Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Ship Cookies

I was so excited to help with the Fund for Jennie project that I didn't really put too much thought into the logistics.  I have baked and decorated about one hundred sugar cookies, so I knew that part wouldn't be difficult.  But once someone bid on my cookies and won, I realized I had neglected to plan one of the most important components of this whole project: getting the cookies to the winner.

I went to the cookie queen herself, Bridget from Bake at 350, to figure out how she ships her cookies to her fans.  As if she was reading my thoughts, I found a video on her University of Cookie site that laid out exactly how to ship cookies.  Well, it wasn't simply shipping cookies, it's packaging them in a way to make sure they arrive looking as beautifully as they did when you sent them off.  Her post was so helpful that I wanted to share my own experience with shipping cookies and provide the best tips possible to make sure your cookies arrive in one piece.

The first thing you must do is protect the individual cookie.  Each cookie should be individually wrapped in cellophane bags.  Not only does this protect the cookie, but it makes for a really beautiful presentation.  If your cookies are simply flooded and do not have any detail on them, you may be able to fit two cookies in one bag.  But because I was making these cookies for someone else, I wanted to make sure each cookie was protected.

Box #1: 8-1/2 in x 11 in document box.  I picked up this box (along with all of my other shipping materials) at my local Staples.  It's a clean, neat box that can fit a good number of cookies.  Assemble your 8-1/2 x 11 in box and line it with a sheet of bubble wrap.  Lay your bags of cookies in a single layer along the bottom of the box.  Cover with a second sheet of bubble wrap.  Lay another layer of cookies on top of the bubble wrap and cover with a third piece of bubble wrap.  I was able to fit 1 dozen cookies in this one document box, but you may be able to fit more or less depending on the size of your cookie and whether or not you wrapped them individually.

Box #2: 12 in x 12 in x 12 in shipping box.  The dimensions of your shipping box may be different from the one I used.  To determine what size shipping box you'll need, first figure out how many cookies you can fit into your document box.  I knew I could fit 12 cookies into each document box, therefore I would need 2 document boxes to ship my 24 cookies.  Assemble your shipping box and line the bottom with packing peanuts or (if you're trying to be environmentally conscious) crumpled up newspaper.  Place the first document box in the shipping box, add another layer of padding, then place the second document box in the shipping box, followed by another layer of padding.  Repeat this process until all of your cookies are packed up.

Quadruple check the address of the recipient, cover it with packing tape, tape up all of the sides and corners of the shipping box, and stamp it with a "FRAGILE" stamp.  And there you go!  The whole packaging process took me less than an hour; the most time consuming part was packaging each individual cookie and tying them off with a ribbon.  You put a lot of time and effort into these cookies, you should put the same amount of time and effort into making sure they get to their destination safely.  Good luck!

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