I love holiday cards.
I love sending them, receiving them, flipping through them in stores (hello, Papyrus at Target with all your cute little embellishments!). I love ’em, love ’em, love ’em.
But, I did something a little different last year…
Holiday cookie boxes!
These were a huge hit with my family and friends and they may not be as expensive as you think.
Here’s how I did it:
- Holiday cookies
- Mailing boxes
- Clear cello bags
- Paper shred
- Card stock (plain white and/or colored, depending on your design)
- Double sided tape
- Lots of beautiful holiday stamps
- Mailing labels, optional
1. Designing/Choosing the Cookie
For me, it all started with a cookie idea.
This was right before my blogging days, so I adapted a design I found online here, by Dessert Menu, Please. I tailored the number of stockings depending on the number of family members!
If you wanted, you could even do smaller cookies rather than one large one.
Don’t decorate sugar cookies? No problem! You can send almost any type of cookie or treat. Just be aware of travel times with other types of cookies – sugar cookies will last a long time if packaged correctly, while most drop and bar cookies will last about a week.
2. Choosing the Right Size Mailing Box
Once you have chosen your cookie design, you will need to choose a mailing box that is the right size for your cookie. These fireplace cookies were made with the largest cutter in this set, so they were 4 1/2 inches long. You will want at least 1/4-1/2 inch of space between each side of the mailing box and your cookie.
For my cookies, this box from Paper Mart was the perfect size at 5 1/2 x 4 x 2. I just wish it came in kraft in addition to white! Paper Mart has tons of different shaped boxes, so you should be able to find one that would work with your chosen cookie.
Paper Mart only sells these boxes in bundles of 50 or 100, so depending on the length of your holiday card list, you will probably end up with extras. I recommend saving them to use the next year, since friends and family will want these awesome cookie boxes again instead of regular cards!
3. Designing the “Card”
Because these tuck top boxes open “up,” I decided to add a message attached to the inside of the box. I’m not graphic designer, and it definitely shows here! Still, I do like the effect.
First, I measured the space where the card would go. I wanted a splash of color, so I cut out pieces of red card stock that would fill the entire space. Then, I used Publisher to make smaller cards to go over the red, while still allowing color to peak around the sides.
Make your cookie box even more special by making the “card” and the cookie match. I chose a “warmest wishes” tagline to go with my fireplace cookies!
I attached both pieces of card stock to the inside of the box with double sided tape.
4. Assembling the Cookie Box
Once your cookies have been baked, decorated, and allowed to dry, it is time to assemble your cookie boxes! Place each cookie in a clear cello bag. Use tape or ribbon to close the bag.
Put some paper shred into the box. Place cookie(s) inside. Put more shred into the box, filling in the spaces around and above the cookie (and between if using more than one cookie). Once you close the box, you should be able to shake it and not hear any movement inside. If you hear movement, add more shred. Secure the box opening with tape.
5. Postage, Labels, and Finishing Touches
To cut down on cost, I found a pretty wrap around label that I liked here. You can also buy a printable file on Etsy for $10-$15. I printed my labels on full-sheet sticker paper, but you can print them out on light card stock and attach them instead. I recommend wrap around labels because if you want to put pretty stamps on your boxes, you may not have enough room for your return address!
As for postage, you can either weigh each box yourself (once it has been completely assembled) or take it to the Post Office to get an accurate figure for the postage required. I mailed my cookie boxes using first class mail, which seemed the best compromise between price and shipping speed.
Having trouble finding all of the holiday stamps you want? Order them online! You can get as many of the exact stamps you want and only pay $1 handling charge per order.
For my shipping weight, each box needed 5 first class stamps (.44 cents then, I believe) and a .02 adjustment stamp to get to $2.22 per box.
My total cost per box: $2.22 for shipping, about .60 for the box itself (including Paper Mart shipping), free labels, and I used card stock and sticky label paper that I already had, so about $2.82 per box, not including the cost to make the cookies themselves, which is pretty negligible!
So, not cheap, but a beautiful and thoughtful gesture that I promise your friends and family will love!