individually boxed berries (part 2)

Last time I covered why individually boxed strawberries look better if the final step of putting them in the boxes is done locally. It also gives you more options on box color, ribbon style and interior decoration.

Colored paper boxes:

Having an event where standard white boxes would look out of place? Coordinating the box color and ribbon with the rest of the events color scheme makes thing look more finished and professional.
Colored boxes

Clear boxes

I’ve worked with the clear boxes before and while they are not difficult to assemble, they are a lot more time consuming than the paper versions because the plastic wants to flatten back out . Creasing the box along the two folds that arrive flat will help the box go together quicker and look square-er (is square-er ever a word?)

Remember that the boxes don’t have to be square, sometimes a different style box will fit better with the event theme.

Chinese style takeout boxes
One of the options you’ll never get with commercially prepared individual gift boxes is decorative shred inside the box. The quickest way to describe shred is it’s most common use: “Easter baskets”. Some but not all shred is made of food contact, choosing the right color will make the individually boxed berries look even better. Most gift boxes have a plain white interior, commercially prepared boxes have to add a lot of foam to protect the berry in transit, but since you don’t have to worry about UPS or FedEx you can do without the foam, but that leaves the box a little empty. No box is going to perfectly fit every strawberry, so the box needs to be bigger and the shred makes the bigger box not look empty. Only a tiny bit of shred is needed to make the box look much better, it sometimes comes packed very tightly, so you may need to pull it apart to get the best effect.


Another option is plastic (or paper) gift bags, gift bags take less time to assemble and can be tied or taped shut.
Gift bags

What if you want a totally custom color?

You need to remember that the box manufactures make their money by setting up the equipment and letting it run for a long time, every time they change colors all the equipment needs to be cleaned and that can be a very time consuming process. Custom boxes are ordered in a minimum quantity of 500 boxes and can take 6 to 8 weeks to produce, always remember that while 500 may seem like a big number to you: it is actually a tiny number for them (if you act like a diva they will drop you in a second as they make the real money on big commercial orders and a 500 box order may not even cover the time needed to set up the order). Another thing to remember that these boxes will be traveling (unassembled) through UPS/FedEx and some are bound to get scratched; no box order is 100% usable.


Every style of box goes together differently, and until you have the boxes in hand you can’t really see the steps needed. Some boxes, such as the clear ones above, take a lot more time to assemble. On the upside the boxes can be assembled days or weeks ahead of time. Assembling the boxes will always take much more time than you estimate. Assemble them well ahead of time and store them in a huge moving box or even  fresh garbage bags.

Ribbons or stickers:
It really depends on the look you are after, a gold foil label(sticker), is going to go on much quicker than the time needed to cut and tie a ribbon. Another ribbon option is stretch loops or even a bow with an adhesive backing.

Tips on ribbons:
Until you know what style bow you’ll be tying you will not know how long to cut the ribbon. Once you know the ribbon length. One trick we’ve used is to cut a piece of cardboard to match that length, then you can quickly unroll the ribbon onto the cardboard and cut the ribbon along the edges of the cardboard to get the proper length ribbon. Cutting the ribbon well ahead of time and taping it to the center of the bottom of the box really saves a lot of time during final assembly. The tape keeps the ribbon from sliding around while it is being tied and keeps it in place after it is tied as well.

Pre-assembly of the box, pre-stuffing the shred and pre-taping the ribbon will help speed the final assembly and help make the event a success. Waiting till the last minute to do all the assembly is just asking for trouble.

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One Comment

  1. CCBerries says:

    For colored gift boxes: sometime the box will get scratched and the white paper from under the colored ink will show.. an easy fix is to pick up a colored marker even if the color is a not an exact match the scratch will show a lot less.. since most gift boxes have a gloss finish you can actually wipe off the extra ink so only the scratch absorbs the ink.. if you get your boxes well ahead of time you can find a matching colored marker at an art supplies store or office supply store and handle the scratches ahead of time.