Boxes--what about packaging?


A lot of the different aspects of making a self published deck have been covered, with the exception of what to put the finished deck in before it's mailed out.

Boxes? Pouches? What are the options.

Pouches are easy to make, but need to be lined on the inside to look best. The fabric needs to be cost effective, and you need to either know how to sew, or be on good terms with someone who does.

Boxes, on the other hand, are available in bulk from shipping supply companies, but what are the prices? I located 4 current catalogs, all of them have email/websites and there's no minimum order. Here's some of the breakdowns.

Uline - --
3 1/2 x 4 3/4 x 2" white 2-piece boxes 200 per bundle, $64 (32 cents per box).
4x3x2" folding white boxes $24 per 100 boxes (24 cents per box)
4x4x3" folding white boxes $37 per 100 boxes (37 cents per box)

BrownCor - --
4x4x4" brown folding box 25 boxes per bundle, 35 cents per box
4x4x4" white folding box 100 boxes per case, $54 per case (54 cents per box)

Ship-It -- --
4x4x2" white folding box $31.68 per 100 (32 cents per box)
5x3x2" white folding box $24.65 per 100 (25 cents per box)

JIT Packaging --
4x4x4" brown folding box 25 boxes per bundle, 14 cents each
4x4x3" white folding boxes 50 boxes per bundle, 17 cents each
4x5x3" white tuck box 250 per case $66.60 (27 cents per box)

These are plain boxes, to add printing on them you'll either have to tape a cover card or printed image onto the end or top of the box, or have stickers made up. Stickers are expensive, check with a printer as to $$ amounts and minimum quantity.

Added details---
DO NOT use rubber bands to keep your deck contained, the rubber breaks down over time, especially in heat, and will stick to the paper in sticky lines.

You can tie the deck up like a Christmas package with 1/4" or 1/8" ribbon.

OR you can print out the name of the deck & copyright date (or whatever) on standard laser print paper & slice them apart in 1" x 8 1/2" ribbons, wrap them around the deck & secure with either a dab from a glue stick or a small piece of scotch tape. If 8 1/2" isn't long enough to get around the deck (or deck & lwb), print them out in 'landscape' position on your computer so they go the 11" length instead. Use a nicely decorative font style.

You can also wrap the deck & lwb in a spread cloth (or include one folded on the side), but remember this adds to the overall cost of the deck. Make sure that you don't pick a fabric that holds wrinkles when it's crushed, or you've lost part of your 'fresh' look.

I also put the whole thing in a zip lock baggie strictly to keep the papers from getting wet when it goes through the mail, as an added protection. Somewhere it's raining. I don't want it to be on the box I just sent out that's sitting on the step under the mailbox because the package didn't fit in their box (it's happened!).

Anyone else have ideas on how to present a new made deck with a little flair?



Yes it does cost a bomb to have boxes printed out.

Why not make your own box if you need a template, I can send you one as a eps, tiff or jpeg, just PM me, as I'll be around for couple a days.

It will cost you a lot more if you you have the boxes printed up by a Co. than doing it your self. It may sound a tad painful cutting out + folding boxes from A4 flyers, but you can get the cutting & folding done at your local high St printers.

You may have already checked this out but i hope it helps!

Good luck


Making 25 or 50 may not be a problem, but making 500 isn't feasable, not for the price of the card stock needed for sturdiness.

Good idea for a limited run, though, if you can get them printed up and cut identically.


Another option for box labels is, in fact. laser labels. You can actually get peel-off labels in almost any size, including full 8-1/2x11 sheets that you can print to size and cut. If you have a large enough office supply store near you, they may have them. Otherwise, has a huge (slightly pricey) selection of everything your local stationery store says they can't get.

For a slightly stiffer version of your 1" strips, start with light or medium cardboard, figure where you want it to bend, and crease the sheet for folding BEFORE you cut the strips. Seal with a 1" round peel-off preprinted sticker (laser label, again, and sometimes you can find colors).

Stickers aren't too expensive, as long as you're willing to stick to black and white and print them yourself.

Ziplocks are a great idea, and if you hunt up a good office supply store, you can find a huge range of sizes at relatively cheap prices - like a cent or two per bag. These aren't as heavy, usually, as grocery store style storage, but they're packed in bulk.

And you can actually think shrink-wrap for home packaging. I know (but couldn't tell you where, right now) that you can get various sized tubes of plastic, packed in reels, that you can stuff a deck into, cut to length, and aim your hair dryer at for a quick shrink. A label can go on top of the plastic, once it's shrunk.


Cool I have yet to think this far ahead, but this is good information to have. Hmmm more decsions to make !!


The lowest cost I've found on zip lock baggies is at those Dollar Stores so common at the malls (in the USA at least!). You can get a box of 50 in sandwich size (5x7") for 99 cents. There's smaller 'treat' size zip locks also, and another in-between size, but it's the zip lock part that's important, to seal out water.

Shrink wrap is great, if you can locate a roll of it.

There's also 'tubes' that can be used, I found a plastics manufacturer in the next town over that has heat seal plastic in different widths to the tubes. It's all on one roll, the plastic is sealed on both side edges and you cut the length you need then use a sandwich sealer (plug in unit, it runs a tiny current through that melts the two layers of plastic together) to seal the top and bottom. Mostly that's a 2mm plastic, thick enough to be hard to rip apart with your bare hands. The small sealers are getting really hard to find, even at yard sales, but they do still make the large ones, but prices on those are about $99-$150 each and the sealing bars are something like 18 or 24" long. The small hand held thing I found at a rummage sale was 10" long with the sealing bar.


Another option for labels which will be time consuming and slightly expensive... ew, I'm not making this sound too appealing- well, let me say this is for the more artistic, but it is what I'm going to do. You can buy a blank linolium block and carve out your design. You can even make a design on the computer, print it out in reverse (many computers have a "print on iron transfer paper" option, and that will print it in reverse), and use carbon paper to transfer your design onto the linolium block. Then you carve out the negative space (the stuff you don't want), ink the pad and press it down where you want it! This is what I'm doing for mine. I'm going to use the block as the design for the card backs, and then that same design will be for the box. It has a great "this came from hands" look. But then, I'm hand-drawing and inking my original set, then I'm going to have it copied. So now that that's probably more work than most people would want to go through, I suppose it's useless for me to type this, but oh well. It's an idea. PM me or e-mail me if you have any questions.