Recyclable Boxes: Reusing Gift Boxes

(This story won’t sound relevant to recyclable boxes or setup boxes, but I promise it’s getting there)! Last December, I received a glass tumbler from Starbucks that I absolutely loved. Although it technically *just packaging,* I also loved the box it came in. Starbucks does a great job creating attractive packaging, and their two-piece setup boxes for the holidays are durable and always feature rich colors. Each year has a different color: last year was red, this year was green, and so on. They also design a brand new series of tumblers every year, so when they sell out, they’re gone forever.

Starbucks recyclable boxesBut I used the setup box to package another gift, keeping the lovely tumbler for myself. However, maybe as a lesson regarding growing too fond of things, I accidentally dropped the tumblr at a gas station in sub-zero temperatures. It shattered. I was sad, and I must have mentioned the fact to my mother (we bought the tumbler together).

Lo and behold, this Christmas, I took the wrapping paper off a present. I recognized the red box, but in the back of my head, I knew that the gift boxes from Starbucks this year were green. I opened the box, and there it was. My shattered tumbler, which she had found online, whole again. Added bonus: I got to keep the box this time around!

As the major December holidays pass, most households are left with a lot of new things which need to find homes as well as a lot of boxes and wrapping paper. Recyclable boxes aren’t a problem (wrapping paper is another story, since the majority of it isn’t recyclable).  There are plenty of ways to take sturdy gift boxes and repurpose them around the house. 

Tips for Reusing Recyclable Boxes

  1. Re-gift
    The easiest thing to do with when you receive a nice gift box? Reuse it for its intended purpose.  The wrong attitude is to think of it as someone else’s problem; rather, think of it as spreading the joy of a nicely-packaged custom gift box. 
  2. Use it as a desk organizer
    Full disclosure: This is how I’m using my own Starbucks setup box. My workspace at home has drawers with organizers, but I’m always looking for something to help me out on top of the desk that doesn’t look like it came from an office supply store. The red box is colorful and not too big. It’s made of sturdy chipboard with sharp edges, so I know it won’t look battered in a few weeks. It’s perfect to hold my oh-so-necessary supply of Gin-Gins, lip balm, favorite fine tip marker pens, and other random necessities, all in one place. 
  3. Holiday storage
    It’s nearly time to pack up all those holiday decorations. Use the sturdier of the boxes you received to switch out any older packaging that’s starting to wear, or to keep any new items safe. In my house, the holiday decorations are pretty secure, in one spot, but occasionally there might be some jostling. Keep your memories safe and secure with an updated custom gift box. 

And When All Else Fails

Break them down and put them in the recycling. Reasonable sentimentality can only go so far. But next year, keep in mind how someone might get some enjoyment out of a nice setup box for their gift. 

How do you upcycle recyclable boxes from the holidays?

DnD Custom Game Box

If you’re watching Netflix’s Stranger Things, take note: no spoilers appear below, but there is minor discussion on plot points.  The introduction to the main characters features a scene that would convey very different things just a few years ago. They’re sitting around, playing Dungeons & Dragons (or DnD).  Since the show takes place in 1983, it’s clear that they’re being depicted as classic 80’s *nerds,* so to speak. And to drive the message home, they’re also part of the AV Club, get picked on by bullies, and are general outsiders. However, with the relatively recent rise of “geek chic,” these kids are endearing through our 2016 lenses. Also, DnD is experiencing a resurgence of popularity due to all this attention. Since Sunrise Packaging is in the business of boxes, it seems appropriate to turn our attention to making a custom game box for the new wave of DnD-ers.

DnD Needs Assessment

Although online versions exist, this is a game best played in person with a group. It’s a group effort. As the OG of fantasy role playing tabletop games, the custom game box needs to be as iconic as its contents. Color schemes typically fall on the darker end of the spectrum, highlighted with fiery reds, oranges and yellows.

The party of adventurers might always meet at one person’s home, or the set might travel around. This means the box needs to be both durable and easy-to-move. Light, built in handles of some sort, but rigid and strong enough to withstand  transportation. DnD game boards usually fold up, but a custom game board might need more room to lay flat. Some kind of rigid insert might be necessary. Partially for presentation, but also to keep the pieces and dice intact. It’s kind of like using a peg board for tool organization. When they’re outlined, you know exactly which one is missing. Same goes for a custom box insert.

DnD Custom Game Box

So what have we arrived at when it comes to a custom game box, specifically for DnD?

For starters, a custom two-piece setup box is the classic game box style.* The turned edge style is also ideal for the design and strength components. Turned edge boxes are made of chipboard, which is extremely durable. It also lends itself well to a variety of wraps which can best display dynamic DnD graphics and colors. Further custom options can include foil stamped linen or embossed fibers for a slightly Medieval-like feel.

To keep the innards and gaming items in place, the set up box is perfect for multiple types of inserts. Think custom die cut foam, thermoformed tray, insider liners…the options vary as much as DnD gameplay. Add in some sort of handle and you’ve got a party in a box. Literally.

Get in touch with our sales department to start work on your custom game box!

*Did you know Sunrise Packaging has established a reputation for custom game box and game board packaging?

Nifty Netbox PopUp Palettes

In honor the recent release (and soon-to-be sold out) Urban Decay Through the Looking Glass eye shadow palette, I decided to revisit the original Alice in Wonderland palette (though note that these are not Sunrise products). What I love about these palettes is, first and foremost, the eye shadow selection. Urban Decay is super pigmented without feeling heavy or weighty, making it easy to vary the intensity. Secondly, the packaging for these palettes is always fun and interesting. The magnetic closure, or netbox, as Sunrise calls them, adds an interesting element. It helps ensure that what lies beneath that top flap stays secure and accessible for days to come. The drawer feature is one of my favorite features. It’s great to pull it out, see all the colors at once, and formulate your blending plan.

alice in wonderland netbox urban decay

Courtesy of Urban Decay

Alice in Wonderland vs. Through the Looking Glass Netbox

The obvious precursor to Through the Looking Glass. The original Alice palette netbox takes obvious inspiration from the original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Whimsical mushrooms swirl around the mirror in the pop up portion, the caterpillar looms over Alice, and it’s basically a must-have for literary Alice memorabilia fans and collectors. This was one of the first palettes for which I popped the $60, and the one that made me a convert.

As one of those people, the fact that there are no original shades in this palette isn’t as much of a bummer as it would be others.  That might sound surprising, but Urban Decay is notorious for re-purposing older shades in palettes. But it can be frustrating, so it pays to do your research prior to investing in a palette. From a purely financial standpoint, it’s a steal to get 16 eye shadows, two mini eyeliners, and a mini primer potion for that price. Buying each individually would run around $200. Granted, these are smaller than you would buy individually, but still it’s still a better deal.

through the looking glass urban decay netbox

Photo courtesy of Bustle.com

On the other hand, Through the Looking Glass makes up for it. With 20 new shades and a great design, this netbox delivers in more ways than one. One frequent offenses of the pop-up palettes is that they tend to skew toward the glittery-shimmery side of things, but there’s a good amount of matte shades for change. Another deviation in this palette is the organization of colors. They’re organized into columns according to character. Depending on how creative you are, this might make blending easier or feel limiting. I tend toward the former.

What’s your favorite palette and why?

Box or Not: The Next Big Thing in Hybrid Packaging

Magnetic Flap BoxGate Fold Box

When you think of a box, what do you picture?

A perfect cardboard cube? A hinged cigar box that opens from the top? Maybe you’re picturing a pizza box?

If you’re picturing that last one, you might just be hungry. But the others? Well, you make a fair point. What is a box exactly? How does one define a box. With so many styles, varieties, textures, and purposes, there’s probably only one working definition of a box–something that you can put something else into. Something that holds something.

This question is always on our mind. As we’ve often said, we prefer to think less in terms of custom boxes and more in terms of packaging solutions. The question shouldn’t be how do we shoehorn a product into a four-cornered cavity, it should be what can we create? What can we design? What’s the “box” nobody has seen yet?

Operating in this “gray area” of presentation packaging design has allowed us to create some unique products. Display kits with handles and magnetic closures. Rigid boxes with unique openings. Trays and inserts that secure products some considered unsecurable.

Of all these hybrid boxes, none stands out more than our custom pad packaging.

They’re built like a box, but open like books. Most popular of these is our FlashPad™. Designed to hold a personalized flash drive, the FlashPad has the same rigid walls, turned edges, and foam inserts as a lot of our custom packaging products, but…is it a box?

Custom Pad Foam for hybrid packagingAudio-Machine

If you go by the working definition listed above, then yes. It holds any number of objects and includes several of the elements of a typical box design, right down to the chipboard! It opens, displays, organizes and does so all with style. Presentation packaging at its finest!

What people don’t realize is that this pad isn’t just for flash drives. This box hybrid can be made to any dimensions for holding a variety of products. Makeup, iPads, pens, books–you name it! If a large, handled display kit isn’t your thing, then perhaps a custom pad can be a mini display kit. It’ll have the same rigid heft, stunning visuals, and high quality custom inserts but at a smaller size (and a distinctive opening). Substitute the flyers and pamphlets for a USB drive loaded with images and videos. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, imagine what a flash drive-full is worth! Load it up with software demos, links, or mp3s. All the while rewarding your potential with a memorable gift.

That’s just one of the big ideas coming out of Sunrise Packaging. Whether you’re looking for custom boxes, presentation pieces, or hybrid packaging–we’ll have the solution for you.

Packaging Trends Appear at Biggest Pack Expo Yet

Instant Rigid Box_packaging trends Flatfoldup-Box

Reports are calling Pack Expo Las Vegas a ‘record breaker.’

Modern Materials Handling breaks down the numbers from Pack Expo Las Vegas, showing an increase in just about every statistic from 2013’s show. The expo brought nearly 29,000 custom packaging fans to Nevada the final weekend in September. Showrunner PMMI, the Association of Packaging and Processing Technologies, says that’s a 6% increase from 2013.

This might have been due in part to the joint effort with the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering, which allowed Pharma Con to take place within the same convention area. Either way, more sets of eyes were on current packaging trends than any year prior.

These trends ranged in topic across quite a spectrum. While advancements in robotic packaging devices stole the show, the biggest topics were (of course) medical packaging, environmentally friendly packaging, and food packaging.

More than the usual presentation packaging side, the medical packaging trends were aimed at sterility and proper dosage. Additionally, according to Packaging World, packaging design seemed to be answering the call by the public to be more environmental. The most interesting element may have been the push from rigid packaging to flexible packaging, or rather packaging designs that could be converted from one to the other. Some kind of of hybrid of corrugated and rigid packaging? In a way, we already have a product like that, but it will be curious to see what comes next.

But whatever comes next in popular packaging, the same high quality of standards and design will have to be present. No matter what trends or inventions come along in the world of presentation packaging, retail packaging, and luxury packaging, we know that packaging in general is still a necessity. Without custom boxes for security, thermoformed trays and foam inserts for storage, and the visual marketing provided by custom printing, products will have a very unfortunate presence on shelves and in meetings.

Whatever trends are coming down the pipe, you can guarantee we’ll stay on top of it.

Add Depth With Custom Formed Trays

This box is a prime example of how custom thermoformed trays can add depth to any packaging solution. The tuck-tab box displays custom graphic design and is opened to reveal a well organized and fulfilled package. By using an experienced thermoforming manufacturer with custom tooling capabilities, purchasers are able to save on large quantities and create a unique tray, clamshell or blister with a perfect fit!

New Packaging Represents High-End Tequila

One of Mexico’s most renowned tequila producers, Casa Herradura, has refined its primary and secondary packaging for their high end añejo Selección Suprema tequila. This packaging is intended to reflect the craftsmanship and authenticity of the product. The earth-tone gift box has a bi-fold opening and represents the tequila brand’s iconic horseshoe. The bi-fold panels of the box displays the written story of the tradition of handcrafted, aged tequila in American white oak barrels. Along with the box packaging, the glass bottle include small label additions that also demonstrate high-end appeal. The new packaging was designed by Johnny Cardenas, design director for Brown-Forman. This new package recently began to ship out to distributors and is currently available for purchase.

Sources: PackWorld

Case Study: Custom Turned Edge Set Up Boxes

Custom Turned Edge Set Up Boxes

tru melange, a fellow Minnesota based company, signifies the harmony and beauty of nature in their handmade aromatherapy candles. Designing the packaging was important to tru melange as the packaging needed to be an extension of the candle and the company’s image as well.

Vishal Naithani of tru melange, “We wanted our packaging to be upscale. It needed to convey the image of our product and our company…We went with Sunrise because of their great service, price and ability to meet these needs.”

After thorough consideration the final box was a custom turned edge set up box. They were printed using a 4 color offset on 80 pound litho text with aqueous coating. This was then wrapped around 42 point chipboard. The 4 color printing ensured the vibrant and varying colors came out pristine. The chipboard resulted in a 2-piece turned edge box with a sturdy feel that paralleled the upscale image of the company. Custom packaging is just the edge this company needed on retail shelves.

More on custom turned edge boxes

Watch a video on the turned edge process

Case Study: Custom Poly Boxes

Custom Poly Boxes

MotivAction is a performance improvement company specializing in meeting, event, incentive, recognition and learning services. They have been helping businesses get results through people since 1976. In this particular case MotivAction was developing a communications campaign for a client’s sales incentive program. The payout? A trip to Hawaii for the top achievers!

As part of their communications campaign, MotivAction wanted to create custom packaging that would be consistent with the branding they’d developed for this program.

Teaming up with our seasoned vet, Steve Sandahl, MotivAction and Sunrise Packaging created a lovely Hawaiian-themed custom poly box. The box held a mini cloth bag (wrapped in tissue paper) which held a fresh bag of Hawaiian Kona Coffee. Sunrise Packaging was able to help realize the customer’s vision by working closely with the customer from conception to fulfillment.

It’s all about differentiation. When we customize something for you, it’s yours and yours alone. We pride ourselves on listening first and packaging second. Please contact us if you have a vision and need assistance in making it a reality.

More info: Custom Poly Products

Seasonal Packaging Goes Green

Christmas is still months away, but Nestle is already thinking about their seasonal packaging and going green for the holidays. In the past, chocolate makers have often been known for wasteful and unnecessary packaging, especially for special seasonal promotions. This is the new target to work on, and Nestle is going at it.

Custom-Packaging-Boxes-Nestle-Seasonal-Green-Eco-FriendlyAccording to Food Production Daily, Nestle will be making all of its Christmas selection custom boxes fully recyclable. One change they made was removing the plastic inserts that held the chocolate bars in place and replacing them with a card presentation tray. This way, the chocolate can still be nicely displayed in the custom box and be easily recycled when you are finished with it. This is one step for Nestle to be more environmentally-friendly in their packaging to reduce waste and address the concerns of their environmentally-conscious customers.