how to fold carboard box

When you are without tape, and can’t properly secure a box, is there no other way to close a cardboard box? There is! In fact, there is a well-documented technique that can secure the flaps of the box in place so they do not open (and no one can reach in).

However, securing your box with tape isn’t your only option. There’s other solutions that can secure the contents of a cardboard box that are both better and even environmentally friendly. Let’s take a look at what those methods are like.

How to Close a Cardboard Box with and without Tape

Regardless of what you secure the box with, you will be using the only technique available that closes the box without any assistant from tape, or other adhesive options. It is called the “Interlocking Flap” technique.

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Once you have mastered the interlocking flap technique, it is going to help a great deal in conjunction with out sealing options. This is because the interlocking flap technique does not do well at sealing the box. Anyone who sees it can easily pull one of the flaps and open the box. For insurance purposes, use the technique, then seal the box with one of the methods below.

The Interlocking Flap Technique

The interlocking flap technique is a method of closing a box by weaving the flaps of the box together. If you were to pull on one of the flaps, the system will unravel and the box is open.

To prevent confusion, we will name each flap one of the four cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. If you look at the box, the flap on your left is west, the one on the right is east, and the top and bottom are north and south, respectively. We will refer to each flap with its associated cardinal direction.

1. Start by folding the east flap in, followed by the south flap overlapping.

2. Now overlap the south flap with the west flap.

3. With the final flap, the north flap, overlap the west flap.

4. Now, grab the corner of the east flap that’s closest to the north flap. It’s the corner that’s under the north flap.

5. Lift up on the corner of the east flap while holding the north flap in place. It will attempt to pull away. What this does is overlap the east flap over the north flap while still being under the south flap.

6. Afterwards, you can apply a strip of tape over the folds. It should fold over the edges of the box for maximum security.

Use a Heavy Duty Stapler

Anyone who is anyone has a stapler somewhere, and if you do not, get one! It is by far the quickest, simplest, and easiest way to close a cardboard box without tape. But not just any stapler will do, you need a heavy duty stapler (View on Amazon). Office staplers sometimes work, but it depends on how thick the box is.

With a professional stapler, it will provide the right power and metal staples that can correctly pierce the thick cardboard and attach the two flaps together. Once you have one, overlap two of the flaps and staple them together. That is it!

All you have to worry about is buying the right length for the staples. Obviously, the bigger the staples, the better.

Use a Hot Glue Gun

Not everyone has a hot glue gun (View on Amazon) on hand, but if you craft often, you probably already do. And that is good! That means you have the option to secure a cardboard box. When you are out of duct tape, the next logical step is using glue.

After you have used the interlocking flap technique, squeeze a line of hot glue between two flaps. That is all there is to it. After a little while, the hot glue will cool, and then seal the flaps together. Using the hot glue gun to close your cardboard box is simple, but here are a few tips to keep your hands safe.

  • Wear protective gloves and eyewear
  • Hold the hot glue gun close to the box, not away from it
  • The glue needs to be heated by the glue gun before it’s ready

Use Cardboard Box Latches

If you are more into environmental options, then look no further than box latches. Rather than stick tape to a box or waste metal with a stapler, you can slide a box latch between two flaps. This secures the box from opening, it is reusable, and the box is kept intact.

In other words, you save a bunch of money attaching box latches to boxes rather than slowly destroy a box using tape, hot glue, and staples. Not to mention the box latches support a very wide range of box sizes, and the flaps do not need to be bent into place!

They can come in various sizes like Excell’s smaller variant (View on Amazon), or the much larger box latches from Box Latch (View on Amazon). Both are great products that serve as an optional solution to closing a box in an environmentally friendly way, and save you money by reducing the amount of boxes you replace and destroy.

Try a Different Box Design

When all else fails, you can look towards other box designs, like self-locking cardboard boxes. Rather than rely on a box closing technique, self-locking cardboard boxes have a small flap you inside into a small cut-out that “locks” the box. You see these often in shoe boxes and other packages you would get in the mail, typically sealed by a small sticker, too.

You Need to Make Sure That Box is Tightly Sealed!

It’s important that the boxes are properly closed because they can easily become loose when moving them. If they carry heavy items, then the seal can break. If you’re moving to a new home, using cardboard boxes are a great way to transport items. Using cardboard for storage to improve the space in your home is just one form of home improvement, but there are many more.

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Wrapping Up

As you can see, there’s plenty of options available to you if you aren’t sure how to close a cardboard box with or without tape. If you want a suggestion, cardboard box latches are by far the best solution on this list. It prevents the boxes from damage (due to the interlocking flap technique), and you aren’t wasting tape when it’s eventually pulled off. The best part: they’re reusable!