How to Print Cardboard Boxes


Cardboard boxes can be used for a variety of purposes, including shipping and storing items. Many commercially used cardboard boxes are printed with a company name or logo. It can be challenging to print on a cardboard box, but it can be done with the silk-screen printing technique.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Silk-screen frames
  • Water-soluble inks
  • Water-resistant masking tape
  • Wax paper
  • Stencil knife
  • Use a card table or your dining room table as a work area for your cardboard printing project. Ensure that you are working in an area where you have easy access to a sink with hot and cold water.

  • Use a silk-screen frame and permanent acrylic, water-based or solvent-free inks to print the design onto the cardboard.

  • Prepare the screen by separating the silk-screen frame from the base. Mix a solution of dishwasher powder and water. Take a nylon or bristle brush, dip it in the solution and scrub the screen fabric on both sides with the brush. Allow the screen to dry completely.

  • Take water-resistant masking tape or gummed water-soluble tape and place the tape directly over the borders of the screen where the fabric and the screen frame connect.

  • Ensure that half of the tape is on the fabric and half is on the screen frame. Also cover the groove of the frame with tape. This ensures that the screen is tight to stop ink from leaking underneath the frame during the printing process.

  • Mix the ink thoroughly before use until it gets to a creamy consistency. Add a few drops of water if it is too thick.

  • Choose a design and transfer it onto wax paper to use as a stencil. Wax paper is more durable than regular paper. Cut out the design using a stencil knife.

  • Ensure the cardboard box is flat so that it can be placed between the silk-screen frames. Position the cardboard box between the frames and make sure that the side of the box you want to print on is facing you. Place the stencil over the cardboard box. Cover it with the screen.

  • Apply an even blanket of the ink onto the print area by spooning out the ink with the screen slightly raised from the base. Stroke over the screen with the squeegee, then drop the screen onto the stencil and cardboard box. Make sure that the screen frame comes into contact with the stencil and the cardboard box by pressing down on the frame.

  • Make the print stroke by pulling the squeegee toward you, keeping it at a 45-degree angle. Use enough pressure to rub the ink from the screen, through the stencil and onto the box.

  • Apply the stencil design print on the cardboard box. Passing the squeegee over the ink will cause the stencil to stick onto the screen while creating a stencil print effect on the cardboard box. Carefully remove the cardboard box from the silk screen, place it on a table and allow the ink to dry.


  • Photo Credit what in a cardboard box? image by Andrey Khritin from
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