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Concept to Completion: Making a Custom Holiday Gift

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  • Concept to Completion: Making a Custom Holiday Gift
11 Jan 2024

At SunDance, we are excited to share the process behind our Holiday Popcorn Kit for 2023. We want to take you behind the scenes and pull the curtain back on the step-by-step process of how we brought this delightful holiday gift to life. From concept to completion, we'll provide insight into each component and the meticulous attention to detail that goes into creating a successful client holiday gift that doubles as a promotional product. If you plan to create a Holiday Gift for clients in 2024, we hope this lends some creative inspiration to your process.

Ideation and Concept Development

The first step in creating our Holiday Popcorn Kit, or any custom holiday gift, was brainstorming and ideation. Our marketing team collaborated to develop a unique and captivating concept that captures the festive spirit of the holiday season. We considered various elements, such as packaging design, necessary components, and the overall presentation, to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for recipients.

Our journey to creating this Holiday Popcorn Kit began with a video. Our team found several social media influencer videos of popcorn made using a paper bag in the microwave. Thus, the idea of an at-home popcorn-making kit was born! Once we had a general idea of what our holiday gift would be, we began the process of laying out what items would be needed for our holiday kit and brainstorming design ideas.

We aimed to develop an engaging and attractive presentation for our Holiday Popcorn Kit. We brainstormed ideas for copy that incorporated witty popcorn puns and clever slogans for the campaign. Our skilled design team created a mood board for the project to establish the design direction. Once the design concepts were approved, we proceeded with creating the individual components for our kit.

SD Holiday Mood board

Holiday Popcorn Kit Components

As the idea of our Holiday Popcorn Kit began to take shape, we moved our focus to determining what items would be included in each kit and how the kit would be delivered. As a commercial print and packaging manufacturer, we provide custom solutions for clients near and far. When creating our Holiday Popcorn Kit, we took this into consideration as some kits would be delivered in person, and others would need to be shipped to our clients. With our wide array of in-house solutions, our team developed the following items to showcase our capabilities and create a beautiful gift for our clients. 

Kit Overview

Gable Box

A gable box is a type of packaging container, often with a square or rectangular bottom, featuring a top closure that forms handles. Gable boxes are versatile, often used for food or retail packaging, and easy to carry as they include handles. Popular items like Dunkin's Munchkins and Mcdonald's Happy Meals are packaged in gable boxes. With the features and benefits gable boxes offer, they are a perfect way to package gifts that will be hand-delivered, which is why we chose to use this packaging to deliver our Holiday Popcorn Gift locally.

Our Holiday Popcorn Kit Gable Box was printed on a 24pt C1S Cover using a 4-color process on our Heidelberg CD102 press. Once our gable boxes were printed, it was time for die-cutting and finishing! We used a custom die to create our gable boxes. After die cutting, our team foil stamped each box with bright gold and red foil. Our Holiday Popcorn Kit Gable Box is not only sturdy enough to package gift items in but also eye-catching with its beautiful embellishments.

Shipper Box

With our clients and partners spread throughout the United States and internationally, it was vital for our Holiday Popcorn Kit to have a packaging component suitable to be placed in the mail. Shipper boxes, also called mailer boxes or subscription boxes, can be placed directly in the mail with a shipping label and provide endless design opportunities.

Our Holiday Popcorn Kit Shipper Box was printed on a Corrugated C-Flute using a 6-color process on our HP Latex R2000 press. Once our shipper boxes were printed, they were placed on our Zund G3 3XL-1600 Digital Cutter to be cut to shape. If you have never seen the magic of a Zund in action, it will surely impress! This intuitive machine can custom cut any shape and even place release points on the sheet to ensure substrate scraps can be broken down into easy-to-handle sizes to place in recycling or waste receptacles.

Instruction Card

When designing any kits that include a DIY component, it's essential to include an instruction card. Since our holiday gift was an at-home popcorn-making kit, we knew an instruction card would be necessary to guide our recipients through making their popcorn.

Our Holiday Popcorn Kit Instruction Card was designed to look like a traditional movie theater popcorn container. We printed the instruction cards using a 4-color process, with our HP Indigo 7600 press, on a 100# Gloss Cover paper to achieve a more brilliant print color. We then applied a Soft Touch Plus Lamination to add a luxurious feel to the cards, as this item would be regularly touched and held while using our kit.

To achieve a unique shape, we created a custom die to cut the instruction card into the shape of the movie theater popcorn container. Custom dies are a great way to add appeal to any commercial print project! Once die cut, our instruction cards were foil stamped using bright gold and red foil to match our Holiday Popcorn Kit Gable Box and other components.

Pouch

Flexible pouches, also called mylar pouches, come in many sizes, styles, and materials. When designing a flexible pouch, knowing what items it will hold and how it will ultimately be used throughout its lifespan is critical. The pouch for our popcorn kernels needed to be visually appealing and great for storing the kernels throughout multiple uses. Our pouch needed food-safe barrier properties to ensure freshness, a zipper for numerous uses, and the ability to stand up for storage.

Our Holiday Popcorn Kit Pouch was made using Metalized Polyester (PET) Film and Polyethylene Coextruded Plastic (PE COEX), then finished with Polypropylene (OPP) Gloss Thermal Laminate. To achieve the look of foil, we used a layer of white ink and knocked out the areas of the design where we wanted to embellish with shine. Using a white layer on a metalized film lets you choose where you want the metalized shine to show through, giving your pouch a foil-stamped look without the added cost of foil.

Belly Band

A belly band is a long piece of paper, often scored and folded, then wrapped around an item or items. Belly bands are often used to keep multiple items together and offer great opportunities for branding and embellishments. Our Holiday Popcorn Kit included brown paper bags to be used for popping kernels in the microwave. Since we included multiple bags in each kit, a belly band was the perfect way to ensure the components stayed well organized throughout transit.

Our Holiday Popcorn Kit Belly Band was printed on a 12pt C1S Cover paper using a 4-color process on our HP Indigo 7600 press. After printing and trimming, the belly bands were foil stamped with bright gold and red foil to match our other kit components.

Tag

To complete our Holiday Popcorn Kit, we designed a folded "to/from" tag with a string to label who each gift was for. Our team members were able to handwrite personal holiday greetings and well wishes to their gift recipients on each of the tags.

Our Holiday Popcorn Kit Tags were printed on a 16pt C1S Cover paper using a 4-color process on our HP Indigo 7600 press. After being printed, the tags were foil stamped with bright gold and red foil, then trimmed to size and folded. The final step to completing our tags was to punch holes and add the string to each tag, allowing them to be attached to our Holiday Popcorn Kit Gable Box.

Kitting and Fulfillment 

Once all of our Holiday Popcorn Kit items were produced, it was time to assemble our kits! Our Kitting and Fulfillment team hand-assembled each gift, ensuring every item was placed with care into our kit boxes. Our team wrapped the belly bands around paper bags, attached tags to each gift, and filled each box with crinkle paper for added cushioning. 

After our boxes were packaged to perfection, they were ready to be distributed to our gift recipients. Our sales team members hand-delivered our Holiday Popcorn Kit Gable Box to their local destinations. Our Kitting and Fulfillment team took our gift distribution list and printed shipping labels, then matched each label with the corresponding gift tag to ensure each gift arrived at the proper destination.

Kitting and Fulfillment TeamA very special thank you to all of our team members who helped to bring this project to life!

Creating Holiday Gifts Worth Savoring

Producing a custom holiday gift is truly a labor of love. Taking the time to plan out each component and ensure thoughtful production is key to crafting a holiday gift worth savoring. Choosing the necessary items to customize and incorporating consistent design elements may take time, but it is worth the investment to ensure a dazzling gift that will be cherished.

At SunDance, we are happy to help with your next holiday gift project from concept to completion! Let us assist with guiding you through the process of crafting your own holiday gift. If you have any questions on printing, packaging, or kitting and fulfillment, our team of experts are here for you every step of the way.

 

Marissa Miller

Marissa Miller

Marissa is an Orlando native, bringing over ten years of experience in sales and marketing to the SunDance team. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and Valencia College, receiving a BSBA in Marketing and a Technical Certificate in Graphic Design. As SunDance's Inside Sales and Marketing Manager, she supports sales and marketing initiatives.

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