Packaging 101: The Complete Guide

Britt Martin, Arka's Partnerships lead, blends e-commerce expertise with sustainability advocacy, nurturing startups as a Founder in Residence at NYU.

Creative Soap Packaging Ideas to Wow Customers

Here are some of the best packaging ideas for soap bars to impress and delight your customers.

Eco Friendly Soap Packaging Ideas

Consider implementing eco friendly soap packaging ideas by using materials that are reusable, recyclable, made from recycled items, biodegradable, or compostable. Examples of eco-friendly soap packaging include holster-style soap packaging, fabric pouches, and small custom boxes made out of recycled paper or cardboard.

eco friendly soap packaging ideas

Custom Soap Boxes

Custom soap boxes are designed for each customer’s uniqueness, preference, and style. At Arka, our custom soap boxes are eco-friendly and sustainable. This packaging option will help customers identify their favorite soap products with the correct scents, colors, text, and ingredient information. We also offer top-notch custom shipping boxes which help enhance the unboxing experience!

custom soap boxes

Homemade Soap Packaging Ideas

For soaps made by hand, try incorporating homemade soap packaging ideas to wow your customers. Make your freshly made soap bars stand out and shine with fancy wrapping paper, cute custom gift boxes, metal trays, tape, and a vintage wrap.

homemade soap packaging ideas

Luxury Soap Packaging Ideas

Give your soaps a touch of sumptuousness with our luxury soap packaging ideas. Use foil stamps to add inside and outside the packaging, add intricate patterns and symbols to represent elegance and cover the package with your logo and glossy printing for a smooth touch.

luxury soap packaging idea

luxury soap packaging ideas

Nature-Inspired Soap Packaging Ideas

If your brand values focus on natural and organic living, then your soap packages should be inspired by the essence of the earth. For your packages, use earthly colors, tones and shades – such as greens, blues, and browns. Also, add icons that represent nature, such as plants, animals, the ocean and the weather.

nature inspired soap packaging ideas

nature inspired soap packaging ideas

Minimalist Soap Packaging Ideas

Make your packages as minimalist as possible with simple soap packaging ideas that are bold and will interest any customer. Keep it clean and clear with a neutral tone, a small icon that describes the scent, and understated fonts that are easy to read and understand.

minimalist soap packaging ideas

Themed Soap Packaging Ideas

You'll need to design themed packaging to match if you sell limited edition soaps or soaps for special occasions. Opt for gold, green, and red colors for festive-fragranced soaps. For limited edition soaps, try a color and style of packaging that is unique from other soap collections (e.g., pink and purple colored boxes with rose patterns.)

themed soap packaging ideas

Vintage Soap Packaging Ideas

Go back in time with vintage soap packaging ideas. Give retro prints on paper wrapping a try or paper soap packaging that will have your customer reminiscent of the past, and go gold-school with old-fashioned prints and fonts.

vintage soap packaging ideas

vintage soap packaging idea

Modern Soap Packaging Ideas

With contemporary packaging comes designs that match the modern age; opt for stylish, innovative packaging that appeals to the customer. Opt for fancy colors and opulent fonts as well.

modern soap packaging ideas

Artistic Soap Packaging Ideas

For customers who love a fun twist, add illustrations and artistic patterns to appeal to them. You could add drawings representing the scents of the soap to help the customer identify the right soap products and fragrances they’re looking for. Plus, artistic soap packaging can be designed as gifts and decorative items.

artistic soap packaging ideas

Transparent Soap Packaging Ideas

While many soap packaging options come available in opaque packages, some customers prefer to be able to see the product clearly before buying. Try incorporating round soap packaging ideas that use translucent materials, such as sheer wrapping, eco-friendly plastic boxes, see-through pouches and clear film.

transparent soap packaging ideas

Vibrant Soap Packaging Ideas

Be bold! Some target audiences are attracted to big colors on packaging, so make use of bright tones and shades. You can even go as far as incorporating multiple hues, neon shades and fluorescent colors.

vibrant soap packaging ideas

Custom Stickers and Labels

Another way to incorporate handmade soap packaging ideas into your packaging design is to add custom stickers and labels. This is a great way to make a soap product feel special to the customer, especially if it has been purchased as a gift. Give customers the option to select custom stickers that represent the scents and use custom labels to add special messages, such as “Happy Birthday!” or “Good luck!”

soap packaging stickers

Custom Tissue Papers and Ribbons

Another custom option to consider in packaging is the use of custom tissue papers and ribbons. Tissue papers and ribbons can be used to wrap individual soap bars, but you can add an additional and personal touch, especially if you’re looking to incorporate natural soap packaging ideas into your design. Give customers the option of selecting from different colors of tissue paper and different colors and patterns for ribbons.

soap packaging tissue paper

Sleeve Packaging for Soaps

For bar soap packaging ideas that are slightly different from paper boxes and wrapping, but don’t involve using see-through plastic packaging, take a look at sleeve packaging for soaps. The benefit of using this type of packaging for soaps is that customers can get a clear glimpse of the soap even though it is covered up. You can use sleeve packaging that matches the scent/tone of the soap bar (e.g., yellow for lemon) soap and add your brand logo.

sleeve soap packaging ideas

Holster-Style Soap Packaging Ideas

Like sleeve packaging, holster-style soap packaging allows the customer to view and smell the soap while it’s covered up. It’s a sustainable packaging option because it’s made from recycled materials. Also, wrapping itself around the soap bar doesn’t take up much space, so it’s great and easy to store away.

holster soap packaging ideas

holster soap packaging idea

Liquid Soap Packaging Ideas

Not all soaps come as bars; some come in liquid forms. For liquid soap packaging ideas to incorporate into your design for this type of product, use reusable and refillable bottles for liquid soap, which is sustainable and environmentally friendly – providing that you have the initiative available to allow customers to refill their bottles.

liquid soap packaging idea

liquid soap packaging ideas

Soap Packaging Ideas with Custom Shapes

To get extra creative, opt for soap bar packaging ideas designed with custom shapes. Try circles, squares, flowy shapes, and uneven shapes as well.

custom shaped soap packaging ideas

Soap Packaging Design with Cutouts

Another way to boost creativity with soap packaging designs is to incorporate cutouts, like circles and squares, to give your packaging an edge and to give customers a chance to see the product before purchasing.

cutout soap packaging ideas

Rustic Soap Packaging Ideas

Try soap packaging with a homely and country feel by using kraft paper. Made from wood pulp, kraft paper is eco-friendly packaging that keeps soap nicely wrapped. It’s a sustainable, recyclable, and biodegradable packaging, meaning its production has a lower impact on the climate.

rustic soap packaging ideas

Gift Packaging for Soaps

Some customers like to buy soaps as gifts for friends, family members, co-workers and partners. Some gift packaging for soaps includes paper boxes with straw on the inside, round boxes, fabric pouches, and transparent wrapping with ribbons.

gift soap packaging ideas

Custom Soap Bags and Tins

Alternatively, try soap bags and tins as packaging options. Soap bags preserve soap, expanding their lifespan, and have exfoliating properties so they can be used to cleanse the body. Also, bags protect against dirt and bacteria.

Like soap bags, tins are lightweight and provide product protection, keeping soap out of sunlight. Also, tins are durable, long-lasting, recyclable, and can be reused, making them sustainable.

bag and tin soap packaging ideas

Pop Art-Inspired Soap Packaging Ideas

For extra fun in your soap packaging, add some pop art for the wow factor. Go for pop art styles, packaging colors, patterns, and packaging typography for extra boldness.

pop art soap packaging ideas

Factors To Consider in Packaging Premium Soaps

To make your packaging attractive, there are a few considerations to make. Though the soap might be of good quality, without an attractive packaging, your target customers may ignore it for a more eye-catching package. Below are some of these considerations.

Style of Soap Packaging

Gable boxes: These little gable boxes are very strong, despite being made from paper. They're easy to store, ship and recycle, making them a favorite among eco-conscious manufacturers. This design would be perfect for soaps that are sold in pairs or sets of three.

Shrink Band Soap Packaging: To protect your premium soap from damage due to excess handling, you can consider using shrink bands. These wrappings also help to improve customer trust in your soap quality. Some shrink bands such as PVC film tuck in the scent of your soap within, while others like Polyolefins allow it to come through. Note however that a shrink band can cause your soap to sweat if the soap is not yet cured completely.

gabble box soap packaging

Soap Cigar Band Labels: Cigar band labels for soap packaging involve using a cut-out cardboard label around the width or length of the soap. The cigar band paper can be designed according to choice. This style allows the customer to be influenced by the scent and look of the soap before buying.

Half Box Soap Packaging: A half-box soap packaging consists of a box without a covering. With a half-box, part of the soap remains open to be touched and the other part is in a pocket. Half-box soap packaging is useful when you would rather show off and advertise your product. For example, if you are a new brand, half-box packaging allows your potential customers to not just know about your confidence in your product, but also to decide the quality for themselves.

The half-box is also a sustainable package because it reduces packaging material and cost. Less material means less weight, making the product easy to transport from one location to another.

Naked: Although packaging your soap gives you creativity in design, you can choose to not package the soap and sell it as-is. The problem with zero packaging is that it offers no protection to the product and potential customers may not appreciate the openness.

Size and Shape of Soap

Shape: Create a unique shape for your soap package. You can get soap boxes that are in shapes other than square or rectangular. Look for boxes in oval, star, leaf, or triangular shapes. Unique, irregular shapes on the soap and its package will catch the interest of the customer even before they have made up their mind to buy the soap.

Size: You can decide to have different sizes of soap based on the function and your target audience. The soap size will determine the packaging involved. For instance, a cigar band should be able to hold the product without it slipping off. Also, too much air space within a soap box is plain wastage and not sustainable at all.

Information Found on Soap Label

After you have decided on the design to go with, you are ready to get started. However, what information should be on your package? Below are the necessary points to note.

Logo: Your brand logo should go on the package to differentiate your product from others. Along with the logo, you should include the business name, address, website, and phone number.

Identity of your soap: The ingredients and your identity statement on the label on the soap can communicate whether it is a cosmetic, drug, or just soap.

Ingredient list: Although not always required, a list of the ingredients you used for the soap making is necessary to promote trust among your customers. It also helps alert customers in case of allergies and sensitivities. People want to know what makes up the product they are putting on their bodies. So, rather than mar you, your transparency can build up your brand.

Net weight of the product: The new weight of the soap must be identified on the label. Note that although this is often an approximate value, the net weight shouldn't be misleading.

5 Key Elements of Effective Soap Packaging

To get your soap packaging designs right, it’s essential to embed key elements to ensure effectiveness.

Understanding Your Target Audience

Who are your customers? What are their interests? Consider other aspects of your target audience, such as location, demographics, behaviors, and challenges. Understanding your target audience will help influence the right packaging ideas for soap that will help you market your brand.

Design and Branding

There are many design options to choose from, so pick the one that showcases your product and branding in the best way. Consider style, shape, company colors, packaging logos, icons and styles. Figure out how to incorporate these elements within your design, so that your brand stands out on soap packaging and is recognizable and attractive to customers.

Materials and Sustainability

Make your packaging eco-friendly by using materials that are reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable. Sustainability is a key value that should be at the forefront of your business and more than ever, consumers are environmentally conscious, so they want to be sure that the brands they buy from are taking sustainability and climate change seriously.

Functionality and Practicality

Creative soap packaging designs need to look good and be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but they must also be functional and practical. Design soap packaging that is compact for travel, useful for preserving soap, and easy to open and close for those with mobility issues.

Matching Packaging to Soap Type

Your packaging should match the type of soap in the packet, box, or container so that your customer can identify the fragrances used in each soap. For example, if a soap bar contains citrus scents, then add illustrations and icons containing lemons and oranges. If your soap bar contains shea and vanilla, then add pictures of these ingredients.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to designing soap packaging, it’s best to explore numerous packaging options and get creative. By implementing the best soap packaging ideas for your soap products, you can be sure to attract attention from keen shoppers and elevate your brand.

FAQs on Soap Packaging Ideas

Here are some frequently asked questions about soap packaging ideas.

Are fabric pouches a hygienic soap packaging idea?

Yes. Fabric pouches are practical and hygienic for soap because they protect it from contacting dirt and bacteria. Plus, fabric pouches are eco-friendly decorative items because they can be reused over and over again without contributing to landfill waste.

How can I choose the right packaging for scented soaps?

The key is to design packaging that complements and reflects your soap’s fragrance. Make use of colors, copy, and relevant icons and images that instantly convey a soap’s scent to the eagle-eyed customer.

Are custom-carved and cutout boxes cost-effective soap packaging ideas?

Yes. Custom carved and cutout boxes are cost-effective soap packaging ideas because they can be utilized for showcasing product facts effectively and helping customers to get plenty of use out of the soap.

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