Kraft Boxes – What Makes Them Unique & Where You Can Get Yours

Kraft boxes header

Kraft boxes have taken the packaging industry by storm years ago.

For some, they are the ugly duckling to be avoided at all costs. Because of their brown color, kraft boxes are very often associated with cardboard shipping boxes that hold no style, customization, or elegance. 

As you’re about to see in this blog post, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Kraft boxes are the number one choice for many businesses. Their rough style is the secret ingredient for endless brilliant branding approaches. And the fact that they’re made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials is the icing on the cake.

The high level of customization you can give them makes kraft boxes as beautiful as they are functional. 

Let’s get accustomed to all the ins and outs of kraft boxes and see where and how they come in handy for your product.

Kraft boxes and kraft paper: an overview

What is kraft paper and how is it made

Paper as we know it is made from trees. More specifically, from the wood fibers, called pulp.

The wood fibers from the pulp, among other chemicals, contain cellulose and lignin. Lignin is a compound that holds the fibers together and also gives them the brown paper. 

Many people do not know that paper is not naturally white. It’s brown. To make white paper, the fibers need to be bleached. 

What’s the beauty in kraft paper? It’s unbleached pulp, which means it’s the purest paper, entirely free of chlorine. It doesn’t have to be processed to reach its beautiful, brown natural color.

As you might guess, bleaching is a chemical process, so the fewer processes paper has to go through, the more environmentally-friendly it becomes.

Wood pulp samples after processing
Wood pulp samples after processing. Bottom: unbleached kraft; center: unbleached sulfite; top: bleached pulp. Source

Kraft paper boxes: why you should be proud of using them

There are more reasons why the planet thanks you when using kraft paper. 

What does this mean to you? First of all, you can be proud to be a company that lowers its carbon footprint.

How and why it matters? Let’s break it down.

1. Kraft boxes are 100% recycled material

While virgin kraft paper is directly made from unbleached pulp, most kraft boxes are made from recycled kraft paper. The kraft paperboard we use for all our kraft boxes is made from 100% post-consumer recycled material!

You are contributing to the recycling industry worldwide.

Kraft paper is made from 100% recycled material

2. Kraft boxes are uncoated

Because it’s a less processed paper, kraft paper has a rougher texture which doesn’t take coatings and laminates easily.

Why is this a good thing? Coatings and laminates make the recycling process harder because they need to be separated from the paper. Being uncoated, kraft boxes are even more eco-friendly.

Kraft paper is uncoated
Texture of uncoated kraft paper

3. Kraft boxes are 100% recyclable

Kraft boxes are the closest to nature as possible. Without any coatings, they biodegrade easily and don’t produce harming residues. Couple this with the organic certified inks we use to print anything, and you can be proud your packaging is 100% eco-friendly. 

Read more about our printing, the inks we use, and our environmentally-friendly approach.

Kraft boxes are 100% recyclable

But why should you care about being eco-friendly? Because it translates into more sales and lifetime customers.

People are checking out on plastics and non-recyclable packaging. The demand for friendlier packaging solution is very high. With kraft boxes you’re shooting multiple birds at once: eco-friendly, cheaper, more sales, and happy customers. Overall, this means you make more money and your products reach more people, helping you accomplish your goals.


4. On top of it all, kraft boxes are strong and durable

Although kraft paper is uncoated card stock, because it’s thick (18 points thickness), kraft paper resists to moisture and more intense handling.

The rough texture also offers protection against scratches and chaffing.

Combined with an auto-lock bottom, they are a perfect fit for heavier items such as candle jars, mugs, beverage items. 

Kraft paper thickness
Kraft paper is thick and durable from the smallest to the biggest box size

Needless to say, more delicate items such as jewelry or skincare products like glass dropper bottles or small glass jars will be super protected as well. 


Kraft boxes: the natural look you can customize as you wish

Contrary to popular belief, kraft boxes are ideal for any product. A significant part of our clients are from the handmade industry – from soap and homemade skin products to food & edibles, gifts and toys, you name it. Kraft boxes are in demand!

If you’re after an organic, natural look and feel for your packaging, kraft boxes are the way to go. The wood fiber and the recycled paper flecks are visible and give the paper a rough, textured look that speaks authenticity.

But…

Can you add personalization to kraft boxes?

Absolutely! If you don’t think kraft boxes are superb on their own, there are so many ways you can customize a kraft box, we don’t even know where to start. The range goes from using blank kraft boxes with minimalist labels, all the way to adding gold foils, vibrant colors, and cutouts.

Let’s see how many different looks you can accomplish with this lovely paperboard.

Budget-friendly kraft boxes with custom labels

This is the simplest and cost-saving way to package your products, and it works for any industry: a blank kraft box with a simple label. One of the most successful industries we’ve produced kraft boxes with labels is the industry of grooming products for men. 

The coarse, rough style is perfect for a masculine, powerful look that doesn’t need too much fanciness. It’s a box that’s strong, protects the product inside, and gets the job done. Plus, it’s customized with labels that provide information and also brand it. 

Beard oil kraft box with label
Kraft box with custom label for
Damn Handsome Grooming
Man skincare kraft box with label
Kraft box with custom label
for Leonardo Skincare
Kraft boxes with labels for glass dropper bottle
Kraft boxes with custom labels
for H is for Love
Shave soap kraft box with label
Shave soap kraft box with custom label
for Detroit Grooming Co.
Beard balm kraft box with label
Beard balm kraft box with custom label
for The Mod Cabin
Man skincare kraft boxes with labels
Kraft boxes with custom labels
for Leonardo Skincare
Kraft box with label
Kraft box with custom label
for H is for Love
Kraft soap box with label
Kraft soap box with custom label
for The Mod Cabin

It doesn’t get simpler than this, and it’s also a cheaper alternative to fully-printed boxes.

Printed Kraft boxes – black & full-color printing

Yes, you can have kraft boxes with full-color print! They are not just a brown, boring paper, with monochrome black printing. There are a few things you should take into consideration when printing on kraft paper, and we’ll touch on these points further in the article.

For now, let’s see how kraft boxes look like with color printing! 

There are four ways we can print on kraft paper:

1. Black printing on kraft paper

The black print needs no introduction: it’s powerful, bold, and looks fantastic no matter the design.

Soap kraft box with black print
Black & white printing on kraft paper
for The Farm at Beaman’s Fork
Soap kraft box with black print
Black & white printing on kraft paper
for Owen & Fred
Soap kraft box with black print
Black & white printing on kraft paper
for Mountain Girl Soap
Kraft boxes with black print
Black & white printing on kraft paper
for Chivas Skincare

2. Full-color printing on kraft paper

This exciting kraft print option requires a regular CMYK printing process. The fibers in the paper are still going to be visible through the ink, which is fantastic if you’re looking for a 100% organic and natural appearance. 

Color print on kraft soap box
Kraft soap boxes for Owen & Fred
Color print on kraft soap box
Kraft soap boxes for Mountain Girl Soap
Color print on kraft soap box
Kraft soap boxes for Owen & Fred
Color print on kraft soap box
Kraft soap box with color print
Color print on kraft soap box
Kraft soap boxes for Smoky Mountain Beards
Color print on kraft soap box
Kraft soap boxes for Mountain Girl Soap
Color print on kraft soap box
Kraft soap boxes fo NW Natural Soap
Color print on kraft soap box
Kraft beard oil boxes for Naked Pete’s

3. Vivid colors on kraft + white ink substrate

To make colors pop more, we have the option to print white ink behind the areas where you’d want the color to be sharper. The white ink “blocks” the brown texture and prevents the colored ink to blend with the paperboard. The rest of the areas will show the brown kraft texture.

Kraft soap box with color printing and white substrate
All the color printing on these soap boxes for Thistle+Hops has a white ink layer underneath, to make the packaging shine.
Kraft box with color printing and white substrate
Hawk Soap Co. also combined our white ink subatrate with black & white printing. The color areas are super bright and the black areas provide an intense contrast
Kraft box for coffee filters
The boxes for Coffee Sock also feature a white ink substrate and color printing. The kraft paper texture is still visible.

Kraft box with color printing and white substrate
This box we printed for TwentyFifty has regular color printing as well as white ink printing behind the red areas.
Kraft shampoo box with black, white and color printing
The Mod Cabin added just a bit of color
to highlight the different fragrances of their shampoo on their otherwise all-black-print kraft boxes.
Essential oil kraft box
Orchid & Temple chose white ink printing underneath the bottom area to make the brown band area stronger.

Most of the box manufacturers will require you to have more simpler graphics, because the kraft paper tends to soak up the ink.

But with our white ink substrate, you can even print detailed photographs or artwork on your kraft boxes and still keep the organic look of the kraft paper, like in the pictures below. 

Photographic details on kraft paper
Multiple design options with detailed illustrations for Chivas Skincare.
Color print with white ink substrate on kraft paper.

4. White ink printing on kraft boxes

Printing white ink on kraft paper requires different printing processes and not all paper manufacturers are able to accomplish this look.

At YourBoxSolution we’ve been among the first to offer the all-white ink finish. It’s an exceptionally successful and sought-after look.

The owners of myjewelryrepair.com chose this look for their repair kit box. They have printed on all the box’s panels, and they also printed instructions inside the box, on the top flap, and the side flaps.

Kraft boxes with white ink printing
Kraft boxes with white ink printing
Kraft boxes with white ink printing
Kraft box with white ink printing

If you’re planning a rustic approach for your kraft boxes, this option will fit like a glove.

There’s more you can do to kraft boxes than just print colors on them.

Sounds unlikely? It’s not! Let’s see what other looks we can help you accomplish.

Kraft boxes with cutouts and inserts

Maybe you were thinking that’s about it with kraft boxes…they’re brown and look natural, and save you a few bucks.

Guess what? Kraft boxes with cutouts are some of our long-time best sellers!

Now…

Why do you need a box cutout?

Well, there are a few important reasons:

  • Cutouts allow your customers to see the product inside. You can take advantage of this for various products, from soaps & body care, baked goods, toys, or any product that you want to be displayed and protected at the same time. 
  • Cutouts allow your customers to smell the product. Ideal for kraft soap boxes or any products with fragrances, cutouts let your customers on a sensory journey. This way, you’re helping your customers make the purchasing decision faster.
  • Cutouts add diversity and style to your packaging. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, every extra detail you can add to your packaging can create added value. Compared to a simple box, a box with cutout shows you want to provide the best experience for your customers, starting with offering them a unique box to which you’ve put a lot of thought and care. 
  • Cutouts help your brand tell its story and become easily remembered. You can create a 100% custom cutout for your kraft boxes, to help your brand stand out from the rest. Instead of going with circular or rectangular cutouts, we can create a custom cutout in the shape of your logo, a pattern, or element that’s part of your brand identity. Now, every time someone sees that cutout will know it’s yours.
Kraft boxes with cutout
Kraft boxes with cutout
Kraft boxes with cutout
Kraft boxes with cutout
Kraft boxes with cutout
Kraft boxes with cutout
Kraft boxes with cutout
Kraft boxes with cutout
Kraft boxes with cutout
Kraft boxes with cutout

Custom cutouts require creating a custom cutting die (one time cost). This die will be specially made for your box, and once you have it, you can reorder anytime without any added costs.  

You can go even further with the customization! I’ll give you a tip: it’s shiny and luxurious!

Kraft boxes with hot foil stamping

You love the organic look of the kraft boxes but you’d like to take it up a notch and give it an elegant touch? Absolutely doable at YourBoxSolution.

Hot foil stamping (available in different colors) and embossing are both possible with kraft paper. You’ll just have to prepare your artwork* so we’ll know where you want these extras added and you’ll have a winning combination.

*When working with us, you’ll receive an art preparation instruction packet that will tell you everything you need to know about preparing your files for print.

Kraft box with copper foil
Skincare kraft box for Balanced Guru
Kraft box with copper foil
Vape box for Stache Sauce
Kraft boxes with hot foil stamping
Source

Kraft box with copper foil
Closeup of copper foil
Kraft box with green silver foil
Source
Kraft boxes with hot foil stamping
Source

Next, let’s take a look at how colors behave on kraft paper and what should you expect when choosing a custom printed kraft box.

Printing on Kraft paper: what you should know

This organic-looking, earthly-feeling paper rises a few challenges when printing, but its specifics are what makes their look so unique.

Let’s see what you should take into consideration when deciding to print on kraft paper. 

Ink Colors on Kraft Paper

Because of its brown and textured background, kraft paper influences the way colors appear. Due to its uncoated nature, kraft paper absorbs the ink, making the colors more faded.

The texture of the paper will be visible through the color. This is one of the characteristics our clients love about printing on kraft paper – everything looks very natural. 

Color reference on kraft paper
Color Reference Chart – Kraft Paper

Strong colors on Kraft are possible

Like previously mentioned, if your brand has lighter colors or more saturated colors, and you want to have a kraft box no matter what, a white layer of ink can be printed on the paperboard to create a more full color for desired areas. Your colors will pop, and you’ll still have the kraft box texture.

As you can see on the image on the right, the colors are 100% saturated because of the white ink base layer.

Color reference on kraft paper with white ink substrate
Color Reference Chart – Kraft Paper with white ink substrate

Colors that print well on Kraft Paper

If you’re looking for a bold contrast, we recommend using colors on the darker spectrum. Light colors appear more faded because they don’t create enough contrast with the brown background. 

Colors you should avoid when printing on Kraft Paper

As a general rule, avoid light colors like yellow, pinks, cream or light grays, that will not be very visible against the brown background. 

Printing Fine Details on Kraft

The textured base of the kraft paperboard can be a bit tricky if you want to print really small details or lines. The finest detail we recommend is 1pt. line-weight, which, as you can see in the pictures, it’s pretty intricate and still allows you to get as creative as you wish.

Fine details on kraft paper
Fine details on kraft paper

What’s in it for you? Kraft boxes to fit all your needs

Now that we’ve established kraft boxes are an ideal packaging solution for any product…

Let’s make things practical and actually see what are your options for kraft boxes that we can help with here at YourBoxSolution and our other brand, CustomKraftBox.

Before we continue…

A 100% American experience

The #1 thing you should know about getting your kraft boxes from YourBoxSolution?

We’re THE manufacturers, here in the US. We don’t rely on middlemen or resellers and we don’t purchase the boxes overseas and then sell them with interest.

We produce everything in-house with the help of our 30+employees at our facility in Springfield, Oregon, and have been doing so for the past 25+ years. We are proud to serve American business owners and we’re dedicated to producing high-quality packaging products.

YourBoxSolution family
We’re real people, on location!

Let’s see where we fit in with your needs and how we can help you get your kraft boxes.

1. Stock Kraft Boxes at fair prices

If your project doesn’t require a printed box, then this offering might be the perfect solution for you. At CustomKraftBox.com we sell kraft boxes on bulk wholesale pricing, so you can start packaging your products right away.

The minimum order is 250 pieces, and there are over 700+ stock box sizes you can choose from. 

What do you need to do? Just fill the search fields with your Length, Width and Depth and if the size matches a die we have in-house, your box will appear in the search results. The results will also display any boxes that have cutouts and match your size. 

You’ll find boxes as small as under 1 centimeter, and larger boxes for heavier products.

Stock kraft boxes

Plus, you’ll also be able to see our competitive prices upfront, so you’ll know exactly what the costs are before committing to the order.

2. Custom Size Kraft Boxes

Just in case you haven’t found the box size you need in our library, we can create a custom cutting die for you.

A custom box is tailored to fit your product exactly. When you’re making a custom kraft box, you can choose how it closes, where the folds are, if it has any perforations, or cutouts. 

To create a perfectly-fitting box, you’ll need to send us the measurements of your product. If you need help in measuring your box, follow our measuring guide.

Custom kraft boxes

3. Custom printed kraft boxes

As you already know, at YourBoxSolution we print, cut and glue high quality, custom printed boxes. We can print anything on kraft paper boxes, including white ink and hot foil stamping.

You have over 2500 ready-made dies that you can use for free. Or you can go full custom.

Whatever you need, we’re here to serve.

Custom printed kraft boxes

4. Choose your box type

You can choose from 8 different box types, depending on the needs of your product and the experience you want to offer to your customers.

Let’s see what’s possible.

Straight Tuck Kraft Boxes

A straight kraft tuck box is the most commonly made box on the market. Straight tuck means that the flaps on each side fold directly into the box from the front to the back or the back to the front. Both flaps fold in the same direction.

Straight tuck box

Reverse tuck box

Reverse Tuck Kraft Boxes (RT)

A Reverse Tuck box means that one of the flaps folds the opposite direction as the other. One side folds from front to back while the other side folds from back to front.


Lock Bottom Kraft Boxes (LB)

A lock bottom kraft box is often used for heavier items such as candles or glass jars. The flaps lock together on the base of the box, providing extra durability and strength.

Lock bottom boxes

Crash bottom boxes

Crash Bottom Kraft Boxes (CB)

A crash bottom kraft box has a base lock system where the opposite flaps are pushed towards each other and glued, locking the bottom into place. It is also recommended for heavier items.


Kraft Holster Box (HOL)

A kraft holster box, also called a half box, is a box with a full opening to one end. The top of the box is cut off to reveal the top of the product inside. The bottom can have a straight tuck or a lock bottom as a closing mechanism.

Holster boxes

Tuck top boxes

Tuck Top Kraft Boxes (TT)

A tuck top kraft box is a box with one opening to the top and a top closing panel with a small flap that tucks into the top of the box. The bottom of the box does not open.


Kraft Sleeves (SE)

A kraft sleeve is a box without tucks or ends. It has openings at both ends and it slides over the object it’s designed for.

Sleeve packaging

Two-Piece Kraft Box (TP)

A two-piece kraft box has a bottom tray and a lid. The lid comes over the tray in a tight fit that keeps the two pieces together. It is a very durable packaging as the tray walls and the lid walls create double resistance.

You can see all the box types and their templates on our box types page.

What to consider when choosing your type of box:

  • How will your clients hold the product (what side is most visible)
  • What opening you need the box to have for your clients to have easy access
  • Do you have a heavier product and you need a sturdier bottom?
  • Does your product need to stay upright and you need an insert?

5. Short-Run Kraft Boxes

Want to hear the best news when it comes to packaging your products with YourBoxSolution? You don’t have to order by the thousands to get a fair price.

Our minimum order is 250 pieces for all the boxes we offer, and you can also order in varying quantities and still receive a bulk price. 

On top of that, you can order each batch with a different design on it. This way, you don’t have to overstock – you can order more of the best sellers and less of the others.

Kraft boxes with multiple design options
Multiple design options of the same box die, for a combined bulk rate pricing.

6. Kraft gift boxes

Kraft boxes are the adaptable solution you’ve been looking for – a box that you can use for literally anything.

Do you need a gift box or a favor box? You can easily turn any blank kraft box into a kraft gift box by adding a ribbon, decorative tape, twine, or labels. Larger boxes can be used to protect a personalized mug or a toy. 

Kraft favor boxes
These 2×2″ printed kraft gift boxes are ideal for wedding favor boxes, jewelry boxes, or special keepsakes.
Kraft gift boxes
Decorate any kraft box and turn it
into a gift box with things you have around the house, like ribbons or paper bands.

Kraft boxes made just for you

Whenever we take pictures of boxes we’ve produced for our clients, like the ones you’ve seen in this post, we know we have contributed to the growth of their business and that’s the core of what we do.

As I’m sure you’ll agree with from your own experience, there’s nothing that offers more satisfaction that a happy customer, isn’t it?

If you’re in love with the kraft paper look as much as we and our clients all over USA are, come give us a quick call at (877) 300-2405 or get in touch at orders@yourboxsolution.com and we’ll produce your very own kraft boxes in around 10 business days.

We can’t wait for you to be our next happy customer!