Millinery Market – How to Package your Hat for Postage
The way you package your millinery is of the upmost importance as this can minimize the chance of it being damaged in the post. Ensuring you have done it the right way, and there are a variety of different ways, is essential.
Below are some packaging guidelines and tips for reducing the postage costs.
Keeping Postage Costs Down
Before we discuss different ways to package your hat it’s good to be aware that when sending hats via Australia Post, if the parcel weight is over 1kg it will be charged based on its cubic weight equivalent which is typically a lot more expensive. Read the ‘How to Estimate Postage Costs‘ article for details.
You can send a large box, as long as it is under 1kg for a standard price. To keep the weight below 1kg, consider the weight of the stuffing you are using in the box as well as the weight of the box.
Selecting the Right Box
If you are using a cardboard box that is too large for your hat, you will need to use extra stuffing to fill around the empty space which may increase the weight to over 1kg.
To avoid this, use a box that fits your millinery in it with only a little extra room around your hat, but that does not bend or squish any elements of your hat in any way.
Example: For the black flower headpiece in the following photos, the small box on the left is the perfect size as it fits in nicely without any of the flowers being squished. It also only needs a small amount of stuffing to stop it from moving. The red box on the right is too big and would need an excessive amount of stuffing.
A trick if your box is quite heavy, is to cut some of the excess cardboard from the lid.
With just two flaps your box will still close and you can sticky tape along the edges to seal it.
If you find you still need a little extra weight off the box, you can cut the two bottom flaps of the box too.
What Stuffing to Use
The lightest stuffing you can use are air pillows. Often they will have some spare at the post office which they are happy to give you for free.
You can otherwise use scrunched up tissue paper or foam peanuts.
How to Package a Hat
Depending on your hat, packaging can be quite basic to something a little more complicated.
Hats without delicate embellishments
Hats without delicate embellishments like feather work, leather flowers, trimmings and quills are easy to package. For these hats, you can pop them in the box and fill the space with stuffing of your choice.
Tie down method for headbands and crowns
Another option if you have a crown or headband style is to tie it down through the centre of the box using ribbon or elastic. This way the headband won’t move around in the box and you don’t need to use stuffing.
Hats with delicate embellishments
When you have a hat with delicate embellishments, you will need to be mindful of what stuffing you use and how you package it.
If you have delicate trimmings (i.e. feather flowers, quills etc.) you should try to package these so that the feathers don’t get damaged. If you squish tissue paper all around it, you risk snapping feathers or bending things out of shape.
The best way to package these is to try make a cocoon around the delicate bits with tissue paper so that nothing is pressing against them, and then fill the rest of the box with tissue paper.
If you are very worried about the way your hat will be packaged when returned, a good idea is to take a photo of how the millinery should be packed and include the photo on the listing or print out the photo to include in the parcel. This can help the hirer repackage it to get it back to you safely.
Include a Return Address
As a gesture of good customer service, I like to include a pre-addressed return label sticker with my address to send the hat back to and the sender’s ‘from’ address already filled out. This makes it easy for the customer to stick onto the box and will save time for them messaging and asking for your address.
You can also write a note with any packaging information, and the return date stated so they know what date to post the hat back to you.