How To Avoid International Shipping Fees

International shipping keeps getting more and more expensive, to the point where some of my customers are paying twice as much in shipping as they are in buying one of my products. You can work around this problem by buying just the digital goods from The Trip Clip, which don’t require any shipping at all, and purchasing the physical pieces locally.

The links I’ve included below for equivalent products that you can buy on Amazon or office supplies stores are still US links, but I’ve tried to include enough information with each one to help you find an equivalent product locally and not have to pay exorbitant shipping costs.

I’ve included information about how to buy:

  • A clipboard and pen
  • Materials to make a magnetic checklist
  • Materials to make a hook and loop checklist

Clipboard & Pen

The Trip Clip clipboard is cute because of its bright colors and friendly logo, and it’s also a little safer than many clipboards because the clip is plastic and less likely to pinch little fingers like a traditional metal clip might. These features are all nice, but they’re certainly not required. You can purchase any clipboard that is 6″ x 9″. Searching for “small clipboard” or “memo clipboard” should help you find one locally that will work. If possible, try to find one with a hole in the back so that you can attach a pen on a string. Again, though, this is nice to have, but not required.

Searching for ‘memo clipboard’ on Amazon in the US pulls up lots of results like the one pictured here.

The Trip Clip pen is also great because it’s easy for small hands to hold AND it writes in 4 colors, but this is not required either. Any pen or pencil will work. If possible, try to find one that has a string so you can tie it to the clipboard. Based on personal experience, attaching the pen to the clipboard is much more important than the ability to write in 4 colors.

Searching on Amazon or at an office supply store for ‘pen on a string‘ should result in options that will work.

I like to keep the pen attached to the clipboard not only by a string, but also with a hook & loop fastener. My kids were less likely to fling the clipboard or the pen around when the pen had a secure place to sit. Any hook & loop fasteners that you can buy at a craft store will work. I use 5/8″ coins because they seem to have enough grip for the weight of the pen. If you put the scratchy side of the fastener on the clipboard, and the soft side on the pen, it will feel the best in your child’s hand.

Once you have the clipboard and pen, you can buy any of The Trip Clip Activities digitally (no shipping needed) to print them and use them with your clipboard.

Magnetic Checklist

Check out these magnet boards Nicole from Idaho ordered. I like her idea of using the time of day instead of the child’s name at the top of the board. And her choice of blue for bedtime and rainbow letters for the morning is perfect!

The magnetic checklist is a little more complicated to replicate at home, but it can be done! Here are all the things you need:

One Trip Clip List

You need to buy at least one list from The Trip Clip. This will let you print your own To Do / Done board and print your own magnets. This purchase is completely digital, though – no shipping required.

Printing a To Do / Done Board

The purchase of any list from The Trip Clip gives you access to print your own To Do / Done Board. You’ll be able to put any name you want at the top, as well as at the top of both columns. You can choose your color, and also choose the picture that will appear in the bottom left of the board. If you want this to be as easy as possible, you can just print your To Do / Done Board on paper, and hang it on the fridge using magnets you already own. Easy!

Your other option is to print your To Do / Done Board on magnet paper. This is trickier, but doable. You can find places that sell this by searching for ‘printable magnet sheets’.

Before you purchase any printable magnet sheets, make sure you know if you have an inkjet or a laser printer. Magnet paper often works in one or the other, but not both, so you’ll want to pay attention to make sure you get the right kind.

Thinner magnet paper works best because the movable magnets actually attach to the metal surface underneath the To Do / Done Board, so if the board is thin, the magnets will stick better. The sheets I use are 8 mil sheets. I buy mine from Uline, so you can click through to see the full specifications for what I use. I have successfully used magnets sheets purchased off of Amazon as well, but I can buy thinner sheets in bulk from Uline at a lower price so that’s what I get.

When you print your board, use Firefox. It turns out different browsers interpret the gradient behind the child’s name differently, and I have designed mine to work well in Firefox!

After you print your board, you’ll want to trim it to 7.5″ x 10″. I use a paper cutter to do this in order to make the line be straight. A utility knife and ruler will work too!

Printing Magnets

My magnet bundles come with pre-printed magnets, but you can also make these yourself at home.

For the magnets, you’ll want much thicker magnet paper, NOT the kind that goes through a printer. I use adhesive magnet sheets, which means I print the pictures on regular paper, and then peel off the adhesive backing to attach the paper.

The adhesive magnet paper I use is 30 mil. To make sure you get the right thing, you’ll want to search for ’30 mil adhesive magnet sheets’ and make sure it really is 30 mil. Anything thinner will bend and might be hard to grab and move around. Anything thicker than 30 mil is hard to cut with regular scissors.

I buy mine from Magnet Valley, but you can also find these sheets on Amazon and at office supply stores and craft stores.

Once you have the paper, you can print the same set of 20 magnets I would send you by using the links below (note that you will need to own the associated list activity for each of these):

Better yet, since you’re not buying my premade packs, you can start with any one of these, and then edit the pictures and the text or add more to make as many magnets of your own design as you want!

Print your magnets on regular paper, then attach them to the 30 mil adhesive magnet sheets, and use regular scissors to cut them apart.

Hook & Loop Checklist

Making your own hook & loop checklist is a little less complicated than making a magnetic checklist, but it still requires a few different pieces.

One Trip Clip List

Just like with the magnetic checklist, you need to buy at least one list from The Trip Clip. This will let you print your own To Do / Done board and print your own picture clips. This purchase is completely digital, though – no shipping required.

Printing a To Do / Done Board

The purchase of any list from The Trip Clip gives you access to print your own To Do / Done Board. You’ll be able to put any name you want at the top, as well as at the top of both columns. You can choose your color, and also choose the picture that will appear in the bottom left of the board.

When you print your board, use Firefox. It turns out different browsers interpret the gradient behind the child’s name differently, and I have designed mine to work well in Firefox!

You can print your To Do / Done on regular paper, though I find it works a bit better if you use slightly heavier paper to make the To Do / Done board stiffer. I use 32lb paper.

Once you’ve printed it, you need to laminate it. If you have a laminator you’re all set. If you don’t, you can by self-laminating paper. I use these self-laminating sheets from Avery.

Next you’ll need to apply hook & loop fasteners. Any hook & loop fasteners that you can buy at a craft store will work. I use 5/8″ coins because they seem to have enough grip but not so much that they’re hard for kids to pull them apart. I also like to use the clear ones so that the picture in the bottom corner of the To Do / Done board is not obscured. I put the scratchy side on the To Do / Done board and the soft side on the individual picture clips so that the kids are mostly touching the soft ones.

Printing Picture Clips

My hook & loop bundles come with pre-printed picture clips, but you can also make these yourself at home.

You can print the same set of 20 pictures I would send you by using the links below (note that you will need to own the associated list activity for each of these):

Better yet, since you’re not buying my premade packs, you can start with any one of these, and then edit the pictures and the text or add more to make as many pictures clips of your own design as you want!

Once you’ve designed all of the picture clips you want, print them on regular paper, and then laminate them. You can use a laminator, or you can purchase self-laminating sheets. I use these self-laminating sheets from Avery.

After laminating your picture clips, cut them all apart with regular scissors, and then apply the soft side of your hook & loop fasteners.

Questions?

If you have any questions about these instructions, or whether a specific product will work, you can email me at molly@thetripclip.com. I’ll be happy to help!

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