How To Make a Custom Soap Box – The Ultimate Guide
If you’ve ever wondered how soap boxes are made, it’s something I’ve been intrigued about for years. I’m sure many of you have seen them all over the place — at the mall, in your local grocery store, or even at special events.
They’re those colorful cardboard displays with bar soaps, and shampoos inside that are used to promote products. Did you know that they are also available for purchase as décor for special events like bachelorette parties, wedding showers, birthdays and more?
The History of Soap Boxes
I recently stumbled upon a great book that includes the history of custom soap boxes, called “Soapbox: From Soap to Sculpture” by Phil Patton.
The book describes how mailing and shipping companies in early 1900 were responsible for creating and distributing these boxes – originally designed as mailboxes – throughout America.
(Above Sample taken from the book) Eventually, they became decorative items and ended up all over homes and small businesses. Years later, they began being used as packaging for commercial products like soaps and shampoos. Although most manufacturers now use plastic wrap or sealed bags for packaging, there are still a few brands that sell their products within those colorful cardboard displays!
How to Make a Custom Soap Box
Soapboxes are generally made from corrugated cardboard, which is a type of cardboard that has a wavy appearance. This makes it more sturdy and resistant to bending or crushing. If you’re looking to make your own soapbox, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Corrugated cardboard in the desired size and shape
- A utility knife or scissors
- A ruler or tape measure
- Pencil or pen
- An X-Acto knife (optional)
Start by measuring and marking the dimensions of your box on the corrugated cardboard sheet. You can use a ruler or tape measure for this, and be sure to make a note of the height, width, and depth of your box. Make sure the markings are as straight and even as possible.
Next, use a utility knife to cut out your desired box shape. If you’re using the adhesive back of a roll of packing tape as we did (the cardboard can be too thick for scissors), put something heavy on top of it to keep it from moving around while you’re cutting; otherwise, simply press down on each side of the corrugated cardboard and pull slowly and carefully with one hand as you progress down your cut line.
If you’d like to decorate your soapbox without making many cuts, an X-Acto knife is helpful here. You can use this to make small “windows” or other designs in your box before actually beginning the cutting process.
Once you’ve cut out the shape of your box, it’s time to fold all those sharp corners down. Gently press down on each side with your thumb as if flattening a paper airplane until they look more or less even. You can also wrap rubber bands around folded corners for reinforcement, but be careful not to do this too tightly, or they may snap!
How to Use a Custom Soap Box
Fold your soapbox in half and pop the two sides apart. Keep it this way to pour liquids into your custom container.
Once you’ve filled it with whatever you’d like, fold the top together again to keep it shut tight!
You can also embellish these using paint, markers or any other art materials you have handy. You might even want to try making a simple papercraft version first before tackling the actual cutting part. It will take some diligence, but the result should be well worth your time. Don’t forget that if you’re looking for soapboxes wholesale.
Where to Buy a Custom Soap Box
If you’ve had as much as you can take from trying to buy a custom soapbox, the next logical step is probably to look online. There are companies out there that make bulk soapboxes specifically for this purpose. After all, so it’s only natural that they would sell them over the web.
Again, I’ll refer you to my previous posts on how to build your own inexpensive soap branding holder using readily available materials and tools. If, however, you prefer to take the easy route or if your project requires something larger than what I was suggesting, then buying ready-made containers might be the way to go.
As usual, I’ll start with a disclaimer: This is a quick and dirty search I did on the internet to find some examples. The web is a big place, so these may or may not be your best deal. There are plenty of other vendors out there selling soapboxes, trays and other related items, so do your research first before pulling the trigger.
What I found were mostly custom sleeves for boxes that you can buy as one piece or as part of a kit that comes with pouring dishes and other matching accessories for making cold process soap.
How To Assemble A Custom Soap Box
- Draw a rectangle on a piece of paper that is 1 inch wider and 1 inch taller than your soap bar size.
- Cut out the template carefully as to keep it as much as possible for future use.
- Trace the template 9 times on all 4 sides of your box to make sure you have enough guides to assemble your box properly for top, bottom and front & back panels.
- Carefully cut out those lines making sure not to go overboard so you can use this template again with no issues in the future!
- Attach double-sided tape or glue dots along the inside seams of your box, so it stays put when assembling it together – preference wise there isn’t much difference, but I found using glue dots gives you more time to fiddle with your box if it isn’t perfect.
- Place the 6 smaller pieces of side panels on 6 of your larger rectangles and 4 of the smaller rectangles to make a shape. Make sure that they are in order from largest to smallest to make it easier. You can write numbers or letters down the sides, so you know what order they go in!
- Make sure to attach adhesive felt pads at all four corners on TOP ONLY of each size piece to ensure a snug fit in your drawer when pulling it open & closed. This step will prevent any scratches that may happen when moving about in your drawers.