How to Close Cardboard Box Without Tape?

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Not always do you have access to tapes and now you have to seal off that cardboard box without a tape. Can it do? Yes! Is it safe? No! Using tape to close a cardboard box is the best possible way to secure your items. However, if you have no other option but to make do with whatever you have instead of a tape, here are a few ways you can accomplish it.

How to Close Cardboard Box Without Tape? Use the interlocking flap technique to close the box, where you stuck the last flat under a side flap. But, this process is not secure to hold your items and it’s item holding capacity decreases dramatically. There are other ways such as using hot melt glue, staples, box latch, box flap closure, tying with a rope, using self-locking boxes, etc.

Using the Interlocking Flap Technique

This technique is only applicable to cardboard boxes with four flaps on four sides. The process is simple and doesn’t need any adhesive to close down the flaps. First, close down the side two flaps and then the third flap over the closed side flaps. Up to this, the process is usually what you do. Next, take the last flap and tuck it under one of the side flaps i.e. a side flap goes on top of the last flap instead of being under. Now you have your closed box without tape. But, this should only be used if your package has to travel a short distance and if and only if you are carrying the box. This interlocking closure is not secure and prevents you from carrying relatively heavier items.

Hot melt glue

Hot melt glue is a great option to seal off your cardboard boxes if you are not sure of packaging tape. Application is pretty easy, as you just have to spread a line of hot melt glue and stick the flaps. You can use a glue gun to control the temperature or just a stick if you are transporting lighter items.

Tips on using hot melt glue

  • Don’t hold the glue gun far away from the cardboard surface. Put is right on the surface and squeezes out an adequate amount of glue parallel to the flap edge.
  • Let the glue gun warm up before you begin to apply glue.
  • Make sure you allow the glue to dry fully before transporting the cardboard box.
  • Test the right temperature of glue by applying on a small portion of a cardboard box. After you have sealed off the box with glue, check if the items are holding up well.

Using staples

Another great way to close cardboard boxes without tape or glue is by using staples. However, it is a professional application and you will need the right gear. On the other hand, if the cardboard box is thin, you can manage to staple the flaps using your home stapler. But for a professional finish, it’s a different science altogether.

Box closure staples come in two styles: ‘Strip’ and ‘Coil staples.’ If you are using it at home, you need the stip closure staple.

Understanding staple dimensions:

Crown Width: This is just a fancy name for the top part of the staple that connects the two legs on both sides. Most common cardboard box closing staple crown dimension used is ‘A’ crown with is 1-3/8″ wide and ‘C’ crown which is 1-1/4″ wide.

Leg Length: As obvious as it sounds, these are the wire that extends on both sides as legs, which will hold the box flaps together. Most commonly used carton closing staple legs measures at 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1-1/2″.

For a standard ‘C’ flute corrugated cardboard box, you need various staple sizes for various types of corrugated wall.

  • Single wall corrugated – 3/4″ leg lengths
  • Double wall corrugated – 7/8″ leg lengths
  • Triple wall corrugated – 1-1/2″ leg lengths

Cardboard Box Latch

These box latches come with anchors attached on the product. You can get around 10 box latches for $40 to $60. Box latch makes for a great option to close your cardboard flaps without using tapes. It does offer a couple of advantages over tapes.

  • Box latches are reusable unlike tape
  • They don’t leave any glue stains and don’t destroy the box when ripping off the tape
  • This enables you to reuse your cardboard box
  • Prevent repeated tape cost
  • Find a variety of box latches in multiple sizes to suit your needs
  • Securely holds your items in the box without flipping over

Box flap closure

The box flap closure is yet another great device to securely close your cardboard box. It is much like the box latch, but smaller. It brings similar advantages over tapes such as letting you reuse your cardboard box, prevent tape cost, doesn’t destroy box while opening, hold up to 33 lbs of weight, and it’s cost effective. So, if you travel frequently and you need a solution to seal off your stuff without damaging the box, a box flap closure is a great option.

Self-locking cardboard boxes

Instead of purchasing a box with flaps, you could buy cardboard boxes that come with closure design which self locks to keep things secure, something like a pizza box but larger. You can buy boxes with little closure cut-out of the box itself that locks with the closing flap. You could also opt for a tuck-in lid that locks itself. However, it’s worth noting that these boxes can weight much weight unless kept upright; moreover, they are not so safe either.

Use strings to tie your box

Use twine and ropes to tie down your cardboard boxes. Here are some options you can choose from:

  • Nylon – Nylon rope is sturdy and doesn’t break easily. If you are carrying heavier items in your cardboard box, use a nylon rope to tie it down. However, it’s comparatively expensive and would be an overlook if you are transporting lighter items such as stuffed toys.
  • Polyester – Polyester is relatively as strong as the nylon rope not as flexible. It is also a great option but its rigidity could tear off or destroy the box around the edges when tied down tightly.
  • Polypropylene – This is probably the most suitable option for most of your packaging needs. The material is strong enough to handle most of your transportation needs and is comparatively cheap.

Ropes and twine provide an easy solution to close and secure your cardboard boxes. It doesn’t the box and doesn’t leave any stains unlike tapes and can be removed without damaging the box. People don’t necessarily tie down boxes for transportation, it could also be employed to simply store boxes in your house.

Tie a Furoshiki

Furoshiki is the Japanese way to wrap a box with a square nylon cloth. You can tie a furoshiki for anything. It’s mostly used in gift wrapping, carrying food items on a trip and on emergencies when you no bag to carry your bottles or boxes. You can basically use any cloth to wrap your box and make a handle to carry. It is eco-friendly and goes easy on the box and its contents. It also enables you to reuse your cardboard boxes for later use.

Bubble wrap the box

If you got a roll of bubble wraps in your home, you could use it wrap the item in the box and the box itself. Simply wrap around a few layers of bubble wraps around the box and tie its ends with a rope, glue or just staple it; however, the staple will not hold the wrap long enough. It protects your cardboard box from external impacts as well as keeps the box unharmed.

Related Questions

How much weight can cardboard box hold? A typical corrugated cardboard box can hold up to 32 lbs.

How to waterproof cardboard box? A cardboard box can be made waterproof by painting a layer of waterproof coating or with a layer of epoxy.

Is cardboard box biodegradable? Cardboard boxes are naturally biodegradable. However, it is a better option to let the cardboard box recycle and not little to decompose. When not wet or contaminated by oil or food remains, it can be recyclable.


Although closing cardboard boxes with tapes is a secure way to transport your items, it does make the box unusable after the tape is ripped off. Then again tape can be used once, so every time you transport your items in a cardboard box, you have to use a fresh tape. This is one of the reasons why people are moving away from using tape, instead of using a rope or latch or simple items to secure the flaps. This not only makes it economical but also keeps the box intact, enabling them to use it several more times.

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