Introduction: Spot Gloss Packaging Mockup

About: I'm an engineer, designer, and maker studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Spot gloss is a type of packaging texture that is used prominently on the boxes of many different luxury and high tech brands. It's a shiny, UV cured finish that adds emphasis, brand marks, or other patterns that catch the light when the object is tilted. I don't have the facilities to do a real spot gloss, so when I needed to make one for my branding project, I had to figure out how to mock it up. This is the cheapest, easiest, most convincing way that I came up with to make a spot gloss. It's surprisingly simple!


2 ply chip board

1 ply chip board OR thin paper

plain printer paper

masking tape

book binders tape (or any other cloth tape)

any color of spray paint



laser cutters OR x-acto knife and patience

hot glue gun AND hot glue

x-acto knife

Step 1: Cut Out Your Package Components.

To accommodate the brand experience I created for Fantastech Toys, I custom designed a box. I've included the rough template for the exterior, if you also happen to want a pill-shaped box for your project.

If you don't have a laser cutter, you can still technically cut out these pieces by printing out a paper to use as a template. Having cut 2-ply chipboard with nothing but an X-acto knife, I would not recommend this route. If you're limited to hand tools, please - for your own safety - switch to a thinner material.

If you're new to designing boxes or packages, I would suggest that you use a template, like those provided in the free ebooks Packaging & Dielines or Packaging & Dielines 2. I'd only custom design a template if it was absolutely necessary for the project.

Step 2: Cut Out a Stencil.

Because I wanted to highlight my brand's creative use of hidden electronics, I chose to spot gloss a circuit. I made my stencil using Illustrator, as a laser cuttable version of the seamless Photoshop Circuit Board Patterns, by sdwhaven. I uploaded my stencilized version of that artwork, in case you want to use it.

If you don't have a laser cutter, I would suggest a simpler spot gloss pattern. Things like logos, shapes, or letters can be used to make a serious statement.

Step 3: Spray Down a Base Coat.

Did you know that you can spray paint chipboard? You totally can, and it looks great!

Just make sure that you have chipboard with a smooth, clean surface. That's the difference between the first photo and the second photo. Also, try not to oversaturate the surface of the chipboard - your layers will separate.

(Note: before you spray the top of the box, you'll want to apply a layer of your cloth tape to the back edge. Protect the visible sticky part of the tape with a weaker tape like masking tape to keep it from getting dirty through the next few steps.)

Step 4: Spray the Gloss Coat.

Place your stencil over your pre-coated chipboard, and protect any remaining visible portion of the chipboard. Using smooth, linear strokes from roughly 10" above the surface, apply shellac over the stencil.

Let the shellac dry for a few seconds, then carefully peel off the stencil. After you're sure the shellac has dried fully, you can realign the stencil for the next portion of your spot gloss. (This was super important for my design, since I wanted to show a continuous circuit pattern over the entire box.)

Step 5: Assemble.

Hot glue the strip of the box around the outside of the bottom of the box.

Peel off the masking tape from the sticky edge of the cloth tape, and align the top of the box over the side of the box.

Gently smooth the cloth tape over the side of the box - and you're done! You now have a sophisticated package mockup, showcasing a classy spot gloss.