How to Tape a Box: The Skill That You Didn’t Know You Needed

It seems simple. You’ve probably done it before. But it only takes one bad tape job for disaster to strike. To avoid shattering grandma’s dishes during your next move, use this guide to learn the best way to tape a box for shipping and moving, and key techniques like the H-Tape Method.

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How to Tape a Box (The Fast, Easy Way)

  1. Grab a new, flat box, then find the top and bottom. Assemble the bottom of the box first to establish a sturdy foundation. Shape the box, then fold the two smaller flaps down followed by the two larger flaps.
  2. With the help of a tape gun dispenser, tape the center seam that connects the two larger flaps. The tape should touch each flap to connect them and extend past both edges about 2-3 inches. This excess tape will be folded up the sides of the boxes to add extra support.
  3. Flip the box over (so that the top is facing you) and repeat the same steps used to tape the bottom of the box.
  4. Pat down the tape on both sides to strengthen the bond. If necessary, add extra strips of tape.
  5. If needed, there are more ways to further support the bottom of a box, such as the h-tape method and snowflake method (shown below).

The H-Tape Method

As you can imagine, the final product of this will look like an “H”. The horizontal line of the letter has already been created. Now using the tape, line the vertical edges that are perpendicular or to the sides of the horizontal tape line you’ve established. The tape should overlap the piece already put on the box and now form an “H.”

The Snowflake Method

Remember drawing snowflakes in school? That same method can be used with tape to bolster the strength of a box. First, choose the side you’d like to tape, then use two separate pieces to form an “X” on the box by lining tape from corner to corner. Next, use two more pieces of tape to form a plus sign (+) over top. These four added pieces of tape mean you’ll never have to worry about the bottom of the box giving out.

Choosing the Best Packing Tape for the Job

Contrary to your dad’s belief, not everything can be fixed with duct tape. Whether it be for moving, shipping, or packing, there are different tapes for every need. Tapes vary in width, materials, and adhesives – all of which matter for different applications.

Best Tape For Moving

For moving purposes, paper packing tape is best because it tears by hand, making it easier to pack your boxes quickly without the need for scissors or knives. This tape also features a strong adhesive. Although the tape tears by hand, it's still resistant to splitting or slivering.

Shipping/Strapping Tape
Paper Box Tape

Best Tape For Shipping

Shipping items can be challenging, especially when it comes to securing the box for transit. Using clear packing tape can make shipping easier. This tape is made with a strong, hot melt adhesive for sealing boxes tightly, even in extreme temperatures. Like box tape, this tape is also split resistant.

Shipping/Strapping Tape
Clear Packing Tape

Both options – paper packing tape and clear packing tape – are great for boxes headed to storage, too.

Need help finding the right tape?

As a leader in DIY moving, U-Haul offers a variety of types of tapes to choose from. If you're not sure which tape is right for the job, use this guide to learn more about the different types of tape.

Are you ready to tape a box like a pro? Order your tape and moving boxes from U-Haul today and choose from same-day delivery or free pickup from a U-Haul store near you.

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