How you package soap has a lot to do with how you are branding your product. Here are the most common ways to package soaps.
Simple ways to Package Soap:
I chose to use a simple band around the soap as my packaging. I felt it was a more rustic way that allowed the bars to be the focus. Customers could see the bars, the rustic tops created by hot processing the soap and could smell each bar.
One draw back of this type of packaging is the shrinkage that happens in soap. While the hot process soap (in my opinion) does not shrink as much as cold process, over time water evaporates from the bars causing the label to loosen. I have more of a problem with this happening over the winter as opposed to the summer months.
I chose to package my soap this way for a few reasons. First off, as I mentioned before, I wanted customers to be able to touch and smell the soap. I am a very tactile person myself and I want to feel the soap, hold it in my hands, smell it and get to know the bar before I buy it. Secondly, I wanted my soap to be used! I wanted a package that made it easier for a bar to be opened and people to fall in love with it in the shower or at their sink. I felt that wrapping the soap or using a more decorative package made the soap more of a display piece. Something people would put in a dish in their guest bathroom next to a liquid soap pump. Certainly there are soaps that fill that niche, but that is not the demographic I wanted to reach.
Many will used a shrink wrap to package their soaps. Shrink wrapping protects the soaps from shrinking as the soap ages and protects your band from being torn (if you apply the label before you shrink wrap the soap). Some shrink wrap covers the entire bar, some will leave an opening so your customers can smell your soap. Shrink wrap supplies are available from many different suppliers, one of which is BrambleBerry.
Soap Wraps are a popular way to package soap. Some use a complete wrap, while others will wrap only part of the soap.
Some paper wrappings will allow the customer to smell the soap scents through the paper. However, if you have a soap that you have made with a delicate swirl, or a fancy rimmed edge you may not want to wrap your soap in paper. You may chose to let the decorative features show through.
Many soap makers will use a box to package their soap. Boxes will help protect the bar from damage in transit from your place of manufacture to the place of sale. The boxes themselves may get damaged but your soap should remain intact. Much like the paper wrapping, some boxes completely enclose the soap, others are half enclosed or have an opening so customers can smell the bar through the opening.
You can buy pre-made boxes at places on the internet like Elements Bath and Body, or you can make your own using heavy duty cardstock or kraft paper.
Of course, when you are looking at packaging your handmade soap you are not limited to using just ONE of these methods. Many combine the different packaging types to create their own unique look. All it takes is a few minutes on the internet to find how creative people have gotten when packaging their soaps.