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Topic: Is there a cheaper way to wrap books?

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goodgirl0608 avatar
Subject: Is there a cheaper way to wrap books?
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 93
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I dont have a printer so I dont use the PBS wrappers. I have been buying the bubble mailers and wrapping the books in plastic bags and then I put them in the bubble mailers. I write all my addresses by hand which I dont mind but it is getting expensive to buy the bubble mailers and am wondering what is a less expensive yet good way to wrap books for shipping? I dont really like the idea of using brown paper bags because I have gotten books wrapped this way and they have holes and tears throughout the whole thing. Any ideas?

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2006
Posts: 1,063
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I use the following:

a layer of plastic--I use plastic grocery bags

Brown paper (with lots of tape)

printer paper (for smaller books)  --I reuse ones that are scrap paper & hand write the address info

Reuse envelopes I get in the mail--I completely black out the addresses & tape a piece of paper with the new mailing info & taped really well. 

Some folks use manila envelopes, the main thing is to make sure it is taped nice & tight

When I do buy bubble envelopes I usually get them when they are on sale like at walgreens $3/1.00

Also that mailing stuff some people use that is like plastic (I think its called tyvek) is cool too...I just tape on a label with the address information


Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2006
Posts: 1,063
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old calendar pages work too

Generic Profile avatar
Standard Member medal
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 4
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I save mini-cardboard mailers from Barnes & Noble, as well as bubble mailers from things I've ordered so I have something handy to re-use.  I save the plastic bags from my newspaper delivery for an inner lining.    Paper grocery bags work well for wrapping -- if you're worried about tearing, just wrap around the book twice and put plenty of mailing tape.   I'm a new member so maybe others have better ideas.


swingsistert avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2005
Posts: 418
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I use heavy grocery bags, and use packing tape at all the corners.

I've also bought manilla envelopes at our local dollar store (they're 4 or 6 for a dollar) that I use as well. Again, with lots of tape.

I've also used boxes from stuff around the house (cereal/pet toys/whatever). And I always reuse PBS mailers when I can. If I get a manilla envelope/bubble mailer from another member, I always open it carefully!

I did once get a book wrapped in old wallpapter -- that held up really well in the post!!

Basically, it just depends on what you have on hand that will protect the book!

biancaneve avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2007
Posts: 5,522
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For the mass-market paperbacks, I wrap first in plastic wrap, than use two sheets of printer paper (and I try to recycle these - I use the back of discarded business stuff when I can).  For bigger books I wrap first in bubble wrap (I bought a HUGE roll from a packaging store, so this only adds a nickel to the cost), then put in a 9"x12" envelope.   The envelopes are extras from my business marketing, so are basically free, and I have a lot of them.  I fold the top down as much as I can, and use a lot of tape to reinforce the envelope at its seams.   I agree with using what you have, buying cheaply, and buying in bulk.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2006
Posts: 260
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I rarely use bubble mailers these days due to the cost. I generally use heavy plastic mailers that I order from here: http://www.uline.com/  Depending on the size of the book, I either cut the envelope apart (wraps 2 paperbacks) or use one for larger books. They're fairly inexpensive and satisfy those who prefer their books wrapped in plastic. I buy the red ones - I've been told that my packages look like medical waste!


lilynlilac avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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Bren told us about the stuff she uses.  Someone off of ebay sells waterproof mailers in varying sizes.  I got 3 different sizes and I can't remember how many I got but it's close to 100 and I spent maybe $10-$11 bucks on ebay.  Pretty economical if you ask me.  And they can be reused, if I sent a book to someone and they end up sending out a pb to someone all they'd have to do is some cutting or creative folding and it can be reused!

Generic Profile avatar
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Date Posted: 10/8/2007 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I get sturdy brown wrapping paper with designs on it at the dollar store. Bonus its pretty and my requestors usually comment on how much they like they paper.

Last Edited on: 10/8/07 3:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
afrugalmom avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 1,620
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You can recycle just about anything to wrap books in.  You can even use the cardboard from cereal boxes.  I alos reuse all the envelopes that I receive books in. 

Last Edited on: 10/8/07 3:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Rianli avatar
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Date Posted: 10/8/2007 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 1,163
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I recycle lots of things. Most of the time I use a box that was from a frozen WW dinner, cereal box, waffle box, etc. After I cut the box to size, I wrap the book in plastic wrap, wrap in box and then I wrap with brown paper from a brown bag or recycle an envelope I received from another member. I used to buy envelopes too but it does get expensive. There are lots of items you can recycle. Just be creative.

Rebemdee avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2005
Posts: 336
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I got 7 rolls of wallpaper for $1 a piece.  I wrap in plastic first, just in case it gets wet and the glue on the wallpaper is activated, and then use a sharpie for the address, or I tape the printout from the "print postage on PBS."  I tape really well, since the tape doesn't always stick to the vinyl wallpaper as securely as it would to paper.  Each roll wraps a LOT of books, probably 25-40, depending on size.  A lot of places are phasing out wallpaper so you can usually find really good deals on it.  Try calling some of the paint stores in your area and seeing if they have any deals.  We got it to line shelves but I've used it mostly for books!

Before wallpaper I used paper bags from the grocery store. 

Edited to say, Taleah, I bet that book was from me!

Last Edited on: 10/8/07 4:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
dawgsncats avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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Order some books and re-use what they come in!  That's the cheapest of all!  It doesn't always work, but I re-use everything I can.  Everyone in my office knows to save me envelopes, especially bubble envelopes.  I can tape the PBS label over whatever is on the envelope.

Sianeka avatar
Sianeka - ,
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Date Posted: 10/8/2007 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I don't have a lot of spare cash either, so I wrap in plastic first then use two layers of printer paper, but I make sure to use LOTS of packing tape, I tape around all edges and also tape over the center back and front, so almost entire package has at least one layer of packing tape over it.  I'm always careful to use packing tape on edges and corners because that's where my package is most likely to rip.

So far, no problems...

freakazoidP avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2006
Posts: 351
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I once got 2 books in a kleenex box.Weird, but very savvy.

gdcleary avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/7/2007
Posts: 616
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Freezer paper or the brown wrap paper you can buy at Wal-Mart for about $1.00 per roll.  I have been known to wrap my Christmas presents in brown paper.  Hey LL Beans charges you $5.00 to do the same thing.

booktopia avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
Posts: 150
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another good option is heavy paper book covers.  i'm a teacher and my school makes book covers w/our school mascot on them. of course, none of the students want to use them because they're kinda dorky so I take them home and use them to wrap books. ask your kids to get extras from their school if their school does this too!

missa avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2005
Posts: 884
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I've got a huge roll of contractor/paint paper from Lowes.  I paid $8 for a roll that will last me a long time.  I've use it to wrap 20 packages already, and I didn't even make a dent in the roll.  It was something like 144 sq feet (I think).  Its much sturdier than grocery bags, and comes in handy when I don't have anymore envelopes to recycle.

grendelynn avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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Well, if you want to use bubble wrappers it's much cheaper to buy them in bulk.  I think I got mine from esupply.com, I'm sure there are several other good sources.  Otherwise, plastic wrap, brown paper bags--recycled amazon boxes, and lots of tape are all good.



royaltech avatar
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Date Posted: 10/8/2007 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Go to the local newspaper office. Ask if you can have or buy one of their print end rolls. If they ask you a number, tell them the 50# but either will be fine. They have to have a certain amount of paper on the roll for it to continue to thread correctly thru the machine, and so they stop at a certain point, if they are at the end of a page, in particular. then most offfices sell these end rolls for a couple bucks or just give them away, They work just like the brown brand Kraft paper, and are about 36" wide, I believe. That's all we ever use, unless we re-use sometjing someone sent us books in, like bubble wrappers & boxes.

JCCrooks avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I recycle the majority of packaging I receive PBS books in.  I carefully slice them open when I receive them.

I use self-stick bubble wrap (leftover from a move), then place in a manilla envelope (buy in bulk at Sams/Costco) when I don't have a stockpile of PBS recycled mailers.

I sometimes use cardstock also.


Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2007
Posts: 97
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I use the polytek mailers that someone mentioned off ebay.  It was 7.95 plus shipping ($5) for 75 mailers, pretty economical.

auntmary avatar
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2005
Posts: 69
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I like to use a product called b-flute. It's a flexable corrugated cardboard and comes on a roll. It's much cheaper than bubble mailers, and durable. It's not waterproof, so I always wrap the books in plastic first. I buy it in a 250 foot roll and it lasts me for quite awhile. 

I've never counted how many books I can wrap from a roll, but I usually use a little less than to about a foot for each paperback book depending on size, so I estimate at least a couple of hundred paperbacks out of each roll.


Standard Member medal
Date Posted: 10/8/2007 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 8,135
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I wrap them in plastic first (grocery store bags) and then in wallpaper.  We found discontinued rolls for 25 cents each.  Then I tape the bejeebers out of the package. Wallpaper is sturdy and pretty!



Generic Profile avatar
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Date Posted: 10/8/2007 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I use those plastic envelopes I bought on ebay.  I don't know how to do the link thing. I think someone else mentioned them.  I bought 100 in various sizes and it worked out to about .18/envelope.  Much less time consuming then wrapping them up and probably not any more expensive. Definately cheaper than the bubble mailers and sturdier then computer paper.  Also when I get books in bubble mailers I open them carefully and recycle them. 

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