Paper for wrapping soap is the first order of business in packaging soap. Unlike products presented in bottles or jars, soap packaging doubles as both the label and the exterior for protecting the goods. There really are no hard and fast rules to packaging soap, other than that the packaging should protect the soap during shelf life and handling, convey information about the soap and incidentally, look good.
When looking for paper to wrap soap it is important to understand that the weight of paper that one chooses is very vast. Although, the weight of the paper depends on the type of paper used yet typically 20 pound weight paper is regular writing paper, while weights that are more substantial such as 60-80 pound weights will wrap a soap bar encasing it almost like a box. This may be fine especially for soap that is damaged easily.
Textured paper is a always a favorite, especially handmade paper. Though not practical for soaps sold in large amounts, handmade paper is great for small boutique soaps or to give as gifts because it is expensive and the supply inconsistent. Most handmade paper is made in far flung lands and by the time it gets to the market here it becomes a luxury item, rather than a staple. Still, if one can find a steady, consistent supplier, handmade paper maybe the way to go. It is always important to note that though we are trying to protect the goods, people shop with all five senses and handmade goods looks especially earthy and rare in handmade packaging.
There are however some great inexpensive papers for wrapping soap. My favorite on the list is Kraft paper. There is nothing that says handcrafted like Kraft paper. And although I am heavily influenced by exotic handmade paper, yet Kraft paper with a little jazzing up is really very special packaging. Plus there are several versions of Kraft paper one can get. It come s packaged on the roll, in 8.5x11 sheets, in label sheets and as butcher paper with a slick side. All of these types of Kraft paper is great to wrap soap with.
The primary reason this is one of my favorite papers to use is that it makes a good foil for simple images - unlike other kinds of paper that need colored images, Kraft paper looks great with very simple lines. That could be due to its natural color. With that said, let me say that Kraft paper does not have to be simple wrapping for soap. It can be dressed up. in fact my favorite way to use Kraft paper is to add metallic touches to the finished label, such as a metallic stamp or simple line art with glitter/metallic gel pen. Kraft paper also is nice with natural elements such as leaves, twigs and even shells!
Reprinted with permission from Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor ,www.Bellaonline.com/site/soapmaking