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National Cartonnage Day – September 18, 2023

National Cartonnage Day is celebrated on September 18 every year. It is a day meant to celebrate the art of cartonnage, or making boxes. The practice originated in France in the 19th century and has seen a bit of a resurgence recently. More and more people are realizing the joy of cartonnage and creating boxes out of a variety of fabrics and materials to decorate their living spaces. This centuries-old practice involves creating fabric-covered boxes from the inside out, with cardboard as the base. Fabric is later laminated to the base and then embellished to the artist’s liking.

History of National Cartonnage Day

Today, cardboard boxes occupy a virtually irreplaceable place in our lives. Interestingly, they haven’t been around for all that long a time — only a few centuries! As per historians, the first paperboard box was invented in 1817 in England by a company named M. Treverton & Son. The invention of the cardboard box followed suit in the same year in Germany. In 1890, Scottish Robert Gair invented the pre-cut cardboard box.

The invention of breakfast cereal soon increased the widespread usage of cardboard boxes. The Kellogg Company was the first organization to use cardboard boxes as cartons for their cereals. Pleated paper was patented in England in 1856 and was initially only used as a liner in tall hats.

Corrugated boxboard was not patented for its use as a shipping material until 1871 when a patent for single-sided corrugated boards was issued to Albert Jones. Jones used his patent to wrap bottles and glass lantern chimneys. The mass production of corrugated boards was made possible by G. Smyth in 1874. By the early 1900s wooden crates and boxes were rapidly being replaced by cardboard boxes, something that was only invented in 1895.

National Cartonnage Day timeline

1817
The Cardboard Box is Invented

The cardboard box is invented in Germany.

1871
Corrugated Boxboard is Patented

The corrugated boxboard is patented by Albert Jones.

1890
Pre-cut Cardboard Boxes are Invented

Pre-cut cardboard boxes are invented by Robert Gair.

1895
Corrugated Cardboard Boxes are Invented

Corrugated cardboard boxes are invented in the United States.

National Cartonnage Day FAQs

What is the cost of a cardboard box?

The cost of a cardboard box can range from $1 to $5, depending on the kind of box.

What are cardboard boxes called?

They are called ‘cartons’ and ‘cases.’

What are the different types of cardboard boxes?

There are three kinds of cardboard boxes: corrugated fiberboard, paperboard, and mat board.

How to Observe National Cartonnage Day

  1. Watch a cartonnage tutorial

    If you’re interested in cartonnage, watch a tutorial on how to make your first box. You can find one on YouTube.

  2. Try making a box

    Now that you have seen the method, try making a box! It gives you the chance to put your new skill to use.

  3. Invite some friends to try it too

    Call a bunch of friends over for a box-making party. You can share ideas and learn from each other.

5 Facts About Cardboard Boxes

  1. Most boxes are made from softwood trees

    Most cardboard boxes are made from softwood trees such as pine, spruce, and fir trees.

  2. Cats love cardboard boxes

    Cats love cardboard boxes because hiding in them seemingly reduces their stress levels.

  3. Cardboard packaging is eco-friendly

    Cardboard packaging is the most eco-friendly packaging right now due to it being recyclable, biodegradable, and non-toxic.

  4. The U.K. loves recycling packaging

    The United Kingdom has some of the highest recycling rates for packaging.

  5. Kellogg’s cereal was loosely packed

    The original Kellogg’s cereal was loosely packed in the box with a wax-sealed bag wrapped around the outside.

Why National Cartonnage Day is Important

  1. Making boxes is a fun activity

    Making boxes is undoubtedly fun. National Cartonnage Day is a good chance to try it out!

  2. It introduces the art to more people

    National Cartonnage Day has the potential to introduce this wonderful art to more people. In this way, the art will be carried on throughout the generations.

  3. It’s an opportunity to learn a new skill

    Learning new skills can have many benefits. National Cartonnage Day is a good opportunity to do just that!

National Cartonnage Day dates

YearDateDay
2023September 18Monday
2024September 18Wednesday
2025September 18Thursday
2026September 18Friday
2027September 18Saturday

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