Packaging design printing in small numbers?

I'm designing some small 4"x4"x4" packages for a class project and I only need a few boxes (probably 5 total). I've checked dozens of printing sites, but the minimum order size is around 100-1000 boxes and usually costs a ton. With that being said, I already have my overall design finished, it's just a matter of printing it onto some boxes.

Would it be better to just do the entire process myself by hand? And if so how would I go about that?

  • 2
    Hi Leo G, Welcome to GD.SE! Has your teacher given you requirements in how the box should be printed or is this for fun? When I had a similar project, it was required that we print out the design ourself so we could learn how packages were put together. We simply used regular paper.
    – AndrewH
    Apr 21, 2016 at 21:17
  • Hey Andrew H! Thank you! And nope, no requirements or restrictions. Its for a final project in an advanced graphic design class so my professor was basically like "do whatever you want."
    – Leo G.
    Apr 21, 2016 at 21:21
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    In my opinion I think your teacher would be more impressed if you printed (or have someone else print) the design and constructed the package yourself.
    – AndrewH
    Apr 21, 2016 at 21:23
  • Hey sorry do you mind elaborating a bit more on the process? I saw some ready made white 4X4X4 boxes sold online for cheap, so I was purchasing them then printing out my design out on paper then applying it to the box. I think thats similar to what you meant, right?
    – Leo G.
    Apr 21, 2016 at 21:31
  • *thinking of purchasing
    – Leo G.
    Apr 21, 2016 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


Do a mock up... Construct the box!

The size is quite small so you are fine. There are some copy stores where you can print a Tabloid size paper. Try to use the thickest paper possible.

You can also print on adhesive paper and paste into a thicker paper, but the print could crack on the folds.

A comment. I am scared by the idea that designers do not use crafts anymore. Find joy in using a ruler, a cutter and put some glue in your fingers!

The box itself can and should be designed

There is so much potential in creating a real 3D structure, there are sooooooo many posibilities! Doing a real deal 3D cardboard object can be an epifany for you on your creative process: https://www.google.com/search?q=creative+boxes

Oh my... Explore materials! They do not fit into the laser printer? Print them in a small shop in silk print or use a decal, but explore! Transparent acetate, a led light, metalic paper, recicled paper... wood, paint mixed with marble dust!

  • 1
    The best part of my student days were creating things. Packaging, Even bound my own book. Makes me sad that I don't get to do much like that any more.
    – Cai
    Apr 21, 2016 at 23:07
  • LOOK FOR IT! Do that on a spare time! One box a week. Damm Ill start to do that too!
    – Rafael
    Apr 21, 2016 at 23:09

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