Custom Packaging




Silkscreen and cardboard packaging.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Create the Package Form

Research and draw. Take a look online at boxes and decide on the right one for your product. I chose a front flap box. Once I was happy with the shape, I sketched several versions of dimensions for the template to make the box using plain pen and paper. I then digitized the drawing using CAD. I used Rhino to sketch the box template to scale.The box I'm making is custom-fit for my product (view the product here) and measures 19" x 20" x 3.75" deep. View the template below.

Step 2: Rough Prototype

I printed the digital plan of the box to scale using a standard printer. I tiled letter-size sheets of paper to create the large surface area for the template. I pasted the paper down using rubber cement and cut my first box rough prototype to test. The box fit, so the next step is to refine the package.

Step 3: Refined Prototype

To create several more packages, I created a sturdy template using 1/8" MDF on the lasercutter. Whenever there was a scoreline in my drawing, I offset the lines by 1/16" on either side to allow for room for tracing around the template. I assembled the template and traced the outlines with pencil onto the cardboard sheet. Using a ruler, and blade, I cut out the box by hand. The lines for folding are scored with a bone folder. I added a layer for additional padding around the product.

Step 4: Create Package Graphics

After designing the graphics in Illustrator (file below), I printed a small-scale model of my package graphics to view the effect. Seeing the physical object is helpful for tweaking minor edits to the placement of the graphics on the sides and top. Once I was happy with the result, I then outlined all the lines in Illustrator to prepare for cutting a vinyl template for screenprinting.

Step 5: Create SilkScreen

Using a vinylcutter, I created a mirror-image stencil for applying on the silkscreen. I then peeled the negatives from the stencil and applied to a 20" x 30" pre-stretched silk screen.

Step 6: Finish

Ink the screen in the desired color-I chose white screen printers ink. And press onto the surface. Silk screening may take a few tries to get the right consistency. This package certainly has a touch of the hand look..

Mind for Design

Participated in the
Mind for Design

Be the First to Share


    • Furniture Contest

      Furniture Contest
    • Reuse Contest

      Reuse Contest
    • Hot Glue Speed Challenge

      Hot Glue Speed Challenge

    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I think custom packaging is such a fun and cool idea! I would love to get something in the mail that fits their brand or product that I'm receiving. I think it also helps with advertising.


    3 years ago

    There is a online tool ( that generate a diecut template of custom packaging in real time. Just insert size. I save a lot of time and I don't need a CAD software


    4 years ago

    Do you need to bake it on after silkscreening? Or any good beginner resources you could link to?

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! Doesn't look so daunting any more. Especially with the vinyl.

    Can you theoretically use the same screen with different vinyl cut outs and different images?


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    :) yes! exactly. Then once you are satisfied you simply switch out the vinyl and re-use the same screen. It's an alternative to burning the image.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome, thank you! I have a cutter and a healthy amount of vinyl to use, now only finding a screen and ink. :)