How to Package Odd-Shaped Items for Shipping

How to package odd-shaped items for shipping

The best packaging for your products depends on their type, size and shape. For this reason, finding the ideal solutions for oddly shaped items poses a significant challenge to business owners. You must be creative and prioritize package functionality to overcome this challenge. 

Custom shipping boxes are excellent for shipping irregularly shaped, pointed, circular, extra-long, cylindrical and delicate items. These are tailor-made to fit your items and secure them in a way that standard boxes wouldn’t. They also elevate the customer experience because they’re personalized and professional.

So, what are some top examples of unusual items you can pack in custom-sized cardboard boxes? How can you design custom-sized shipping boxes? Find the answers to these and more questions below.

Examples of Oddly Shaped Items 

Irregular products require unique packaging that accounts for their unusual dimensions and minimizes space wastage. Specialized shipping requirements ensure protection and reduce the risk of damage. Here are some examples of oddly shaped and sized items you can ship in custom boxes.

  • Art pieces: Valuable art pieces, including sculptures, antiques and figurines with delicate or intricate designs, need packaging that adds a thoughtful touch and ensures they arrive to your customers undamaged.
  • Glass items: Fragile mirrors, tabletops or windows need sturdy, custom-sized cardboard boxes that secure them during transit. 
  • Home decor: Lamps, chandeliers, vases, artifacts and other decorative features with pointed edges, delicate designs and irregular shapes require specialized packaging to preserve their condition.
  • Musical instruments: Guitars, keyboards and cellos require custom packaging to secure them and prevent the risk of damage.
  • Sporting equipment: Equipment like golf clubs, hockey sticks and surfboards require long, large shipping boxes, so they need extra packaging material and more support around the midsection. Others, like soccer balls and football helmets, are too round to fit in standard-sized boxes without moving around. 

The Challenges of Packaging Unusual Items

While some irregularly shaped or oversized items might fit into standard-sized boxes, it’s a gamble that increases the risk of damage or breakage as you ship because the boxes leave excess space for the items to shift and move around during transit. Stock boxes made of flimsy material also don’t provide enough cushioning for delicate or fragile items.

Product damage has several effects on your business’ bottom line. These include reducing your profit margins by making refunds and exchanges. Unsatisfied customers who leave unflattering reviews may also cost you your reputation. Besides, it’s hard to brand standardized boxes in a way that appeals to consumers and boosts your credibility. Customized boxes with well-done branding create a memorable first impression on clients before they start unboxing.

Packaging unusually shaped items in standardized boxes also wastes space and materials, increasing shipping costs and environmental impact. The higher expenses result from using extra-large boxes to accommodate long items, pointed corners and excess stuffing. Larger packages require more cargo room, so you can only ship a few at once. Sometimes, you’ll even need two boxes to package one item.

Why Custom Boxes Are Right for Odd-Shaped Items

To overcome the challenges of packaging irregularly shaped and sized items for shipping, you need innovative designs that address their specific needs. Custom-sized cardboard boxes capture these items’ irregular dimensions, contours and features. Below are more reasons custom boxes are the best choice for shipping unusual items.

  • Secure your products: A custom box has the size, shape and protective features you need to damage-proof your products. The correct dimensions ensure your products don’t shift or slide. The materials and structure protect them from shocks, vibrations and the elements during transit.
  • Save money: Fewer damages during shipping lower the cost of replacements and refunds. You reduce material wastage and decrease shipping costs because you get to fit more of them in the cargo.
  • Promote your brand: Custom boxes let you personalize packaging and showcase your brand to customers. You can print your logo, slogans, taglines and personalized messages on the package’s top, sides or interior. Personalizing packaging creates a memorable unboxing experience that may earn you free marketing. 

How to Pick the Right Custom Box for Odd-Shaped Items

Choosing a custom box for odd-shaped items requires balancing functionality and aesthetics. Then, you can secure the product and communicate the essence of your brand. You should consider two primary factors — the structural design and the printing method.

Choosing the Custom Box Design

Designing the best custom box for your odd-shaped items involves measuring them. Avoid wasting space and materials with the correct exterior and interior dimensions. To get a custom box made to size, packaging providers use the product’s dimensions to determine the package’s interior measurements. They’ll then use these dimensions to determine the ideal exterior measurements, including the panels and flaps.

For the exterior measurements, they consider the product’s shape and the kinds of flaps and panels you need. Ultimately, your boxes’ shape and design depend on how the core panels connect. Here are some popular custom box styles:

  • Regular slotted containers
  • Half slotted containers
  • Wrap-around blank
  • Five-panel folder
  • Full telescope design
  • Roll end tray
  • Pre-glued auto bottom
  • Bliss style
  • C-Series mailer boxes

Selecting the Best Printing Method

Your choice of printing method determines the quality of your package designs, the color accuracy and the artwork’s layout. Below are printing methods you can use to brand your custom boxes.

  • Flexography: As a standard printing method that involves applying print directly to custom corrugated boxes using flexible rubber plates, flexography is a budget-friendly option for bulk orders. However, it limits you to only three color choices per design, and there could be downtime when changing plates.
  • Digital printing: The fastest printing technique involves applying electronic images and artwork directly on the boxes. Digital printing is ideal for lower-quantity orders that require detailed artwork with vivid Pantone colors and smooth gradients.
  • Lithography: The highest-quality printing method involves laminating printed sheets on your custom packaging boxes. It’s perfect for high-color detailing and full-color designs with intricate details.

Get Your Custom Boxes for Shipping Odd-Shaped Items From Bolt Boxes

Bolt Boxes is a reliable manufacturer of the best custom-sized and branded packaging solutions. Our boxes secure all your irregularly sized and shaped products. We use 100% recyclable kraft material and 60% to 95% post-consumer waste to make them sturdy and sustainable. We can help you design the perfect custom packaging that balances all product variables. We also offer printing to help personalize your boxes with your company’s logos and brand messages. 

To start your custom box design, enter your specifications in our online configurator. We’ll generate a quote and start fulfilling your order immediately. You can expect fast delivery because we design, manufacture, print and deliver everything in-house. You can also contact us if you have any questions on how we can assist you in packaging your unusually shaped or sized items.