Tooling Costs for Packaging


The cost of packaging is affected by many facets and variables. Tooling costs for packaging are a part of the manufacturing process and most custom packaging requires them. The need and amount of these costs are dependent upon what type of packaging you are purchasing.

Tooling fees are generally not a part of the unit cost. They are included as a separate itemized amount on your price quote. There are some manufacturers that will include all tooling fees hidden within the unit cost, as it’s more beneficial to the manufacturer to continue to charge for those fees every time you re-run your packaging when, in fact, tooling fees are only required once – unless your packaging artwork or dimensions change of course.


Tooling charges are for any or all of the following custom made tools:

  • Cutting Dies
  • Foil Stamping Dies
  • Embossing/Debossing Dies
  • Print Cylinders
  • Print Plates
  • Molds

Tooling Costs for Packaging Chart(For reference only)

Type of Packaging

Cutting Dies
Foil Stamping Dies (optional)
Emboss/Deboss (optional)
Print Cylinders
Print Plates
Folding Carton
$250-$850 $200-$800 $200-$1200  $800-$1200 $20-$100
Rigid Set-Up Boxes
$500-$1200 *Done on a Litho Label $300-$800
Corrugated Boxes
$200-$1600 *Done on a Litho Label *Done on a Litho Label $600-$1600
Pouches and Other Flexible Packaging
$1200-$2400 (pattern only) $500-$1200 $200-$800 (flexography printing)  $500-$1000
 Litho Labels or Shrink Film
$200-$800 $200-$1400  $20-$100
Molded Plastic or Bottles
$500-$1200  $800-$1600  $150-$500  $5000-$15000

* While these are used for rigid and corrugated boxes, these processes are actually performed on a litho label that is later glued to the boxes.

Tooling prices vary because of the size of the tooling, the materials needed, and the quantity of tooling components required to make one unit of your packaging.


  • the larger or more elaborate the box, the more time and materials must go into making the cutting die = more costly
  • if you need inserts to hold the product in place inside your packaging, you may need an extra cutting die for that
  • the larger the diameter and more intricate the foil stamping die and/or embossing/debossing die, the more expensive it will be
  • the more colors you use and the larger the print surface, the more expensive the printing plates will be
  • and so on…