Folding Cartons 101

All About Paperboard Boxes

Folding cartons or paperboard boxes provide economical product packaging for retail and consumer goods and business-to-business products. Packaging examples include health and beauty, cosmetics, nutraceutical, food items, automotive parts, technology, apparel, promotional gifts, and household products. Stouse manufactures folding cartons in a variety of styles using white solid bleached sulphate (SBS) paperboard in various thicknesses.

How to Measure Folding Cartons

(L” x W” x H”)

A carton has three dimensions. Orient the carton with the opening facing you. This is not necessarily the front of the package.

(L) LENGTH – measured from left to right (also known as the opening or hinge side)
(W) WIDTH – measured from front to back
(H) HEIGHT – measured from top to bottom

Give the dimensions in the following order to ensure you get the right size carton:
L” x W” x H”

Paperboard Box Styles Offered by Stouse

The folding carton industry produces an endless variety of box styles. Don’t be intimidated by the abbreviations and names. Rely on Stouse to help you navigate the folding carton products and find the product that is perfect for your application. Review the most common products offered by Stouse below.

Reverse Tuck Ends / RTE

Folding Cartons with reverse tuck ends (RTE) are among the most common product packaging style produced. They are economical, easy to assemble and load, and work well for lighter weight products. These boxes ship and store folded flat to conserve space. Some find the reverse tuck style less aesthetically pleasing because there is a visible raw edge on the front of the box. Select the tuck style desired for our Rectangle and Cube Boxes to display available sizes. Add optional wafer seals to secure closures.

Straight Tuck Ends / STE

Paperboard boxes with straight tuck ends (STE) are also a common product packaging style. They are easy to assemble and load, and work well for lighter weight products. This style is more expensive to produce due to space required on a sheet; however, some find straight tucks more appealing visually if the tuck ends are oriented towards the back of the package giving a clean front without displaying raw edges. Our promotional Golf Ball Sleeves are a straight tuck end style. Select the tuck style desired for our Rectangle and Cube Boxes to display available sizes. These boxes ship and store folded flat to conserve space. Add optional wafer seals to secure closures.

Auto Bottom / AB

Folding cartons with an auto bottom closure work well for heavier weight products. They are more expensive than tuck bottom styles because of the extra factory glue step; however, they assemble and load product very quickly. Additionally, the auto bottom sits evenly on a retail shelf. The top can be any of several styles, tuck end, handle, or gable top. These boxes ship and store folded flat to conserve space. Add optional wafer seals to secure top closure if desired.

Pillow Box

Paperboard Pillow Boxes make an attractive gift package or promotional box. Many companies use them for gift card envelopes as well. They are economical, easy to assemble and load, and work well for lighter weight products. The outside flap closure includes a die-cut thumb notch to allow end users to open quickly and easily. They do not stack well and therefore are not typically found in a retail setting unless in a bin. These boxes ship and store folded flat to conserve space. Add optional wafer seals to secure side closures.

Gable or Handle-Top Boxes

Paperboard Handle-Top or Gable Boxes from Stouse have an a-frame style top with a locking handle and a secure auto bottom base. These boxes are popular for promotional packaging, boutique retail, gifting, food businesses, bakery and restaurant takeout boxes. They are easy to assemble and load, and work well for medium to heavy weight products. The paperboard material is safe for indirect food contact (food should be wrapped). Our promotional Wine Boxes are a handle-top auto bottom style. These boxes ship and store folded flat to conserve space. Add optional wafer seals to secure top closure.

Roll End or No-Glue Boxes

Paperboard roll end or No-Glue Boxes from Stouse set up easily without any glue. Simply manually roll the sides over the flaps to construct the box and tuck the flaps on the top to lock the top into place. These boxes are popular for our Business Card Boxes in a variety of sizes, promotional packaging, boutique retail, gifting, small apparel items, and more. They are economical, easy to assemble and load, and work well for medium to heavy weight products. The paperboard material is safe for indirect food contact (food should be wrapped). These boxes ship and store folded flat to conserve space. Add optional wafer seals to secure closure.

Custom Folding Carton Styles

Stouse produces many custom packaging styles, such as snap lock or 1-2-3 bottom cartons and box sleeves. Contact us with your project requirements for a custom quote.

Snap Lock or 1-2-3 Bottom / SN

Folding cartons with a snap lock or 1-2-3 bottom closure work well for heavier weight products. The bottom closes in three simple steps prior to fillling. They are slightly more expensive than a tuck end style and take more time to assemble due to hand-locking base; however, they load product relatively quickly. Additionally, the snap lock bottom sits evenly on a retail shelf. The top can be any of several styles, tuck end, handle, or gable top. These boxes ship and store folded flat to conserve space. *Note: Stouse does not offer any stock sizes of this style currently. Contact us if you’d like a quote of this style for your project.

Box Sleeve

A paperboard box sleeve is a straight line glued “band” that fits around another type of box or rigid tray for aesthetic reasons. It does not have a top or bottom closure. These sleeves ship and store folded flat to conserve space. Note: Stouse does not offer any stock sizes of this style currently. Contact us if you’d like a quote of this style for your project.

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