How to Dye Corrugated Boxes

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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How to Dye Corrugated Boxes
Saturating corrugated cardboard material with excessive dye weakens the box. (brown corrugate cardboard image by Suto Norbert from

You can safely dye corrugated cardboard boxes almost any colour. Corrugated cardboard has an inner layer of scrunched paper material that provides strength and support to the walls of a box. These strong and light boxes are a very popular moving and storage device, but are often only available in a drab beige colour. Once corrugated cardboard boxes are dyed, they take on a new look and become colourful storage additions to any room of the house.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tarp or dust sheet
  • Utility knife (optional)
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Vinyl and fabric spray dye
  • Packaging tape or spray adhesive

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  1. 1

    Lay out a large tarp or dust sheet in a well-ventilated area. Choose somewhere with a windbreak to avoid strong breezes during the dying and drying processes. An empty garage or shed with open doors and windows works well when dying corrugated cardboard.

  2. 2

    Pull the corrugated material apart carefully along the glue seam. Use the blade of a utility knife to separate the adhesive if it doesn't easily peel apart.

  3. 3

    Press the disassembled cardboard box onto the tarp and bend the panels until it lays flat. Shake the can of dye spray vigorously for 10 seconds. Cover your hands with rubber or latex gloves.

  4. 4

    Apply a light coat of spray dye with the can at a 45-degree angle and the nozzle approximately 6 to 8 inches from the corrugated cardboard surface.

  5. 5

    Allow the first application of dye to soak into the corrugated cardboard according to the manufacturer's instructions on the canister. Continue adding light coats of dye and letting them dry until you reach the desired colour saturation.

  6. 6

    Fold the dyed corrugated cardboard box back into the original form and use packaging tape or spray adhesive to seal the separated seam.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply stencils and tape to the corrugated cardboard before dying to create dyed shapes and text on the finished box.
  • Wear a respirator mask if you're unable to apply the spray dye in a well-ventilated area.

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