How to tie knots for posting packages

Tying up a package or parcel for posting adds strength to the wrapping. Historically, string replaced packing tape to secure packages. The string holds several smaller items together. The granny knot or reef knot is the traditional and simplest knot used to tie packages. Some postal services prefer that customers use tape instead of string to secure packages. However, tape damages the exterior of the packed item. With a little care, you can use string and still meet the requirements of the postal system.

Stack your items or place items in an appropriate sized box.

Wrap the items or box in brown paper.

Pull a metre or so of string from the roll. Lay the string across the top of the box, leaving a 60 cm (2 feet) tail. Keep the rest of the string attached to the roll.

Slip both the roll end and the tail end of the string under the sides of the package. Make a half twist, winding the two strings together. Pull the strings up and around the ends of the package. Bring the tail and roll ends together on top of the package. Slip the tail end under the string that lies across the top of the package.

Cut the roll end, leaving a 15 cm (6 inch) tail. Slip this tail under the string on top of the package. The two tails are now on opposite sides of the original string.

Pull the tail to tighten the string all the way around the package.

Bend the right-hand tail, making a small loop. Place the left hand tail in front of the right. Slip the left-hand tail over the right-hand tail and through the loop. Pull to tighten. The left hand tail is now on the right and the right hand tail is on the left. Make this knot again.

Tape the string to the brown paper all the way around the package. This prevents the string from catching in the Post Office sorting machines.


Check with your local Post Office to make sure they accept packages with tape-covered string.

Things You'll Need

  • Brown paper
  • Parcel string
  • Packing tape
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About the Author

Based in Nashville, Shellie Braeuner has been writing articles since 1986 on topics including child rearing, entertainment, politics and home improvement. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and "Borderlines" as well as a book from Simon & Schuster. Braeuner holds a Master of Education in developmental counseling from Vanderbilt University.