The prize in the cereal box -- making packages for retail display out of cereal bags

my favorite cerealA few weeks ago, I answered a call from Ghost Gallery, an art jewelry and vintage "hybrid" in Seattle, for handmade greeting cards. I crafted some notecard sets using illustrations from old books. I thought getting the card design right would be the hard part. 

Nope. I ran into a problem I never have to face in my online shop -- packaging for retail display. How could I present the cards so that customers could examine each one? 

Plastic bags would be a last resort. My first choice, as always, was to repurpose materials I already had on hand. Book pages -- I have tons of those. Could these hold my card sets?

Mr. Upcycler rose to the challenge. He pulled an origami book off the shelf, scanned the instructions, and quickly constructed a box.
handmade paper box
To make it, he used 2 pages for the box top and 2 for the bottom. Very cool, I told him, but I want people to see the cards. That led to design #2.
handmade paper box with wax paper window
He added a window made of wax paper to the top of the box. Beautiful. Perfect. But how long would it take for me to make 8 boxes? I had to deliver the notecards the next day.

I really liked the wax paper. But that was new. Could I use something old instead? Enter the cereal bag.
plastic from cereal boxes makes perfect see-through packaging
Cereal bags are strong, translucent, and easy to clean -- in fact, they are a lot like wax paper. So about a month ago, I started saving them. Given the rate of cereal consumption at our house, that meant I had at least 5 bags.

I started by trimming off the edges and cutting the bags in half.
plastic from cereal boxes makes perfect see-through packaging
Then I chose a book page, one made of thick paper. I cut down the page so that it was about 20% larger than the notecards. Then I sewed the paper to the bag on 3 sides, leaving the top open.
sewing plastic to paper

seam on edge of package
I wasn't sure how my sewing machine would like the cereal bag plastic, but it didn't seem to notice I wasn't sewing fabric. I didn't even have to change the tension. 

The last step was to trim the extra plastic so that the two sides were the same size. Here's the finished package with notecards inside.
cards in upcycled packaging
And if you happen to find yourself on Capitol Hill in Seattle, wander by Ghost Gallery. It's a little hard to find, but well worth the trouble.
Ghost Gallery in Seattle