AIGA playing cards
playingcardboxThis is an example of a template that might be used to construct a box for a traditional set of playing cards. Your deck of cards will not necessarily be the same size, therefore this box will not be an exact fit for your set. You may, however refer to this layout as a starting point which you will need to modify based on the size and number of your cards.

You might also refer to this template to help you visualize how a 3-dimensional form (the box) is constructed from a single sheet of flat paper. Pay attention to how sides are attached to one another, where they come from in the folding process.

Whether you uses this template as a starting point or not, it is a good idea to plan to make several practice versions before the final one. Stack up paper of the same kind that you will be printing your card design on and equal to the number of cards you are creating. Measure this stack, it will give you an idea of the “thickness” of the box that you need to make. Remember, the box needs to be a “custom” fit, not just a box that happens to contain your cards.

  • Score all fold lines first using a bone folder or similar tool.
  • Bleed all image areas that you want to print out to the edge of the box.
  • Use crop marks to determine trim size. Use an exact knife to cut out, not the paper cutter.
  • Box should be constructed out of one piece of paper, not separate “sides” glued or taped together. An exception to this might be a separate top from the bottom of the box, which would require two pieces of paper.
  • The weight of the paper for the box should be at least the same weight of the cards, which is heavier than “normal” paper that goes in the laser printer. “Card stock” would be the general term or classification for the correct weight to use. Using a weight less than this will result in a flimsy box.

The outside of the box is also an opportunity where the design can extend the theme of your cards by use of symbols, color, name, etc. It is similar to the back of the cards in this respect but doesn’t necessarily have to be the same design as that on the back of the cards.

  • Basic Square box template