Shipping boxes are expensive to buy and so many people resort to using boxes that they have lying around the house. These boxes range from diaper boxes to the priority mail packaging that delivered the last minute gift you ordered last month. As inexpensive (read cheap) as these boxes are, they do create one problem for you: they are printed on the outside. The United States Postal Service requires that all identifying marks including barcodes be obliterated. The most common way to do this is to wrap the package in brown paper. Another method for doing this is to scribble through it with a marker. Brown paper is a nuisance and marker is unsightly. However, there is another way to make your box meet the Postal Service guidelines. Turn it inside out.
Open the bottom of the box.
Examine the four corners of the box until you find the corner with the little flap used to glue it together. Use a butter knife or letter opener and slide it under the seam carefully. Open the box out completely.
Flip the box over and put it back together in reverse. Use hot glue on the flap and press the seam back together with the print on the inside of the box.
Close the bottom of the box, using hot glue to stick it back together if necessary.
Put the item you are shipping in the box and surround it with plenty of cushioning material. Your shredded junk mail makes great cushioning (but is heavier than commercial products).
Tip: Save the packaging peanuts or air cushions from stuff that you order on-line to use packages that you ship.
Include a note card with the recipients address and the return address inside the box. If the label is lost or damaged, the post office will use the label inside the box to deliver the package.
Tape all the seams of the box with 2-inch wide tape. The Post Office recommends clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape, or paper tape. Duct tape works well too and comes in a wide variety of colors if you wish to dress-up your package (hot pink is always fun).
Address the box on the largest surface of the box. Write legibly and in large letters. Place the return address in the upper left-hand corner of the same side of the box.