How are Bespoke Boxes Made? | Aylesbury Box Company
Many people believe that bespoke boxes will cost a lot more than off-the-shelf packaging solutions, but is that isn't necessarily the case.
bespoke boxes, cardboard boxes, packaging design, packaging, best fit boxes, shipping, corrugated cardboard, packaging material, cardboard packaging manufacturers, box styles
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How are Bespoke Boxes Made?


How are Bespoke Boxes Made?

Many people believe that bespoke boxes will cost a lot more than off-the-shelf solutions. However, there is very little difference in the manufacturing process. For this reason, custom packaging can be affordable and may even help to reduce other costs. Let us explain the process.

Back to Basics with Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard boxes have been used to deliver items since the early 1900s and they are still the most widely used packaging for shipping orders. The average household receives over 200 cardboard boxes a year. Meanwhile, supermarket workers can handle that many in a single shift. So, they are a familiar item, but how are they made?

The first step is producing flat sheet cardboard. This is formed from fluted or wavy paper being glued between layers of flat kraft paper. This simple process brings remarkable benefits, as the paper transforms into a packaging material that:

  • Has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio
  • Is sufficiently rigid to form and retain a shape
  • Provides cushioning to help protect goods inside
  • Is insulating and can aid temperature control
  • Has great versatility to enable a range of box designs
  • Is easy to apply print and other finishes to

Single walled cardboard is one flute between two flat sheets and is the most common option for packaging. However, if additional strength and durability are required, there is double walled cardboard. This comprises two fluted layers between three flat sheets.

Creating a Template for Bespoke Boxes

The next step is creating a die or template of the box design. To aid global standardisation, the FEFCO code is used to define different box styles. Cardboard packaging manufacturers have a die for all the standard box styles, so they are ready to use. However, these off-the-shelf options don’t always fit the brief.

Bespoke boxes are designed to provide the best fit for your products. They may include desirable features, such as integrated inserts for efficient packing and consistent presentation. You might want perforations to aid opening or cut-out sections to improve handling or display. So, how is this custom packaging created?

Having discussed and agreed on a packaging design, our skilled team manually build a custom die. This template includes all the necessary detailing for the machine to cut or crease the cardboard in the right places to create the bespoke box. Alongside the template, we can set up the print design to add colour, graphics and font to the boxes.

This process does incur an additional cost. However, once created, the same template and print design can be used time and time again. As such, it is a one-off cost, which is not charged on future orders.

Manufacturing Cardboard Boxes

The template is applied to a flatbed or rotary die cutting machine. Then cardboard is fed into the machine and cut to shape in a fast and continuous process. Some print applications can be added as part of this manufacturing step, whilst others require a separate finishing process. Understandably, it is cheaper for our customers if cut and print can be achieved together. We are happy to advise on low-cost print solutions.

The flat-packed boxes are stacked as they come off the machine. We know how many have been produced. As we have a no minimum order policy, we tailor volumes to our customers’ requirements. A sample of boxes are quality checked and then prepared for delivery.

To optimise delivery and storage space, boxes are almost always supplied flat packed. Our customers include start-ups, established e-commerce businesses, industrial manufacturers, suppliers and fulfilment companies. They assemble the boxes to pack orders as required and give us a call to restock before the packaging runs low.

The Advantages of Bespoke Boxes

Although the creation of a die and print design adds to the cost of your first packaging order, it can be a wise investment. Firstly, best fit boxes can save a fortune in void fill materials, packing time and shipping costs. As such, they can work out cheaper than an off-the-shelf option.

Secondly, print design creates a connection with your customers and elevates your brand. Give customers a personalised unboxing experience and you encourage them to come back for more. Equally, print can be used to provide practical handling, tracking or safety information, which can reduce the risk and cost of replacing damaged or lost orders.

So, if you would like to discuss your packaging design requirements and get a quote for bespoke boxes, give us a call 01296 436888 or email

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