Everything you need to know about packaging (and shipping) your newspaper

The complete guide to packaging your newspaper

When it comes to packaging your newspaper, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by options — a Google search for “envelopes” brings up 515,000,000 results! Add in decisions about different sizes, materials and postage costs and you’ll be tempted to just start your own paper route.

Newspaper delivery route paper boy gif

But we’re here to help! Below is a guide to the most common types of packaging our customers use to get their newspapers out into the world, including:

Paper envelopes
Kraft mailers
Bubble mailers
Polybags
Book wraps
• Bonus: Shipping labels and stickers

We’ll start with the most popular — envelopes and kraft mailers — and then explore options for lighter or heavier weight packaging.

This guide has been created with sustainability in mind. All the packaging options here are either recycled/recyclable, compostable or easily reusable.


Our newspaper sizes

First, a quick review of our newspaper sizes. We print 3 different formats: minis, tabloids and broadsheets. The graphic below shows how our newspapers compare to standard European paper sizes:

The complete guide to packaging your newspaper — kraft mailers

Our tabloid newspapers are delivered flat, but you can reduce postage costs if you fold them to fit into a C4 envelope — like this:

The complete guide to packaging your newspaper — kraft mailers

Our broadsheets are delivered folded but you’ll save money if you add another fold to fit them into C4 envelopes — like this:

The complete guide to packaging your newspaper — kraft mailers

All of our newspapers (except flat broadsheets) can fit into standard envelopes. The table below shows which standard sizes work best for our different formats — these sizes are used for most envelopes, kraft mailers and polybags sold in the UK.

Product Standard size
Mini C4
Tabloid (folded) C4
Tabloid (flat) C3*
Broadsheet (quarter folded) C4
Broadsheet (folded) C3*
Broadsheet (flat) N/A (but you could use a tube)

*C3 envelopes have to be sent via parcel post in the UK (not standard mail). They won't work for all newspapers, but can be used for mailing or displaying tabloids flat.

Top tip: If you're planning distribution before printing your newspapers, use our sample newspapers to check how our different sizes fit in the packaging you're considering.

Get free samples


The complete guide to packaging your newspaper — Envelopes

Paper envelopes

Recommended for: Minis, folded tabloids/broadsheets

Pros: Affordable and lightweight to post. Lots of colour options. Recyclable.
Cons: Not very protective — newspapers can get wet or bent

Good old envelopes. They’re what most of our customers use to post newspapers and what we use to send our free sample packs.

They’ll fit through most letterboxes and there’s no assembly required — just seal them shut and they’re ready to go. You can choose a standard paper envelope or a board backed envelope to make sure your newspaper stays flat.

Envelopes can also be customised with your logo or a bigger illustration or photograph, like we use for our sample packs:

The complete guide to packaging your newspaper

Rob Haggart of A Photo Editor receives thousands of print portfolios a year and has seen just about every type of envelope that exists. His favourite is a “clear envelope where you can see what's inside.” (Like this one.)

The downside to envelopes is that they don’t offer much protection, but you can use a backing board to reinforce your newspaper. And in many cases, “some damage from mailing is expected and doesn't matter,” says Haggart. “Unless you're sending an original print, don't worry too much about it arriving pristine.”

Where to buy envelopes

• World of Envelopes (UK)
• Priory Direct (UK)
• MailMarque (UK) — for custom printed envelopes
• Your local stationery shop!



The complete guide to packaging your newspaper — kraft mailers

Kraft mailers

Recommended for: Minis, folded tabloids/broadsheets

Pros: Affordable and lightweight. More protection than an envelope. Recyclable.
Cons: Some damage during transit is still possible, but otherwise none!

For a step up in sturdiness and protection, go for a kraft mailer. Like envelopes, they’re recyclable and will fit through most letterboxes. Use stickers or stamps to add an extra personalised touch.

There’s still a risk of bent corners or water damage with kraft mailers, so if you need your newspaper to arrive in perfect condition you may want to upgrade to a book wrap.

Where to buy kraft mailers

• Noissue (international) — for recycled, compostable kraft mailers (shown here!) available from 50 units. (They can be customised with your branding or logo if you’re ordering over 250.)


The complete guide to packaging your newspaper - bubble mailers

Bubble mailers

Recommended for: Minis, folded tabloids

Pros: Colourful and lightweight. More water resistant than kraft mailers or envelopes.
Cons: Generally can’t be recycled (but are reusable). More expensive than plain kraft mailers.

Bubble mailers are a playful alternative to plain envelopes or kraft mailers. They offer good protection and plastic options should keep your newspaper dry. You can buy eye-catching metallic or patterned options (or DIY your own!)

The downside is that they’re often not recyclable (though there are exceptions — see below) but you can encourage your recipients to reuse them rather than putting them in the bin.

Where to buy bubble mailers

• Grounded (international) — for compostable bubble mailers
Eco Enclose (US) — for recycled bubble mailers
Ideal Envelopes (UK)
Etsy (international)


The complete guide to packaging your newspaper — kraft mailers

Polybags

Recommended for: Minis, folded tabloids/broadsheets

Pros: Affordable and lightweight. Can immediately see what’s inside. Compostable/recycled options.
Cons: Not very protective

If you get a local newspaper delivered, it likely arrives on your doorstep in a polybag. They’re the lightest and cheapest way to package your newspaper. Polybags are a practical option if you don’t mind some wrinkling in transit (again, a backing board can help keep it flat). You can choose recyclable and compostable polybag options — that’s a compostable bag shown above.

Using polybags for display

You can also use polybags to protect newspapers that are on display or sold in shops. Nick Massarelli and Sean Murray have been publishing their art newspaper First Last since 2018. It’s stocked at independent magazine retailers around the world — and is in the collection of the Haas Arts Library at Yale University! — and can be spotted from a distance thanks to its bright blue packaging:

The complete guide to packaging your newspaper — First Last

“When you’re featuring artists and artworks, it’s important that the newspapers are treated as works themselves,” explains Nick. “Our hope is for these publications to be treasured and displayed in frames, so people need to get them home without moisture damage, wrinkling or bent corners.”

All 8 of their issues have been packaged in a blue plastic zip-lock bag (shown above) with a backing board in the centrefold. For shipping, they don’t send their newspapers in the blue bag alone — they use large paper envelopes with an extra sheet of cardboard on each side to reinforce the publication.

Top tip from Nick: “US-based folks can ship newspapers as USPS Media Mail for a discounted price. Always with a few "do not bend" stamps on there.”

Where to buy polybags

• Newspaper Club. We can pack your newspapers individually into polybags, sealed or unsealed. We can also work with your list of addresses and mail them out for you. (Newspapers posted in polybags have a printed cover sheet included with the postage and address.) Get in touch with us at support@newspaperclub.com for more info.
•  Polybags


Comic book sleeves

Recommended for: Minis

Similar to polybags, comic book sleeves are another way to protect display copies or reinforce your newspaper in a mailer. They come in a standard size that’s a perfect fit for our minis — photographer Jason Travis uses them for his transpLAnts mini zine (shown below) with an added backing board to keep it flat.

The complete guide to packaging your newspaper - Jason Travis comic book sleeves

Where to buy comic book sleeves

Forbidden Planet (UK)
Comic Equip (US)


The complete guide to packaging your newspaper - book wraps

Book wraps

Recommended for: flat tabloids

Pros: Most protection. Can send tabloids flat. Recyclable.
Cons: Need to be assembled. Cost more to post. Won’t fit through a letter box.

We use book wraps to send small orders of our tabloid newspapers. They’re very sturdy and will protect your newspapers from wrinkling and bent corners.

Book wraps require some assembly time on your end but have a pull tab making them easy for your recipients to open. But bear in mind they’re too bulky for most letterboxes and a larger-sized package will increase the postage costs.

Where to buy book wraps

• Newspaper Club. We can send flat-packed C3 book wraps starting from 5 units — get in touch for more details.
Kite Packaging (UK)


Bonus: Shipping labels and stickers

Depending on the material and colour of your packaging, you may need to use a shipping label to make sure the address is clearly visible. Noissue makes compostable  shipping labels that are compatible with different printers (or you can just write the address by hand!)

You can also personalise your packaging with custom stickersSticker Mule lets you turn your logo or other design/illustration into stickers of all shapes and sizes.


Useful links

Royal Mail price finder (UK) If you're shipping from the UK, use this tool to find and compare the best value services from Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide.

• USPS price calculator (US) If you're shipping from the US, use this tool to calculate costs based on what you're sending.

Paper Sizes.  A comprehensive resource listing all international standards for paper sizes, dimensions and formats.

•  Paper Cutz backing board (UK) You can buy pre-cut backing boards to help keep your newspapers flat in transit (or just make your own from old cardboard boxes!)

How do you package your newspaper?

Do you use a newspaper packaging method we've not covered here? We'd love to hear about it and add it as an example. Write to use at support@newspaperclub.com and let us know what's worked for you.


Make your own newspaper with Newspaper Club. Print runs start at 1 copy!

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