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from box to bag & decorating for Thanksgiving


For those of you who aren’t aware, I have never developed a product line before the whole milk paint thing took off.  I’m a total newbie, flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants through this adventure.  When it became clear that I was actually going to have my own line of milk paint, I started to daydream about what kind of packaging I wanted.  I pictured a box right from the start.  First of all, I don’t know of any other paint that is sold in a box, so it would be unique on the shelf.  Second, I wanted it to feel like a present.  I even initially wanted a pretty grosgrain ribbon on each box in the paint color…until I realized how totally impractical and expensive that would be.  After much trial and error and samples and mock-ups, we settled on this…


It’s a rigid “kraft” box with a custom sticker that shows the color of the paint in the dresser printed on the front.  The powdered milk paint is inside the box, in a high quality zip-top bag with a color label sticker and surrounded by shredded craft paper.

An instruction tent card is inserted in the box to help new users know what to do.

I love this packaging.  But we have to change it.  Here’s why…

 Right now we have to order  six different components for one product.  Not only do we have to source all six of those components, but then someone has to put the sticker on the box, put the milk paint in the bag, put the sticker on the bag, put the bag in the box, put the craft fill in the box, put the tent card in the box, close the box.  Then bulky boxes have to be shipped out to our retailers in three different countries.  See the problem(s)?

For the sake of time, shipping efficiency and cost, we have now switched to this custom printed, zip-top, stand-up bag…


Now, someone just has to fill the bag and close the bag.  Only one things needs to be sourced.  Big difference.

I love this bag, too.  It fits perfectly with the other products and it’s going to be a lot easier for customers to use and store.  It’s also going to save on shipping costs for those who have to order online.  It really is a win-win.  I will miss the boxes and I’ll always have a special place in my heart for my “limited edition” packaging, but I’ve learned some valuable lessons about having a my own product line and I know this is a good move.

The first round of bags will not have the colored dressers, but a sticker.  We’re hoping to move back to the colored dresser in the next printing.

The new bags are starting to hit the market, so I just wanted to share why we made the change and show off our new look.

 My mom called me today and asked what I was up to.  “I’m decorating for Thanksgiving.”


Of course, I’m working on my projects for next year and I have to get through my photo shoots that I need live pumpkins for.


…tomorrow, I’m decorating for Halloween.

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  1. Deann says:

    oh goodie, now my gazillion boxes will be collector’s items !! I couldn’t bear to get rid of even one of them, even though I have the zip-top bags of paint all stored together in an old drawer…

  2. I’m glad I got some of that limited edition packaging – the new bags will be great, too.
    That whole holiday decorating thing is hard to wrap one’s head around. . . but at least you can get great deals on “stuff” on sale (when the holiday you’re buying for is long gone!)

  3. Oh I love the boxes too but I can totally see why the bags are better. And I love the look of them too, they match your stickers on the wax and antiquing glaze! I’ll be keeping the 3 boxes I have – they are just too cute!

  4. I think I may see a familiar pumpkin in there? Once again, glad they went to a good home and one more photo shoot! Here they are in a previous life: It’s hard to tell, but are they in long box by any chance? I’ve been putting my magnolia leaves to many uses as well…I just am in love with those leaves and they are beautiful for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

    I think the new bags are great! I really like that they stand up as well…that will make it easier to scoop. I’ll be hanging on to the boxes that I have now…they are way too cute to throw away :)

  5. That last line made me LOL. I remember when I was doing a Christmas shoot in September and trying to find fresh cedar trees and such. It was a hoot wearing thick Christmas sweaters, on the front porch, in 98 degree weather. I wonder what the neighbors were thinking. LOL I love the bags. Cute.

  6. It is all good! we just the having the opportunity to have your fabulous Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in our store…. thank you!

  7. Love it!

  8. Tasha says:

    I ordered some of the milk paint over the weekend can’t wait to start my projects!!!!
    Love the “limited edition” boxes, but totally understand the practicality behind the resealable bags.
    They are instantly recognizable as Miss Mustard seed products,love that, plus it will give me a reason to try more when the two boxes I ordered are gone. (Wink.)

    I am loving your blog!
    Thanks for the inspiration,

  9. I’m glad that I have some of the boxes too :) Love your paint, no matter the container :)

  10. Wow, but you are so “lucky” (wink, wink) – hard work pays off! You are a hard worker and deserve every success! Hope you have plenty more!

  11. Just getting ready to re-order. Excited to be getting the new bags. Now to figure out the best way to ship it to my customers. :)

  12. hi Marian – I can understand totally why you have changed your packaging but it’s a pity as it was so beautiful (especially the shredded cardboard). I have just bought 3 boxes of your paint back to Australia from my recent trip to America and everyone I’ve shown loved the packaging. But I had been wondering about the cost and effort for you (and your team) about putting it all together.
    good luck with it all.
    Fiona xx

  13. smart move, turning a profit is so about the details…and packaging is a big expense….so those that have the box…have a new keep sake…..Your boys will be so holiday pro….as they grow up

  14. The bag is much more practical in every regard. I remember the essay by Leonard Reed entitled “I Pencil”. It details how parts of a pencil come from every corner of the earth! I am an economics geek, so I love that story!
    Truly, this package is greener, faster, simpler…better.
    Happy Halloween?!


  15. Oooh, I got a box! I will keep it to store baubles. Mine didn’t have shredded kraft paper though…

  16. Maybee's Mom says:

    I get the bag….I personally think less is sometimes.. more…..there was a small hometown Mom and Pop hardware store in a town nearby…I loved that you could buy 2 wing nuts and they were put in a tiny brown bag….sweet, simple…and could be recycled… that….I really don’t know how you can decorate for each Holiday…you must have a ton of storage….I am still getting xmas out …again…less is more….Maybee’s Mom

  17. Marian, funny enough, looking at your boxes before, I wondered when you would streamline. I LOVE the bag, and to me, this is you. Your logo, color I associate with you, and as a business owner, more cost effective without losing the quality standards. Great choice to switch and I am loving that chandi!!!

  18. Mindy says:

    Hi Marian: Love the beauty of the box, and the convenience of the bag. But, here’s my question – can you recycle the bag when the paint is gone?

  19. Goedele says:

    Good to know! And convenient for shipping. Smart move : -)

  20. I totally understand why you need to go to a bag instead. I do love the sweet little boxes though. I kept my box even after the paint was gone. It was just so stinkin’ cute that I couldn’t throw it away!! I’m pretty sure we will still LOVE the paint no matter what it is packaged in!! :)

  21. Harriett says:

    Love those feathers and magnolia leaves! How about stocking them in a pop-up bag, MMS?!?

  22. Hi Marian, I am brand new to your site and your product. I have never used Milk Paint and WILL be purchasing in the near future. I love the chippy look and have all oak woodwork in my new home and a lot of antiques I would never paint, so I love adding in painted pieces of rescues I find along the way…I love the look of white, but I guess I am more into a creamy (linen/ antique white) color…can you recommend what color I should start with? And if I understand your process, I should also purchase the bonding agent (prior to painting) and wax to seal it with at the end.(what brand do you recommend)??? I’ve watched every video I can find with you and just LOVE your projects, style and product. Congrats on your business, you are a real role model to women to follow your dreams! Love the new packaging, but sorry I missed the beautiful boxes by not ordering sooner. The inside is the most important!!! I know you are so busy, I am so grateful for your sharing of your time to help this newbie!!
    Crafty Hugs,
    pendrah (at) comcast (dot) net

  23. Meike says:

    I loved my box when I got it! The shredded paper was a gorgeous touch. But I totally understand. Can I just mention one thing, though? Many of your stockists offer bulk shipping and bulk shipping only – which makes sense if you buy a lot. But if you just want to buy one bag, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a box or a bag – it’s hard to find somebody who charges just regular shipping for one bag/box.

  24. I’m so glad I bought the boxed ones, they’ll be mine to keep,I’ll never through them away, ever! lol
    (The boxes I have didn’t have any shreded kraft papers though,,,,but that’s no problem)

    The bag version is very cute too, I like it :)

    I just finished my Tricycle side table and just LOVE your milk paint!!
    I’d love to try all the colors!!


  25. God certainly has shined down on you and sometimes I wonder how you do it all with two young children. I loved the first packaging but think of the cost and impracticality of it all plus the waist to our environment. So I adore the second! And who doesn’t love practical, simple and sweet? Now I just gotta try me some of your milk paint.

  26. I’m so glad you opted for new packaging…I almost emailed to ask you if I should send back the box for you to recycle new product into! :) I LOVED the original packaging, it was so cute and clever. But I felt bad putting it in the recycle bin when it was gone. Now I will have to save my last box as a souvenir. 😉

    I am really enjoying the MMS paint- just got a new vintage cabinet that I know will look awesome in milk paint. Glad you are being such a smart example!

  27. I love your boxes, but totally understand. Who would have known? The bags look lovely too! x

  28. I do love the packaging but have you ever considered placing your paint in a “MILK CARTON”? Being that you are marketing the “milk paint” I think being able to pour the paint out without the hassle of having to stir the paint a gazillon times. By putting the paint into the carton, shake and pour. The carton would be great for pouring into the sprayer or any pan to use with brushes or rollers.
    Just a thought but something that couldn’t be mistaken for any other type of paint, face it, I usually do buy the wrong type and end up spending more. When I am in a hurry I would know to look for the MILK PAINT in the MILK CARTON. The color of the paint matches the color of the carton.
    I like the difference:)
    I pray for the best for you and hope you hit a million!!!

  29. Wow, Sandra had a great idea about the milk paint in a milk carton. That would be so unique and so practical for the user. And it would really be cute.

  30. I am lovin the milk carton idea…… Love it…. The boxes were so cute and while I “GET” the need for streamlining, the milk carton just “DOES” it both for the product cuteness and the streamlining!

  31. Carolina says:

    I loved your boxes from the beginning that was such a cute idea….but yes I can see all the problems for the assembly. I also love your new packaging I think you made a good move it will speed up the line in a more practical way.

    xoxo Carolina

  32. the new bags look very nice too! p.s. you crack me up with your off season decorating 😉 must be fun though to be featured in magazines!

  33. the new bag looks great! glad you were able to simplify things. i have loved seeing all these milk paint projects out there in blog land. i’m always a little slow to try things out but i am so impressed with what people are doing with it. God Bless!

  34. I love the bags! Simple is best, IMO. I too do not know how you find the time, maybe your next book could be a time management one – LOL!



  35. Oh my, I’m just now catching up! I really LOVE the boxes, but totally understand the practicality of changing things up, and really, the bags are very nice too! Have fun decorating! 😉

  36. I’m trying to catch up on your blog posts, and my computer is moving like dial up, grrrrrrr… This post was so interesting to me… Selling prints has been an eye opener for me too. By the time I would drive to my printer, 30 minutes (gas), proof a print to make sure it is just right, which involves at least a 30 minute conversation with him, wrap it up with one of my 3 x 5 cards which i have to pay for, tie the print up with a ribbon which i buy, drive to and stand in line at FedEx after working all day, pay for shipping for a print, pay for paypal fees, and pay for Etsy fees, i was hardly making any money at all! So i had to adjust my fees to cover all those costs… I don’t sell as many prints as you sell your milk paint, but i definitely can’t do it for free… so in some ways i can relate to the practical aspects of the whole thing having to come into play. Your new packaging looks really good though… so that’s a pretty cool compromise!


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