For a detailed explanation of how a rigid box is made, download this short PDF from the Paperboard Packaging Council.
Glossary of Terms
Ballotin Box: A box with base sides that slant outward at an angle and a regular straight, 90° cover. Slant sides allow for nesting of bases.
Base: The lower portion of a paper box.
Chipboard: The basic recycled paperboard material used to create rigid boxes.
Clamshell: A one-piece box part with the ability to be entirely closed on itself to house a product.
Embossing: Process of imprinting paper to create a raised pattern or design that stands out tactilely and visually compared to the flat printing surrounding it.
Die Cut (DC) Tray: A shaped and folded box part made of chipboard that holds products; can be plain, lined or wrapped.
Drawer-Style: The combination of a box on its side and additional base (drawer) that slides into it, with either a thumb notch or ribbon pull for opening.
Dust Lid: A creased and folded clear piece commonly made of acetate that protects and displays product inside box; can also be stamped.
Hinge: A method of attaching one side of a lid to a base.
Insert Platform: Any construction of paperboard or other material placed or sometimes glued in a box to lift or raise product, generally positioned under a d.c. tray to evenly display products of varied depths or provide additional support.
Knockdown Box: A one or two-piece box made with rigid-weight chipboard covered in a wrap that folds flat for easy shipping. The base can be constructed in several styles with folding tabs and collapsing sides. The assembled box looks and feels like a rigid box and is often held in place by tape or glue after erection.
Label: A plain or printed piece of paper adhered to a box, distinct from top or bottom wrap.
Leaf (Hot) Stamping: Process using heat and pressure to apply pieces of metal foil to a box part or wrap to create a design or letters. Leaf stamping is often combined with embossing to make a logo or design “pop”.
Lid (cover): The upper portion of a rigid box; its edges can be die cut to be angled, curved, or swooped.
Lid Support (ribbon stop): Tape or ribbon to hold hinge lid in position when box is open.
Lifts: Pieces of ribbon, cloth, tape, or paper attached to trays or below a product to aid in convenient removal.
Loose Wrapping: Process of covering a lid with paper on a wrapping machine or by hand, with the adhesive applied so as to adhere to the edges only, not the flat box top.
Neck or Collar: An additional box part placed inside a base and extending above its height to allow cover to fit over it and sit flush with the base when closed. (A shouldered box.)
Nesting: Placing trays or covers of the same size, or boxes of varying sizes, one within another.
Mask: A piece of printed SBS with die cut holes for product that covers a vac tray to enhance its appearance. Can be flat or have legs extending down the tray sides; glued or placed on.
Padded Top: Box lid with one or more layers of foam or other padding material underneath the wrap to create a soft feeling.
Papers: Various substrates commonly used as wraps in the manufacture of set-up rigid boxes include: book, label, manila, and kraft, and can be finished with UV or aqueous coatings, foils, embossing, printing and drum or cast coating. Also can be used to “line” the box interior.
Partitions/Dividers: Slotted pieces of chipboard or SBS fitted together or creased and folded to form a series of compartments in a base. Can be glued in place or not.
Powder Drum: A closed rigid box made of lightweight paper that holds powder and can be easily popped or cut by consumer. The drum keeps powder contained and can be made in round or rectangular shape.
Projection Edge: A narrow, shelf-like protrusion around the base of a box, either round or rectangular, designed to give a unique look or increase the box’s stability.
Pulls: Piece of metal, tape, ribbon, or other material attached to a tray or box part to form a handle that opens the box.
Rigid Box: A paperboard box that is constructed already- formed or "set-up" for use, as distinguished from a folding carton or a corrugated shipping container. Rigid boxes are made of chipboard covered in a paper wrap, and use heavier-weight board than folding cartons.
Scoring: Making knife cuts on chipboard (score marks) for the purpose of forming a bending line.
Shoulder Box: A box with a base, cover and collar that allows the top and bottom to join either flush or with a gap (smile).
Sifter Screen: A mesh screen bordered by rigid-weight board used to filter powder in a cosmetics box. Can be made round or rectangular.
Sleeve: Material creased and glued to create a four-sided, rectangular tube that slides over a rigid box. Often SBS, plastic, or rigid board.
Stay, Stay Tape: Material used for reinforcing corners of base, lid, or tray. Material may be paper, mylar or a combination of each and comes with adhesive that is heated to form seal.
Telescope Box: A box in which the lid fits over the base, either reaching all the way down the base sides in a “full” telescope or partway in a shallower, “partial” telescope.
Thumb Notch: A semi-circular or triangular cut to facilitate removal of lid from base or contents from base.
Tight Wrapping: Process of covering base, lid or tray with paper on wrapping machine, or by hand, wraps being in one piece and with the entire surface covered with adhesive.
Turn-Ins: The ends of the wrap that are glued around the edge and to the interior of the box to insure strong adhesion. Typical automated turn-ins reach 5/8” into the box part from its top edge.
Unitized Flat Cover: A combination of board panels adhered to a solid paper backer with gaps between, creating a single, flexible 2-panel (cigar style), 3-panel (book-style), or 4-5- panel (wraparound) piece attached to a base part to form a closed box. (Rigid Sleeve Option – A 4-panel piece with an additional paper hinge gluing back on itself creates a sleeve that remains separate from the box part.)
Vacuum Forming: Forming plastic in a mold through the use of heat and vacuum. Plain or flocked styrene or a clear or tinted PET stock is generally used.
Wadding: A lightweight woven form of jeweler’s cotton mainly used in jewelry box applications to cushion and display product.
Wrap: The piece of substrate, frequently paper printed or stamped with graphics, that is glued to the outside of a structure formed by chipboard to finish a rigid box.