How Packaging Sleeves Increase Brand Value & Perceived Quality of Your Product

Packaging Sleeves Presentation

You can brand your products using packaging sleeves and spend less than you would on a custom box.

While branding is a vital step in selling any product, that doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars on it.

In this post, you’ll learn about:

  • How you can use a box packaging sleeve no matter your industry
  • How we can help you keep your packaging costs down with quality sleeve packaging
  • Sleeve packaging ideas for your next branding project

Let’s see what packaging sleeves are all about.

1. What are packaging sleeves?

You’re probably wondering what is a packaging sleeve. If you did stumble over this term when searching for custom packaging, you’ve probably also heard about belly bands.

Packaging sleeves and belly band packaging mean the same thing.

Simply put:

Packaging sleeves or belly band packaging refers to a piece of paper that wraps around an object (like a jar, a box, a t-shirt) and helps you brand it without necessarily putting your product in a custom printed box, which costs more.

A packing sleeve is like a box without ends or closing tucks, similar to a cylinder.  A box sleeve can be customized just like any other box and there’s room for branding elements, product & nutritional information, and you can even add cutouts to make it look special. 

Paper packaging sleeves can also be wrapped directly around the object – like a soap bar or a pair of socks. We’ll touch the different ways you can use a sleeve throughout the article.

In the video below you can watch a short presentation for different packaging sleeves and how they can help personalize your product.

2.  Why choose a custom packaging sleeve 

Going with a more affordable packaging option doesn’t mean you need to compromise on quality. The paper we print on is the same paper we use for custom boxes, so you don’t need to worry about whether they’re sturdy enough to work as standalone packaging. We print lots of box sleeves, soap sleeves, food sleeves, and more at YourBoxSolution, and they hold many benefits.

Let’s take a look how sleeve packaging can help you.

box icon

Professional look with low costs

Packaging sleeves allow you to buy cheap generic boxes and brand them easily. Ordering a custom printed box will cost more, and if you’re just starting your business, you’ll probably want to invest every penny wisely.

At the early states of your business, you can order a white blank box or a custom kraft box that fits your product and slide over a printed sleeve that will make it look like a custom product. 

If you need help with your blank boxes, we sell small quantity kraft boxes, white boxes, and black or one-color boxes over at CustomKraftBox.com


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Cost-effective in printing

A printed sleeve takes up less space on the printing paper, so it’s more cost-effective than a 6-sided box, which can use up to double the paper – and ink, implicitly. So besides saving money, you also save the environment! 


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Suited for any industry

You can dress up any product with a custom packaging sleeve. Given the fact that the sleeve can wrap around any product, it doesn’t matter the industry you’re in. From pet products, to cosmetics, toys and food, packaging sleeves are a fantastic option.


small quantity boxes icon

Small-quantity print for seasonal packaging or product variations

One of our favorite qualities about using packaging sleeves is that it allows you to sell your product in different seasons without being stuck with leftover boxes. So if you’re – let’s say – a chocolate manufacturer, you can sell your regular chocolate in a holiday edition by just adding a custom-printed sleeve to your box. . 

Order as low as 250 pieces and you won’t have to throw away a bunch of Santa Claus or Easter Bunny leftover boxes

The same principle can be applied to any packaging – take your regular box, slide over a custom packaging sleeve and you can sell every month of the year. 


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Showcase Unique Offerings

You can also create package specials easily by using a paper sleeve. For example, you can group three scents of your bestseller soaps (that you would otherwise sell separately) into one package and you’ll get a gift box that can sell super fast. 


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Makes Packing Fast & Easy

Packaging sleeves are super-easy to use and save you time on packaging – you just slide the sleeve over the box or directly over the product and it’s ready to hit the shelves.


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You Get Bulk Quantity Prices For Multiple Orders

At YourBoxSolution you get discounted prices if you order multiple versions of the same sleeve size. For example, if you place 4 orders for 250 boxes each, we’ll treat them as a single 1,000 piece order and help you save money.

You can find out more about multiple design versions and our combined bulk quantity rates here.

3. Soap packaging sleeves

Soap Packaging Sleeves presentation
Source: Meredith Wallis

A very popular product we make a lot at YourBoxSolution is soap sleeves, and you’ve probably seen them a lot too, especially for handmade soap packaging. 

The soap sleeve is no different than a box sleeve: a cardstock band that wraps around the bar soap and displays your brand name, graphics, ingredients, and protects the bar of soap. They’re very convenient to use and they look great even with the simplest graphics.

Why packaging sleeves are perfect for the handmade soap business

Soap packaging sleeves allow interaction with the product

One of the things we love most about them is that soap sleeves let part of the soap visible for the customers. This is especially important considering that most of the time the customers buy according to how nice the product looks.

This is an advantage you can play on – when handmade soap comes in so many colors and textures it’s a shame to hide it in a fully-closed box. 

soap sleeves
Soap sleeves showcase your products’ colors as well as the fragrance of the soap bar.

Soap packaging sleeves also let the fragrance of the soap pass through so your customers can smell it.

That’s why clients who order custom printed soap boxes from us also add a cutout to the box more often than not. Showcasing the soap bar is an important part of this industry. You can check out our most popular soap boxes here or get in touch for a custom quote if you have a special soap sleeve or soap box shape in mind. 

Custom printed soap boxes with cutouts
Cutouts on soap boxes as an alternative to soap sleeves.
Source: YourBoxSolution for Mountain Girl Soaps and Zandra Beauty

You can also put soap packaging sleeves over a custom box with a larger cutout, if you want more of the soap bar to show, like our clients from South Street Soapworks did.

Soap box with sleeve

Soap packaging sleeves are a bit cheaper than custom printed boxes

There’s no need to mention the importance of saving a few bucks especially when starting out. Because it uses less paper and less ink to print, a soap sleeve costs less to produce, so you’ll spend less on your soap packaging.

If you’re worried a sleeve doesn’t protect your soap bar enough, you can always wrap your soap bar in a regular printer paper or wrapping paper that you have around the house and slide the sleeve over to keep everything in place, like in the picture below. This option offers a bit of extra protection but will still let the scent pass through. 

Wrapped soap with custom printed sleeve packaging
To save money, you can wrap your soap with leftover wrapping paper and add a soap sleeve on top for customization.

Plus…

  • Packaging sleeves protect the soap bar from greasy fingers and damage from repeated touching;
  • Soap sleeves are recyclable. The paper we make all our products comes from sustainably managed forests and the inks we use are organic certified inks, which means soap sleeves don’t hurt the environment. You can read more about our sustainability efforts here.

A natural feel with kraft paper sleeves

One of the most sought-after look for soap sleeves are the kraft paper belly bands that give the soap a much-appreciated organic, natural look.

The Kraft paper we use is 100% post-consumer recycled material, and at 18.2 points thickness, it’s very durable and will add protection to your soap bar. 

Kraft sleeve packaging
Source: Dara T.

We can print any colors on the Kraft paper, but there are a few details you should take into consideration if this is the paper you want to go with.

First, Kraft paper has a rougher texture and very small details tend to not print so well. Also, the colors on Kraft paper look different than on white paper, because of its brown paper base, but this is also an advantage if you’re looking for that grunge, organic look.

We do offer white ink printing and hot foil stamping for kraft paper, so you can also get a super-elegant look using this paperboard. You can read more about printing on Kraft paper here and let us know if you’ve found the look you’re after. We can’t wait to help with your kraft paper belly bands and sleeves.

Here are some other soap packaging sleeves that look fabulous:

Soap packaging sleeves with hot foil stamping
Source: Christy Diaz
Minimalist soap packaging sleeves
Source: Maxwell Breaux
Soap packaging sleeves with marine theme
Source: Cynthia Barton
White soap packaging sleeves
Source: Ana Gallardo
Soap packaging sleeves with box
Source: Kayla Landry
Kraft packaging sleeves
Source: Dara T.
Soap packaging sleeves
Source: Kiah Smith
Simple soap packaging sleeve
Source: Jenny G., Maisha G.
Simple packaging sleeve
Source: Kindly Made Studio

Custom-shaped soap packaging sleeves

A soap sleeve doesn’t have to be just a straight piece of paper.

You can also go with a custom shape for your soap sleeve and make the sleeve packaging unique to your brand or to the shapes & characteristics of your product.

Where to begin

If you’re just starting your soapmaking journey and can’t decide on the soap packaging that represents you, our article with 209 soap packaging ideas can help if you need some inspiration. I hope it’s going to be helpful – and remember you can get in touch anytime if you need help. We are a call or email away and don’t take ages to respond!

4. Custom Box Sleeves and Bands

Packaging sleeves for boxes are a great way to take a stock box and make it fully custom. You can eliminate the cost of custom box printing and use a generic cardboard box instead. 

Add a custom printed box band over the box and your product and it’s ready for retail without costly investments.

Box packaging sleeve

As we’ve mentioned at the beginning of the article, a great thing about custom sleeves is that you don’t need to rebrand and reorder new packaging for your products if you want to test a new product or run a seasonal offering.

This is particularly effective for launching a new product or testing different visuals for your brand. Look plays a major part in the selling, so you can print different designs for the same product and see which one sells better. And with YourBoxSolution you get bulk rate prices if you order more variations of the same sleeve.

Multiple design versions of packaging sleeves
We offer bulk rate prices for multiple design versions of the same sleeve.
Source: Kindly Made Studio

Make your belly band packaging more interesting with custom shapes and cutouts

Just because it’s also called a “band”, a packaging sleeve doesn’t have to be a simple, straight piece of paper. If you feel like making your sleeve flow like a wave on the box and have a really dynamic look, it’s totally possible to order your very own custom box sleeves that look just like you want. 

Adding cutouts to your printed box sleeves

Packing sleeves can also have cutouts to showcase different design elements or to offer a glimpse of the box itself. This example is just adorable. The simple sleeve with three different cutouts shows how vibrant the inside of the box is and creates curiosity.

Box packaging sleeve with cutout
Source: Frank Lo, Comma Leung

You can print a custom packaging sleeve for literally ANY industry, and the limit is your imagination. At YourBoxSolution we produce everything in-house at our printing facility in Oregon, using state of the art printers and automated processes.

This means we are in charge of the entire process from start to finish, no resellers, no middlemen. When ordering with us, you’ll be able to log in to your administration panel and oversee every step of your order, leave comments and get in touch with your box experts. You can read more about our ordering process here.

5. Food packaging sleeves

Why custom box sleeves are ideal for the food industry

You know how most food packaging looks like: blank containers or trays, usually made out of paper, cardboard, foam or plastic, with lids or sealed with shrink foil, and usually disposable.

Blank food containers
Blank containers do not offer a great experience for the client.

In the food industry, the packaging is important, but not as important as making sure the products are good tasting, safe for consumption, and that they abide by food laws and regulations. These procedures imply serious costs, so food companies are often left with small budgets for the packaging itself.

But what if you could personalize these containers and make them more attractive with small costs?

This is where food packaging sleeves come in handy. A custom packing sleeve is not expensive and will positively increase your buyer’s perception about your product and increase your sales. If you’re in the food industry, personalizing your food containers or packages with a custom sleeve can mean more customers and more money in your pockets.

You can see how a paper sleeve can enhance the looks of a simple plastic box in the video below. 

Food sleeves and bands in use

Here are some great examples of packaging sleeves for food products.

Chocolate box packaging sleeve
Artisan Chocolate box sleeve
Source: YourBoxSolution
for Mokau Artisan Chocolates
Chocolate truffles packaging sleeve
Chocolate box sleeve
Source: YourBoxSolution
for Price’s Fine Chocolates

Packaging sleeve for paper bags
Packaging sleeve over a paper bag
Source: YourBoxSolution for Yerbastar
Caramel box sleeve
Caramel box sleeve
Source: YourBoxSolution for Le Bon Garçon

Packaging sleeve for jars
Goat cheese box sleeve
Source: Michel Valois, Sylvie Racicot, Robin Kurtz.
Egg crate packaging sleeve
Egg crate sleeve
Source: James Cooke

6. Custom packaging sleeves in other industries

We’ve already talked about how packaging sleeves work for any industry.

Let’s take a look at other products that use belly band packaging and have pulled off an excellent look with little costs.

Shaving kit box packaging sleeve

This larger packaging sleeve for Gentleman Jon’s Wet Shave Kit goes over a black tray box. Choosing the Kraft paperboard makes the packaging look vintage and old-school.

Shaving kit packaging sleeve
Source: YourBoxSolution for Gentleman Jon

Game box packaging sleeves

Another great example of sleeve packaging is this tin box sleeve we did for Two Moles Games and their Trailhead survival game. It’s a simple sleeve that goes over the metal box. A simple customizing can go a long way for catching attention.

Game box packaging sleeve
Source: YourBoxSolution for Two Moles Games

Skincare packaging sleeves

SouthernMagnolia chose to package their hair serums in a tray box. They wanted to add a custom sleeve over the tray box to keep the spray bottles in place. The sleeve in this case goes from one side to the other and and makes the package look like a closed box.

Skincare packaging sleeve
Source: YourBoxSolution for Southern Magnolia

Packaging sleeves for any object

This sleeve we did for The Featherweight Shop holds a replacement belt for the Singer Featherweight vintage sewing machines. Rather than selling the belts without any packaging, they decided to add value to this simple product with a custom belly band.

Custom packaging sleeves for different objects
Source: YourBoxSolution for The Featherweight Shop

T-shirt packaging sleeves

With a custom t-shirt packaging sleeve, t-shirts and other apparel items can be customized to keep up to date with current fashion trends. They also help reduce storage space.

T-shirt packaging sleeve

Sock packaging sleeves

The market for funny, creative socks has seen significant growth in the last years. Forget the white, black or brown, boring socks, now it’s all about the colors! With creative sock packaging sleeves a sock brand can easily differentiate from competitors.

Soap packaging sleeve

7. What paper we use to make packaging sleeves

What are packaging sleeves made from at YourBoxSolution? The answer is high quality, sustainable paperboard. We don’t compromise on quality, not even for the smallest of products or small quantity orders. 

You can choose to do your packaging sleeve printing on the four paperboard options we offer:

17.2pt White Board – Premium SBS paperboard, sustainably produced

17.2pt white paperboard

18pt Brown Kraft Board – Ecological using 100% post-consumer recycled material

18pt kraft paperboard

19.2pt White Board – Premium SBS paperboard, sustainably produced

19.2pt white paperboard

19.2pt Metallized Board – An extra silver substrate makes any colors shine

The quality paperboard makes the packing sleeves sturdy and adequate for frozen and refrigerated products, so you don’t need to worry whether your sleeve will keep its structure and colors in different environments. 

Box coating, hot foil stamping and more extras for your packaging sleeves

You can make a paper sleeve look spectacular with a few extra touches. 

All the box coatings (matte gloss coating, gloss coating, soft-touch coating) and extra embellishments like hot foil stamping, embossing and debossing are available for sleeve packaging orders. 

Hot foil stamping box
Source: YourBoxSolution for Ildi Pekar

Read more about all the box coating options you can use to make your packaging sleeve shine. When you’re ready to place an order, get in touch with one of our box experts and we’ll help every step of the way.

8. How to measure for packaging sleeves (for boxes, soaps, or any containers and objects)

It’s very easy to measure what size a sleeve needs to be in order to fit your product and I’ll explain it below.  Soap bars can be a bit tricky to measure because they continue to cure and shrink after they’re made, as water evaporates. If you’re measuring for a soap bar, make sure to measure it soap bar when it’s cured and it finished shrinking.

The steps below apply to measuring any object.

Let’s see how that works:

Option 1. Use a sheet of paper as a measuring tool

This option is very handy and it gives you a good preview of how the sleeve will look on the box or product you’re measuring.

Step 1) Take a blank piece of paper and cut a smaller band. You can cut it approximately as wide as you’d like it to be on the box or product. This is the step where you can also experiment and see what’s the width that looks best.

How to measure a box sleeve - step 1

Step 2) Wrap the small paper band around the box in the place you’d like it to be. It’s important to wrap it tightly so the band will stay in place. You can press the paper against the edges of the box to form the creases.

How to measure a box sleeve - step 2

Step 3) Mark where the ends of the paper meet each other.

How to measure a box sleeve - step 3

Step 4) Unwrap the paper band and measure it. The size I’ve measured is 5.90″.

Step 5) Add 1/16” to the size you’ve measured. Taking the paperboard thickness into consideration, we have found 1/16″ gives the best amount of room for the sleeve to slide over the box, without being too loose and falling off. The final size of our sleeve, in this case, is 5.90″ + 0.0625″ = 5.9625″.

Step 6) Measure each panel’s size. The creases we’ve formed earlier also help you identify each panel. It’s important to provide the dimensions of each panel. They will be used in creating the template and the cutting die, and also help you design your sleeve.

To close the sleeve, we also need to add a glueing area. The glueing area is a small flap at one end of the printed piece, that connects the ends of the sleeve. You don’t need to measure anything or worry about it when measuring for your sleeve, they will be added in the template design.

Step 7) Send us your measurements. If we have a template that matches the sizes you need, we’ll send it to you for free, along with the artwork instructions package, so you can start designing your box. sleeve. If you’ll need a custom die, one of our box experts will help guide you to that process as well.

By measuring yourself, you can play with the paper and sketch custom cutouts. Get creative with the shape of the sleeve and try multiple shapes to see which one you like most.

Option 2. Measure the box/product itself

This is a more technical measuring option but it should provide very precise data. First, you’ll need to find out the dimensions of the soap bar.

The three dimensions you need are Length, Width and Depth (or Height). After you’ve found all 3, you need to add 1/16” to each side, like we did in the example above. For a more in-depth explanation of how to measure each side head over to our how to measure a box page.

Option 3. Send us your product

You can ship your box, container or object to our facility in Oregon and we’ll use our precise measurement tools to determine the best size for your packaging sleeves.

9. How to order your packaging sleeves

I hope you’ve learned a lot today about how you can easy personalize your products with packaging sleeves. You’ve seen how you can adapt them to any product type, any industry, and use them for seasonal packaging and special offerings. 

The number one quality of packaging sleeves, in our opinion, is their ability to dress up any box and make it look professional while not making huge dents in your budget.

Start now by browsing the packaging sleeves available in our library.

Take advantage of our excellent prices, fast turnaround and quality work today. Your satisfaction is our best interest and we can’t wait to help you reach more clients with the right packaging. Made right here, in the USA.