Day 160 My thrifty packaging

As you know we have been selling a bit of stuff on ebay since the start of this 365lessthings challenge. I have mentioned before how I hate wasting our ebay earnings on costly packaging so I do my best to recycle otherwise unwanted resources to make my own thrifty packaging.

After telling a friend of mine how well I had been doing recently selling snow gear on ebay she asked if I would sell some snow gear for her. During this exercise I took some photos to show you the process of creating my thrifty packaging.

I used a box from a piece of furniture from the store I work at. I cut out T-shaped blanks and then folded them into the box shapes I needed.  I usually take an educated guess as to the size to cut. I bend the cardboard over the edge of my desk to get nice straight folds. I use glue to set the side seam and clamp together with bulldog clips to dry then use packing tape to hold it all together. I usually wrap these boxes in inside-out gift wrap as I have a supply I don’t use much due to the fact that I prefer to give non-clutter  gifts to friend and relatives these days.

These boxes were used to pack ski goggles. My items always arrive in good order and condition and I often get feedback comments on how well my items are packaged. Tonight my husband and I used an old moving box to wrap 4 packages of old records that he has just sold on ebay and will be shipped off over the next few days.

Recycle Box 1Recycle Box 2Recycle Box 3Recycle Box 4


This scanner bed went to be recycled

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Most excellent. Cereal boxes are fabulous for packing books and documents in. Paper shopping bags are great for just about anything. I get a lot of samples in the mail (I order free samples and save them for the homeless shelter) and use the boxes and mailers they come in to mail my eBay and items to my customers. 🙂 I haven’t bought any packaging (save for tape) in three years! Highly recommend this to everyone.

  2. Crystal TIllman

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to get small boxes for my upcoming etsy shop, and you just gave me the anwser. Thank you!

    • Hi Crystal,
      Welcome aboard and thank you for the nice plug on your blog site I really appreciate that. Let me know when you get your etsy shop up and running so I can have a look.

  3. Hi Colleen,

    When I first discovered Bookfinder, I was delighted to get books that had been wrapped in left-over holiday wrapping paper, brown paper bags, and assorted recycled paper. They usually had a hand-written address and quite often a note from the seller, telling me something personal about having read that book, which I had searched out because it was of special interest to me. Although I also enjoy getting books in Amazon’s prefab boxes, the hand-wrapped Bookfinder packages make me feel like I’ve been shopping in an old used book store in a town discovered roaming off the main highway. I can smell old books. This imaginary bookstore, because it came from a web search of millions of books, contains just the very book I have been looking for. So I walk down an aisle packed to the ceiling and reach for just that book . . . so imagine people enjoying getting your no-longer-wanted things in your carefully constructed packages.

    • Hi Deb,
      I think I may have spotted your weakness when it comes to clutter, would it be books by any chance? I guess from the loving way you discribe your adventure of shopping for and receiving your books above this is definitely something you are not about to give up.
      Good to see I am not the only person using old gift wrap for wrapping packages, the funny part is that the wrap I have been using lately is bold red and white with the words NAUGHTY BUT NICE blazened across it. The people I send it to must wonder what else I might be selling.

  4. Awesome idea Colleen! I will definitely be making some of my own boxes from now on. Presently I’m using scavenged packing materials to pack for my move. I’m picking up egg boxes from the local grocery store. Because eggs are shipped in them, they are very sturdy. I’m also getting a fancy store near by who sells a lot of breakables to save the bubble wrap for me. Many of the bubble wrap pieces are actual made into bags. Those I’m saving for when I open my Etsy shop. Between the free bubble wrap bags, and your super DIY boxes, I’ll have a cheap supply of shipping material when my shop is open. Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Betty Jo,
      Good for you scanvenging up boxes from nearby stores, I wrote about doing that back on Day 138 .There are two benifits to this method, its free and you are recycling at the same time. I seem to have a lot of artists reading my blog maybe there is a connection between cluttering and being artistic, curious! What are you going to be selling at your Etsy shop?


  1. […] one up for free at the big hardware store nearby. See my earlier post on ebay packaging here & here This helps me to be able to calculate the shipping accurately before […]