soap on the left is in a mesh "scrubbie" bag - in the shower, it will have the same effect as a scrubbie embedded in the soap - lots of lather and exfoliation. But, like felted soap, you never actually see the bar of soap inside.
The bar on the right is a leaf shaped molded soap in a very nice see-through fabric organza bag.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
More Specialty Soap Wrappings
In this photo, (soap on the top) you can see the flip side of the soap from the previous page in the fabric organza bag. Here you can see how they tucked the label in.
The soap on the left is a felted soap also in an organza bag. The soap on the right is a regular sized bar of soap in a special plastic box with a special custom medallion and label.
So now that you've got some wonderful ideas for labeling your soaps, have fun! There are lots of vendors and resources for soap labels around -... many of them you can order from online - and in small quantities!