I think I may have whined about this once (or a hundred) times before, but as much as I love having my online Etsy shop, I detest shipping the things I sell. Yeah, I know detest is a pretty strong word, but I pretty strongly dislike the whole process. Several years ago, I had lofty plans to really make my packaging look “branded” and special. I wanted that “brown paper packages, tied up in strings kind of look, so that when my package arrived, the recipient would break out singing like Julie Andrews, from the sheer quaintness of the package.
My thoughts of charming paper packages disappeared as quickly as my favorite pair of scissors seems to, whenever I need it. Disorganization took over.
My boxes full of tape were stored in one room, my cotton twine was in another room with craft supplies, and my business cards were sitting on my piano desk, looking quite cute, but not exactly convenient. I had no idea where my scissors were most of the time. These days, I’m happy to just get the packages out the door in a timely manner – quaint and charming or not, and I rarely even remember to stick a business card inside. Great “branding” huh?
Enter…this wooden tool tote! Could it be the solution to all my shipping woes?
My youngest son made it a few years ago at our church’s summer day camp. He brought it home, but never wanted to use it. I tried encouraging him to paint it or something, but he just wasn’t interested – where did that kid come from? Unbeknownst to me, it somehow ended up in the basement, and anyone who has ever lived in an old house in the Midwest, knows that basements leak. Some leak a lot. I have always referred to our basement as, “A River Runs Through It“. You know – that steamy movie with Brad Pitt? Yeah, our basement is steamy, but that’s just the humidity coming from the “river” that literally goes right across the middle of the room.
Anyway, someone put this poor, unloved little tool box on the floor…in the path of the flowing water. I discovered it last week, when scrounging in the basement for a can of paint. Like a little old woman who loves mangy-looking cats, I love things that are banged up, rusted, or stained, so I overlooked its condition, and lovingly carried it upstairs. As soon as youngest son spotted it, he asked if I was going to sell it, and if I was going to share the profit. Ha!
a. I wasn’t going to sell it, and
b. If I was, I sure wouldn’t pay him for abandoning it in a river. I had big plans for this little tote.
It would become my portable business in a box!
I rounded up a random assortment of stuff that I thought I might use – chalkboard paint, some tin cans, old book pages, and a few random metal things that came in my auction haul last week.
First, I gave it a coat of paint – water stains be gone!
I thought about decoupaging a few of my vintage stamps and shipping label images to it, so I grouped them together on one page and printed them out, but in the end I decided not to use them.
Instead, I decided to give it a similar style as my tin can wall organizer, so I decoupaged some reproduction Sears catalog pages onto the cans and attached one to each side of the tote. I added a an old metal funnel to one side, to work as a dispenser for my cotton shipping twine.
On the other side, I attached a wonky little cup hook to hold my tape measure, which I used to measure the size of each package.
Now…what could I do with those little metal thingies? They were the perfect size to hold a pair of scissors, and my business cards!
Several rolls of tape, along with my “branded” stampers fit inside the tote. Now there’s a place for everything, and everything is in its place. Let’s just hope it stays that way.
I still have about 15 more empty tin cans in my stash, so I may just do an entire wall of tin can organizers!
If you lean in very close to the little wooden tool tote, I think you’ll hear Julie Andrews singing!
“Brown paper packages, tied up in string…these are a few of my favorite things…”
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