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Cellophane or plastic shrink-wrap - self adhering?

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RogueRose

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I have some rolls of cellophane that is nice for wrapping soaps (must be cut to size), but there is one thing I really dislike which is having to tape the soap like wraping a present. After that I apply heat to shrink to size.

I'm wondering if cellophane is self adhearing or if there is some other type of plastic that will do this. I remember packs of sports cards (trading cards) ~25 years ago) that came in cellophane packs and it seemed that the plastick didn't have any tape holding it together but the back of the pack, where all sides converged, was thicker (a number of layers) and possibly even melted together (I can't remember clearly enough it's been too long.

Does anyone know how this can be done without tape?

I was thinking of hot melt glue. Possibly make lots of tiny drops on a piece of wax paper and then pull them off the wax paper, put on the cellophane where it is overlapping and then apply an iron (I've used an iron on it w/ a piece of paper in between the plastic and metal iron surface.

Anyone have any other ideas?
 

Susie

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I watched this just yesterday.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7MObVa5RRo[/ame]

Might be a solution if you wrap lots of soap.
 

lsg

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I have a small cutter/sealer machine that works great.
 

DeeAnna

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Dots of hot melt glue probably wouldn't be sticky enough when cool and it seems to me you'd need about four hands to control an iron to melt the dots after packaging the soap -- may end up going back to adhesive tape as being easier!

There are sticky "glue dots" you can buy that would do what you describe without needing heat. I think glue dots would drive me batty in short order -- far too fussy and sticky for me! :)

The National system that Susie shared is really nice, but more than I need as a hobbyist. I think Genny has that system (member here on SMF, but hasn't posted much of late).

I believe you can use a hot sealer system to heat seal cellophane type film as you "gift wrap" the film around an item, but that's a specialty item that is out of reach for most hobby or small business soapers. Something like this: [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q3W4WaMClk[/ame]

ETA: I'm working on putting up a list of tutorials and articles, including a tutorial on how I package my bar soap. Here's a link to the (rather short) list: http://classicbells.com/soap/soapyStuff.html Click on "Using shrink bags to package soap" to see the packaging tutorial.
 
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RogueRose

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Dots of hot melt glue probably wouldn't be sticky enough when cool and it seems to me you'd need about four hands to control an iron to melt the dots after packaging the soap -- may end up going back to adhesive tape as being easier!

There are sticky "glue dots" you can buy that would do what you describe without needing heat. I think glue dots would drive me batty in short order -- far too fussy and sticky for me! :)

The National system that Susie shared is really nice, but more than I need as a hobbyist. I think Genny has that system (member here on SMF, but hasn't posted much of late).

I believe you can use a hot sealer system to heat seal cellophane type film as you "gift wrap" the film around an item, but that's a specialty item that is out of reach for most hobby or small business soapers
. Something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q3W4WaMClk

Here's how I use shrink bags to package my soap: http://classicbells.com/soap/pkgTut/pkgTut.html

Ahhh, but you don't know how industrious and inventive some of us can be... :wink:

Those are good ideas. I'll have to look into more ideas for using cellophane as I really like it.

Have any of you used food saver bags Those vacuum sealing units? I know you can use mylar with them as the heat melts the mylar together. I'm wondering if the above machines will do the same thing.

I'll try and get back to yall!
 

commoncenz

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I love the way your label doesn't hide the soap DeeAnna! Do you have a tutorial on how you made it also?
 

DeeAnna

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Rogue -- I have a Foodsaver type of vacuum sealer, and the problem with that type of sealing is that a vac bag doesn't create a form fitting package like shrink film can. That's fine for packaging a steak to freeze, but doesn't look very appealing for a soap. Also, you need a thicker film for a reliable vac pack, otherwise air will migrate through the film or you'll get more seal failures.

Patrick -- I don't have a tutorial on making the labels, but I'll try to give an outline of what I do. I use Paintshop Pro to create the entire label including the text. You could use Photoshop or any similar software that allows you to create an image file that includes text as well as artwork or photos.

First off, I decided what size my label had to be. I ended up with a label about 4 inches tall by 2.6 inches wide and that fits the particular size of soap I make pretty well. I then opened a new file in Paintshop with those dimensions as my print size. (photo 1)

If you can imagine how this label goes on the soap -- it forms a "U" shape. One upright side of the "U" is the front of the label, the other the back, and the bottom of the "U" is, well, the bottom. :) I created imaginary guides that blocked off the label into those portions. Those are the blue lines in the second photo.

I use Google to find public domain images that fit the themes of my soaps. In the case of Coureur des Bois ("woods runners"), the theme is the rough and tumble itinerant French explorers from the 1700s and 1800s who trapped, hunted, and fished in this region where I live (upper Mississippi River valley). The soap looks kind of like wood and it has a spicy woodsy scent. I found a vintage photo of such a man (Pierre Le Royer, 1889), edited the photo to suit my needs, and inserted the tweaked photo into the label file.

The text is added likewise in Paintshop. I can tweak the location of each block of text so it fits around the artwork and is spaced nicely in each region of the label (front, back, bottom). After getting the label set up, I then save the file as a JPEG image. I open a Microsoft Word file, set the margins to 0.17 inch all around, and insert as many of the JPEG images as will fit on one page. (photo 3) I save the document file, then print as many sheets of labels as I need. I use HP Brochure Paper (180 gram weight) for the labels. This paper has about the weight and firmness of 3x5 notecards or manila file folders. I use a rotary cutter and straight edge to cut the labels apart, and they're ready for use.

Theoretically you could use Word to do the entire job, but the problem is keeping all the elements of the label properly aligned -- Word is incredibly annoying to use for graphic layout. By using Paintshop, I can set up the different elements of the label (5 blocks of text and one image) and they will stay right where I put them. Then I can use Word to print multiple copies of the finished label all on one page -- a task Word can do very well and something Paintshop is horrible at doing.

Since I wrote my packaging tutorial, I set up my labels a bit differently. Still the same general idea, but a slightly different layout. The text on the back now includes the maker name and address and this text flows as needed down the back and onto the bottom. The 3-region idea was nice, but it didn't always work out as well in real life as I wanted, since handcrafted soap varies a bit in size from bar to bar. Photo 4 shows an example.

soapLabel0.jpg

soapLabel1.jpg

soapLabel2.jpg

soapLabel3.jpg
 
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nsmar4211

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DeeAnna: Cut and paste that over and add it to your website!!! (the label post)

Genius idea to clip the corners...I did a lot of repacking at my retail job and those pesky corners were annoying!

Thank you for sharing your technique!
 

DeeAnna

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Actually I don't clip the corners anymore. :) I really disliked that part of the packaging method -- those darn corners stick to everything with the static charge they have!

Sooooo, here's an update:
Do all of the steps UP TO the clipping corners thing. Jump over that part entirely.
Go to the step where I briefly heat the narrow edges of the soap in the shrink wrap.
At that point, the air in the shrink bag has no place to go and (usually) makes the shrink bag into a puffy pillow.
I use a box cutter knife to make a tiny slit somewhere in the middle of the back of the shrink bag -- about 1/4" long or so.
Continue with the shrinking process per the tutorial.

The slit does two things -- it obviously lets the air vent out, but it also tends to grow in size during the shrink process and forms a small oval shape. Voila -- a convenient sniffy spot!!!! I thought that was a win-win for all concerned, especially me.
 

Dorymae

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You can seal cellophane or shrink wrap with a vacuum sealer if you have one. They use a heated wire to seal.
 

DeeAnna

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Oops, I'm sorry about the bad link, rparny! That is my fault. I took Nsmar's advice to upload the labeling information to my website (and maybe I'll get some of my articles posted there too). In so doing, I changed the folder structure so it made more sense when adding new material and that broke the link I gave earlier in this thread. I've updated that link, and I PROMISE I won't mess with the folder structure again! Here is the correct link: http://classicbells.com/soap/soapyStuff.html
 
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doriettefarm

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DeeAnna - so glad you posted the link to your real job! I could spend hours drooling over the leather goods. Stirrup purses . . . that's just brilliant and I've never seen anything like it anywhere else!

I really would like to buy one of your custom purses. Check out my question in this post (http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=56190&page=4) about the horse hair and PM me if you think it's doable.
 

doriettefarm

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Super excited after further perusing your site DeeAnna! I would also like to discuss one of the custom leather covered horseshoes. I hung onto the last shoe he threw and have been contemplating some type of gift for his awesome farrier. I think farrier dude would be floored to receive a gift of the last shoe he made for my Calvert (along with some bars of pine tar soap since he's been asking for more).

Apologies to everyone for derailing the post! To get back on topic I will say that I've used my Food Saver to make custom-sized soap baggies using a roll of plastic tubing. Works decent if you don't want to buy a fancy impulse sealer . . .
 

Dahila

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I know it is old thread but my search powered by google does not work today. Can anyone tell me what kind of shrink wrap is good for soap. I am ordering in local supplier but I think it comes too expensive $ 8 for 100, I would order it on Uline but I have no idea how to bite it, What kind of shrink wrap to order. Any info would be appreciated:)
 

shunt2011

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I know it is old thread but my search powered by google does not work today. Can anyone tell me what kind of shrink wrap is good for soap. I am ordering in local supplier but I think it comes too expensive $ 8 for 100, I would order it on Uline but I have no idea how to bite it, What kind of shrink wrap to order. Any info would be appreciated:)
I use the shrink bags from Papermart. They are 6.26 for 500. Though I'm not sure what the shipping might be for you. And, they are currently out of stock on the 4x6 bags.

Might be worth checking out when they are back in stock.
 

Serene

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Dahila,

75 GA is the most common. 100 GA is a bit more heavy duty. I use both when packaging beads in my beadstore.
I buy mine from here:
http://www.packagingsupplies.com/PVC_Shrink_Film_Rolls.html
and Bags from http://www.papermart.com/flat-shrink-bags/id=4937#4937
When I cant get them from Papermart: http://www.stockpkg.com/PVC-Heat-Shrink-Bags-4-x-6-100-Gauge-Clear-500case_p_116564.html

And bags and a ton of stuff from this place. I try to keep browsing to a minimum here. This place is dangerous. https://www.cellodepot.com/

A Friend of mine uses 75GA for her soaps. She buys perforated for her CP/HP so people can still smell it, and the regular for her melt and pour she does not want sweating.
She buys hers from here http://www.nationalshrinkwrap.com/order-shrink-film.html

I am sure someone will dig up something better as these are all US companies.

Sere

(Still looking at all my vendors so give me a second. I usually buy where it is convenient or where I am already buying something for the store so I dont buy from one place only. Some I buy in bulk so please check on pricing as buying in single units may not be the best deal for you)
 
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