It's taken a long time to work out how to pack my cookies so they not only survive in the post, but also create the best impression when they arrive.
My first attempts were shoddy - I tried to fit as many unwrapped cookies into round tins as possible; I had to hand cut circles of bubblewrap and greaseproof paper to fit; sometimes I tried to stuff in bunches of cookies tied up in bags. I might as well have just tried chucking them out of the front door. Naturally there were breakages, but surprisingly not so many that people minded too much, and they kept ordering, and so I kept experimenting.
Eventually I realised I wanted the opening of the box to be part of the pleasure of ordering the cookies. After all, they've taken a leap of faith and confidence in my ability, they don't know what they're going to see, and I'm not happy with anything less than delight! Layers of recycled bits of card and bubblewrap, whilst effective, aren't pretty. So this is what I've been doing for a little while. Gift boxes that are both pretty (and let me play with frills and furbelows and fancy things) and sturdy.
Stiff royal icing 'glue'
Chocolate-box style cushion padding cut to size (I get mine here: click on the product code to see a picture)
Cellophane bags to fit cushion padding
'Pizza' style cardboard box (similar to this)
Tape, ribbon and tags
Once I've worked out the arrangement of the cookies on the cushion padding, I attach each one with two or three small dabs of royal icing 'glue'. A small amount will fix them quite firmly so they won't move in transit.
They can be gently plucked off without tearing the paper, and just leaving small flat dabs of icing on the base of the cookie.
I have large cellophane bags that fit over the cushion pads, and I heatseal them in place.
Each layer can lie on top of the next, with a final sheet of bubblewrap over the top prior to closing the box. These two inch deep boxes, with 5 ply cushion padding, and my cookies, will fit three layers comfortably with no movement.
Rather than wrap ribbon around the whole box, so that the customer has to undo it in order to see their cookies (most orders are gifts for people they know, rather than for themselves), I put tape and ribbon over just the lid, so that it's both pretty and accessible.
The gift box then goes inside a resealable food bag, so that it's not affected by damp in the Royal Mail warehouses.
This then sits inside a larger postal box surrounded by packing peanuts.
Royal Mail 'small' parcel boxes will fit two of my gift boxes, making it a lot more affordable than it used to be - which is excellent news as all the couriers whose small print I've looked into don't actually carry 'foodstuffs', and are therefore unlikely to pay out if they were at fault over a damaged parcel.
And finally, here's a bunch of flaars... (and a whole bunch more in my 'flowers' video playlist in my Youtube account)