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Guide to Folding Carton Box Packaging for Customizable Packaging Solutions

Are you considering folding carton box packaging for your products? You’ve come to the right place. Folding cartons are a trendy and versatile choice across various industries. Commonly seen in food packaging, these boxes also work for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and electronics. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into what makes a folding carton an excellent choice, from its definition to the materials, styles, and manufacturing processes involved. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if folding carton packaging suits your product.

What is a Folding Carton?

Folding cartons are lightweight and versatile paperboard packaging options. They are often used as secondary packaging, designed for easy assembly from a single flat sheet into a three-dimensional package. These boxes are cost-effective to transport since they ship flat before being assembled and offer a high level of customization.

What is Folding Carton Box Packaging

These recyclable boxes are crafted from wood pulp, a renewable resource, making them an eco-friendly choice for businesses committed to sustainability. But their appeal goes far beyond environmental benefits. Here’s why folding cartons deserve a spot on your packaging shortlist:

  • Unmatched Versatility: Folding cartons can be customized to virtually any size, shape, and style. Whether you require a simple tuck-end box for your bakery treats or a two-piece hinged box for your premium jewelry, CrownPackages can create the perfect solution to meet your specific needs.
  • Cost-Effective Choice: Folding cartons are generally affordable, especially for high-volume production runs. The efficient manufacturing process and minimal storage space requirements translate to cost savings that can be passed on to you.
  • Sustainable Packaging: As mentioned earlier, folding cartons are crafted from recyclable materials, making them an environmentally responsible choice. Additionally, their lightweight design minimizes transportation costs and fuel consumption.
  • Exceptional Printing Capabilities: Folding cartons offer a blank canvas for showcasing your brand identity. CrownPackages utilizes state-of-the-art printing technologies to deliver vibrant colors, high-resolution graphics, and stunning finishes, transforming your packaging into a powerful marketing tool.

Ideal Industries

Ideal Industries for Folding Carton Box Packaging

  • Food and Medical: Higher-grade paperboard options meet industry standards, protecting sensitive products from dust and damage.
  • Cosmetics: Lightweight and attractive designs.
    Electronics: Protects from physical damage, dust, and moisture.

Folding Carton Box Packaging Manufacturing Processes

Once you’ve finalized your design choices, your packaging supplier will proceed with the following steps:

Folding Carton Box Packaging Manufacturing Processes

  • Die-Lines and Sheet Layout: Creating flat versions of the box, showing locations for die-cutting, folding, and gluing.
  • Sheeting and Printing: Cutting large rolls of paperboard into sheets before printing. The grain direction is optimized for efficiency. Imagery and artwork are inked onto the sheets via offset, digital, or flexographic printing.
  • Post-Press Finishes: Optional customizations like hot-foil stamping, embossing, and debossing enhance the box’s appearance.
  • Die-Cutting: Specialized cutters create many duplicates of your carton from the paperboard sheet, minimizing waste and allowing easy folding.
  • Folding and Gluing: The final stage where flat, die-cut pieces are folded, pre-broken, and glued. Transparent windows are applied in-line during this stage if included in the design.

Folding Carton Box Packaging Materials & Types

Folding Carton Box Packaging Materials & Types

Common Materials

The most common materials for manufacturing folding cartons are paperboard made from wood pulp, a renewable and environmentally friendly resource. Higher-grade, certified paperboard options meet food and medical standards. For increased eco-friendliness, kraft paperboard made from 100% post-consumer recycled material or reclaimed paper stock is also popular.

Popular Styles

  1. Tuck End Auto-Bottom Box: This box style has a bottom design that locks in place during assembly with a simple tuck flap, ideal for heavier products like wine and beer.Folding Carton Box Packaging-Tuck End Auto-Bottom Box
  2. Snap Bottom or Lock Bottom Box: Known as the 1-2-3 bottom box, it has flaps that lock in place, suitable for heavier objects like electronics.Folding Carton Box Packaging-Snap Bottom or Lock Bottom Box
  3. Straight Tuck End Boxes: Stored flat, with both top and bottom closures on the same side, ideal for light to medium-weight products like cosmetics.Straight Tuck End Boxes
  4. Reverse Tuck End Boxes: Similar to straight tuck but with end closures on opposite sides, also for light to medium-weight products.Folding Carton Box Packaging-Reverse Tuck End Boxes
  5. Paper Sleeve Packaging: Designed to slip over another box, it’s the least expensive option for customization.Folding Carton Box Packaging-Paper Sleeve Packaging
  6. Double Wall Tray and Lid Boxes: Also known as two-piece boxes, ideal for luxury products like jewelry or confectionery.Folding Carton Box Packaging-Double Wall Tray and Lid Boxes
  7. Custom Folding Carton Boxes: Custom cutouts and inserts add unique flair, differentiating your packaging from competitors.Folding Carton Box Packaging-Custom Folding Carton Boxes

Folding Cartons vs. Rigid vs. Corrugated

Understanding the differences between folding cartons, rigid boxes, and corrugated boxes is crucial. Here’s a simple comparison:

Folding Carton Box Packaging-Folding Cartons vs. Rigid vs. Corrugated

  Rigid Boxes Folding Carton Boxes Corrugated Boxes
Set up None if not foldable Needed Needed
Sturdiness High Low High
Product Safety High High with inserts High
Cost Generally High Depends on printing & finish Depends on printing & finish
Appeal Generally High Depends on printing & finish Depends on printing & finish
Reusable Yes Usually not Yes

Pros & Cons of Folding Cartons


  • Cheap to manufacture in large quantities.
  • Made from 100% recyclable materials.
  • Comes in various shapes and sizes with numerous printing and finishing options.
  • Offers unique textures and visual effects through various printing methods and finishes.


  • Not as protective as rigid or corrugated boxes, though inserts can improve strength.
  • Limited to 0.81 mm, making it unsuitable for very heavy products.
  • Can be challenging to assemble and often improperly disposed of, increasing waste.


Ready to take the next step in your packaging project journey? CrownPackages is here to help. Contact our packaging specialists for more information and find the right custom packaging for your industry. Let CrownPackages be your partner in creating high-quality, versatile, and cost-effective folding carton packaging solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How thick is a folding carton?

The most common folding carton boxes are made of 300-350gsm SBS paperboard, which translates to 17-21pt or 0.4-0.5mm in thickness.

What are the parts of a folding carton?

Corrugated folding cartons consist of two layers of cardboard paper with a third ridged inner layer in between. This inner layer and the air columns provide superior strength, making these boxes ideal for shipping.

What material is used for folding cartons?

The primary material used for folding cartons is Unbleached Kraft Paperboard, often referred to as Solid Unbleached Sulfate (SUS). This material is the most commonly used substrate for folding carton packaging.

What is the use of folding boxes?

Folding boxes protect their contents and ensure they do not damage other products during shipment. They can serve as an all-in-one solution for both product and shipping packaging and are also popular as gift packaging.

Do cartons have plastic?

Cartons are mainly made from paper in the form of paperboard, with thin layers of polyethylene (plastic) and/or aluminum. Shelf-stable cartons typically contain about 74% paper, 22% polyethylene, and 4% aluminum.

How are folding cartons printed?

There are three primary types of printing for folding carton boxes: digital, lithographic, and flexographic. Digital printing is the most economical and is a good solution for small businesses with limited orders.

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