How to Size & Make a Cardboard Box

Written by kelly masi
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How to Size & Make a Cardboard Box
Cardboard boxes are perfect for storage and shipping items. (cardboard box image by MAXFX from

Making your own cardboard box can be very beneficial when you are looking for a box to hold something that is of an odd size or shape. Plastic totes are great for storage, but they are rarely found in different shapes and sizes unlike a cardboard box. If your plans are to mail something, making your own box reduces the cost of shipping because you can custom design it to fit and reduce the amount of packing materials needed. It cuts down on size as well as weight.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Utility knife/Heavy duty scissors
  • Ruler
  • Marker/Pencil
  • Packaging tape in dispenser
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    If you are using an old cardboard box, you must first unfold the box so it lays flat on the ground. This will give you a good idea of how a box is made. If you are using plain cardboard, lay the sheet flat on the ground. This sheet will need to be cut to size depending on the desired measurements of the box.

  2. 2

    If you want a box 17 x 12 x 12 inches, you have to add up all flaps first to determine the length. Include a glue flap, which usually measures two inches. To do this, you would add 17+12+17+12+2= 60. To calculate the width, you must first add the height and width of the box so 12+12= 24. You have now determined that you need a sheet of cardboard that is 60 inches by 24 inches. Using the ruler, measure and mark the box for cutting.

  3. 3

    Cut the cardboard according to the measurements by using the utility knife. Use caution and remember to cut away from your body when doing so. Once all the sides are cut, you are then ready to measure and cut the flaps of the box.

  4. 4

    Using the ruler and marker, measure the flaps and mark them for cutting. Use the utility knife and cut all the flaps. Then create the creases for folding based on the measurements. Fold all flaps and creases to create the box.

  5. 5

    Once the box is folded up, apply glue to the glue flap, and attach the flap to the opposite side of the box. Then fold in all the flaps and use the packaging tape to hold the flaps in place. Your box is now ready for use.

Tips and warnings

  • When using a utility knife, be sure to take caution and cut away from your body or other people.

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