Did You Know that You Can Send THESE Items in the Mail?!

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Mailing Packages

Did you know that you can mail nearly anything without putting it in a boring cardboard box?! Yep, many items don’t require any extra packaging at all. Of course, some of the more fragile items might need the protection, but you can still find some clever ways to mix things up when sending packages during the holiday season!

Kids just LOVE getting mail anyways… why not make it extra special?!

But first, a few tips…

It’s your job to make sure the package is safe for shipping. My rule of thumb is to throw it against the wall a few times (seriously – those sorting machines are brutal!). If it survives, it can be shipped.

Make sure your address label is legible and secure, as well as your postage. Also make sure you have the correct amount of postage. If these are off, it will delay your package, and probably be sent back. If you’re looking to keep shipping costs low, keep in mind that you can send anything weighing up to 13oz via First-Class Parcels. Anything above that will need to be sent via Priority Mail.

If you’re looking to send something for just one stamp, it’ll need to be in a rectangular envelope and under 3.5oz. Anything sent as a letter should not have raised stickers or anything glued to the envelope, as those things don’t fit through the sorting machine (and could even damage it), so they will need to be sent as a package. For a complete list of rules, click HERE.

Flip Flop

Mail a Flip FlopWhat?! Yes, you can actually Mail a Flip Flop! (Tip: Choose a smooth flip flop, so your postage will stick to it! You cannot tape over or glue your postage at all!)

Fun Tip: You can mail an odd object, like potatoes, flip flops, or even a brick, to a friend with ZERO effort by ordering through MailAPotato.com! How fun!!!

Beach Ball

Mail a beach ballMailing a beach ball would be a super cute way to send out invites for a summer party, or send it to your kiddo who’s away at summer camp! Such a cute idea!

Lightweight Tubes and Canisters

Halloween Shipping CanisterHang onto those Pringles tubes! You can ship cookies, toys, or other fun things in them! Add some fun paint or decorative paper to the outside, and just slap a label and postage on it. What kid wouldn’t love this fun Halloween Happy Mail? Too cute!

Toys and Other Objects

Toys in the mailIf you’re not scared of an object breaking, you can totally slap a label and postage on it and send it as-is. This cute shovel idea from The House of Hendrix suggests writing “I dig you” on the tag. Love it!

Boxed Candy

Candy mailApparently you can just drop a box of candy in the mail… who knew?? Candy tends to be on the heavier side, so shipping will be a little pricier, but it’s such a fun idea for surprising a kiddo!

 Packing Tape Postcards

halloweenYes, you can actually make a postcard out of packing tape! I really love how creative you can be with this. Aren’t these Halloween postcards super fun!? Just make sure that your address label is under the tape, BUT the stamp must be on top.

Popsicle Stick Postcards

Popsicle PostcardsThese Popsicle Stick Postcards are so darn clever!

Sweet Slice Postcards

Sweet SliceCan you believe these Sweet Slice Postcards are made with floral foam? Such a fun idea!

Make Your Own Envelope

Make Your Own EnvelopesYou can use wrapping paper, craft paper, or even magazine paper, as they’ve used here. This is a great way to upcycle magazines or books, and it’s so darn cute!

Customize Your Stamps

ZazzleBeyond custom invitations, greeting cards, and postcards, you can also upload your own photos to create custom postage using Zazzle.

Fun tip: If you’re looking for interesting ways to inspire you or the kids to get back to “snail mail” (including an interesting history of mailing people), check out this fun list from Laura Grace Weldon!

Written by Danielle for Hip2Save. Danielle is a proud mom to 5 amazing kids in Utah, who lives for coffee and baking. She’s dedicated to balancing her own interests and passions, while encouraging her children to follow their own paths in life.

Join The Discussion

Comments 69

  1. Kasey

    We have done some of these before! So fun!!

  2. amy

    First class is actually 15.9 ounces or less now

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh, hmmm, the USPS website still says 13 oz. Weird! That would be awesome though!

      “Maximum weight for First-Class Mail letters is 3.5 oz; for large First-Class Mail envelopes and parcels the maximum weight is 13 oz.”

      • Olga

        Maybe the 16 oz limit only applies to online rates, when you pay for shipping online and print your label at home, like if you are an eBay or Etsy seller? I have 3 shops on Etsy and I ship packages that are 16 oz or less via First Class Mail all the time.

        • rebecca

          yes. if you have a registered user account and are authorized to print labels and ship from home, the post office can track you if necessary, therefore you have higher limits than people who are writing out the addresses by hand and have no unique, identifying barcode on the package.

          • Natalie

            Oh this is good to know! I’m always over the 13 ounces at the post office and have to send two polymailers.

  3. Lolita

    I love these ideas but I always mail items from my house (print off postage or use the correct amount of stamps). Does anyone know how to calculate the correct postage for these items? I use the usps site for figuring out postage if I am going to use my own stamps.

    • ceacym

      I use my kitchen scale to weigh the item and then use USPS.com to calculate postage. So easy and so much fun!

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yep, we just use our kitchen scale, too! Under 13 oz. can be shipped via First Class Parcels, anything over needs to go Priority.

  4. Jen

    We mailed a coconut home from Hawaii!!

    • Lisa

      When I was 12 my friend mailed me a coconut, from HI. It was awesome! I’ve been mailing strange things ever since:)

      • Lisa

        I mailed my Brother a coconut from Hawaii. Great except it scared my sister-in-law, she said at first glance it looked like a head inside her mailbox. Lol

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Such a fun idea! I bet it happens a lot from Hawaii!

  5. Spring

    Never heard abt this. Thank you for letting us know. But do i need to put stamp on both flip flops?

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      If you’re mailing them both, yes, they both need their own postage and address labels. You’re welcome!

  6. karen

    Love these! I’m not sure about the candy though…

  7. Kristen

    Can someone explain the no glue on a stamp? I get that you can put tape across it but is invisible glue underneath that you can’t see ok?

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I was told no, but I do think it’s odd, too. I think the concern is with reusing postage, but I think your postage falling off is a much bigger issue! Maybe you can talk to your local post office.

  8. m

    this makes me laugh, i can see the poor mail carrier in terrible weather trying to place these awkward
    items in the mail box

    • Jen S.

      Right? I’m picturing the beach ball… bouncing away!

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Haha! So true! Just don’t forget to tip him at Christmas. πŸ˜‰

  9. kayc

    You can also send a banana by itself!

    • Heather C

      Mail it green…. then it’s safer (and more firm) to mail & hopefully it will arrive yellow and ready to eat πŸ˜‚. My kids would much rather receive candy in the mail then a banana!

  10. Susie

    A neighbor just got live chickens in the mail. Didn’t know the post office delivered live animals.

    • Lindak

      The fellow ahead of me at the post office was mailing live birds a few months ago.

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes, you can! They just need very specific packaging and such.

  11. Seph

    This is such a fun idea especially to mail to kids! But I would be surprised if those items get to the recipient intact and not damaged… my packages (in boxes) sometimes come looking like they got run over by the mail truck.

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      So true!

    • molly

      πŸ‘πŸ˜‚ I’m lucky to get a normal envelope delivered in decent shape!! Hate to think what my mailman would do to the beach ball!!😨

  12. Diane

    I’ve seen frisbees mailed.

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh, fun idea!!

  13. Vivian

    This is crazy!!!! πŸ˜‚

  14. Becky

    FYI, as a mail carrier, I have had shovels, etc mailed… if you write on them make sure it’s in permanent marker.. also, balls are not the best if it’s windy. I had to leave a notice when someone was not home (it kept rolling away)

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great info! Thanks, Becky!

    • Virginia

      Hi Becky! Im wondering if handling this unique stuff was any hassle? Other than the beach ball…

    • Amber

      I had no idea about mailing funny things but your comment about it rolling away literally made me LOL!!

  15. Moosie

    In the 50’s my brother ordered a snapping turtle about 16″ across, another small turtle, and a chameleon!

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sounds like one of my kiddos! Hehe!

  16. Becky

    I have mailed both foam and plactic place mats I just magic marker on the back like a giant post card.

    • ceacym

      What a fun idea. So creative! I can’t wait to try it!

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  17. elise

    If you have paypal, you can use shipnow to mail anything to anyone. Plus you get pp’s postage discount. Mailing 4-15oz is less than $4. (I think under 8oz is $2.60.)

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great info! Thanks, Elise!

  18. Laurie

    I’m 56yrs young an have never heard this. My grands are going to start getting mail every once an a while. SO COOL they will love this.

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      My kids get SO excited about mail. They’ll love it!

  19. AR

    I used to coupon trade heavily a few years ago and one of the ladies I regularly traded with, always sent her end in an envelope made from a magazine page, usually the inside was a recipe. So fun!

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      What a fun, eco-friendly idea! Re-purposing ftw!

  20. Shauna

    My Hydro Flask stopped insulating and was told to tape their address on it and mail it without putting it in a box. I thought it was a misprint but the post office weighed it and stuck the postage stamp on it And it mailed just fine.

    • Just Me

      Are these hard to clean?

  21. Woodmore

    This may sound like fun to some, but to a mail carrier, I’m positive it isn’t. As a carrier myself & with all of the normal big packages we’re constantly having to get out for, then you have to go to the door to leave a frisbee, it’s not fun at all. Just think about the carriers that deliver in rural areas where the houses sit about half of a mile off the road. We have to make that “fun” drive all the way down there for a frisbee or beach ball! Yeah, yeah I know one would say, “It’s your job”, but put yourself in our shoes & trust me you’d feel like us. And to make this funnier, you drive all the way down there & their dog is out & no one one comes to the door when you blow the horn. Now you drive all the way back to the street to leave a notice for them to pick it up at the post office!

    • Stacey

      I’m a rural carrier also, every driveway is gravel, and SUPER long, and i’ve had a few beach balls, a little shovel, and odd things, not fun……i have to dislike this post, because its almost our busiest time of the year, mail is picking up, parcels are picking up and the last thing we need is a bunch of odd ball stuff that’s an inch too big for a mail box lol! πŸ˜€

      • Jennifer L.

        I live in a rural area (Semi-Rural), and the only thing that goes in my mailbox is letter sized mail. If I have a pkg. I have to pick it up at the Post Office because they will not deliver to my home. The only time it bothers me is when I pay for something to be shipped to my door and still have to drive to the post office.

      • debby

        Our customers keep us working. We need and appreciate every single one of them!!! The more mail, the better! I would never discourage someone from mailing.

        • Marcella

          I used to live in a rural area and I made many online purchases with deliveries; I frequently apologized to the postal worker for having to deliver so many of my packages. He always insisted that it was people like me who kept him in his job and he had no problem delivering the packages. I always appreciated having him as a mail carrier. πŸ™‚

  22. Woodmore

    I have one customer that orders live chickens, bees & ladybugs. Can you imagine riding with these poor chickens in 90+ degree weather for about an hour? It’s not like we have a/c in the LLV’s. I’ve even had a snake addressed for my route, but refused to put that thing in my truck!

  23. Lee

    I hear ya! They used to mail children. No joke. I always give my mail carrier the max amount gc I can for the holidays. We live in the country, and my dumb dogs bark and the German Shepherd thinks he’s going for a car ride and wants to leave with the postal carrier lol. I call it their hazard pay for putting up with our dumb dogs:)

    • debby

      Technically we cannot accept cash or cash equivalent (i.e. gift cards). I know some people do, but our standards of ethical conduct prohibits it.

  24. debby

    If you want to send with just one stamp, it must be under 1 oz. If it’s 1.1 it needs an extra .21.

  25. Stacey

    My grandmother used to write cute little things for us under the stamp. We would always check under the stamp to see if she left us a little note. The mailman used to remove the stamp so she would have to just write peek on the flap of the envelope for us to know to look under the stamp. πŸ˜‰

  26. Ang

    My sister in law mailed baby bottles for with a baby shower invitation inside. Super cute😊

    • Danielle (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Love that idea!

  27. Tia

    I don’t have a very friendly mailman. I think he would mad if someone sent me a beach ball in the mail!

  28. Jenna

    When I was a teen, my pen pal and I mailed a hollow pink plastic fish back and forth for years! I still have it somewhere. We would stuff it with letters, stickers, any small thing that would fit. So fun!

  29. Julie

    I have seen people at the post office mail their luggage. Never knew you could mail any of these things. I always thought nice and neat and box items. How do you keep postage on a coconut or anything without taping it? Fun to learn.

  30. G Vice

    I love this!! Our mailperson, not so much! πŸ˜‰

  31. Al

    It took me 2 days & 3 post office locations to mail the wooden Valentine’s Day “postcard” I bought on clearance at TJ Maxx for 35 cents. The first location told me it would have to be sent as a parcel for $2.67 because it was not flexible and could not go through the machine. I asked if I could “hand cancel” ( a term I have been told means : do not put in the sorting machine) & was told no. So I took the postcard back and left. I decided to put it in an envelope & went to a different post office a few miles away the NEXT day & it was the same person who told me the same price!!!!I took back my postcard and left again. Went to a 3rd location who thought it was too cute & told me it would go regular mail for 91 cents!!!!

  32. PrincessMom

    I grew up in the late 70s/80s. There was a book called SWAK (Sealed With A Kiss) and it was all about sending things through the mail–coconuts, frisbees, etc. One of my friends and I sent a few wacky things back and forth to try it out. My mom wouldn’t go along with trying out some of the crazier things, lol.

  33. noonespecial

    Send my Veteran Grandpa some mail! He’d love anything!!!

    Sargent Fernando “Pee Wee” Palacios Junior
    749 South Palomino Lane
    Anaheim Hills, California

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