Mailing Box Make Over

At the PMC conference over the summer, some people came prepared with charms for a Charm Swap. As one of the unprepared, I made my charms after the conference and then was faced with the challenge of how to mail dimensional and delicate charms so they would not get crushed in transit. I wanted something smaller than a box, light weight, not bulky, and be sturdier than tissue wrap or a bubble mailer alone. Did I mention it also had to be pretty??

Poking around my stashes of craft supplies I found a dented but sturdy piece of foam core board, glue, a shape template, tissue paper in my favorite color of fuchsia, and voila! A nest that would protect and frame each charm for mailing and presentation!


Foam core board
Spray adhesive * i.e. 3M Super 77 adhesive
Shape template i.e. Cushion
Craft knife
Cutting mat
Tissue paper
Glue stick

*Please use proper ventilation and cover surrounding surfaces when using aerosols.*

1.  Measure the height of the charm to find out how many layers of foam board are needed to protect the charm. Use spray adhesive to bond the foam boards together. For large sheets, place a weight like a tool box on top of the boards while the glue is setting. For this frame 2 layers of foam board were used.

2.  Once the adhesive is dry, outline the frame on the foam board with a pencil. For a snug fit use the charm to find the closest size on the shape template that will contain the charm for the inner diameter of the frame. Choose a larger size frame for the outer diameter of the frame and mark it with a pencil.  For this frame I used a 1.5cm wide cushion and a 2.5 cm cushion for the outer edge.

3. Starting with the center, cut out the frame out with a craft knife on a cutting mat. If the craft knife can not cut all the way through the layers of foam board, hold the foam board off the mat slightly so the blade can pierce through the foam board completely.

4. Use scissors to cut a rectangle of tissue paper large enough to wrap around the edges of the frame and cover the foam board. For this frame, a 6.5cm x 7.5cm rectangle of tissue was used.

5.  Place the tissue paper colored side down on the work surface. With a glue stick, apply glue onto the back of the frame and set it in the center of the tissue paper.

6. Apply glue to the front side of the frame and start wrapping the tissue around the frame.

If it helps, sing the Hokey Pokey song to help you fold and secure the tissue paper.  I admit, it helped me to write all the steps down!

Fold the right flap in.

Fold the left flap in.

Spread glue on the bottom flap of tissue, fold it up into the center of the frame.

Repeat for the top flap and tuck in any corners that stick out.

7.  Look for any bits of foam board that peek through the tissue.

Glue small strips of tissue to cover any holes or gaps in the tissue.

8.  Ready to wrap & mail!

Play around with different shapes and ways to decorate these frames for your own unique mailing boxes. Don’t forget to post a pic in the comment section to share your creations!

About Michelle Loon

As metal clay artist and instructor based in Southern California, I love the challenge of reverse engineering imaginative, playful forms into pieces of sculpted wear. When not immersed in clay, I enjoy exploring acrobatic aerial arts. Website:


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