How to Pack Glass Items to Ship & Not Break

Written by rebecca deluccia-reinstein
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How to Pack Glass Items to Ship & Not Break
(John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Packing glass items for shipment requires a thorough and detailed approach. Just one small mistake can ruin a fragile item that would have been delivered in one piece had the sender taken some extra time to pack it properly. After wrapping and packing the glass piece, seal the box and let the post office know it contains a fragile item so it is handled with care.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bubble wrap
  • Box
  • Foam peanuts or crumpled paper
  • Packing tape
  • Permanent marker

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  1. 1

    Wrap the item using proper materials. Bubble wrap is the perfect choice for wrapping a glass item because it provides the initial layer of insulating protection. Too often people choose to use newspaper as a packing material and then wonder why the item broke during shipment. Paper does not provide any type of protection for glass items. Bubble wrap envelopes the glass item in a packet of air, providing a cushion. Purchase bubble wrap on a roll and use it to securely wrap the glass item.

  2. 2

    Choose the right box. If the box is too small, the item remains too close to the sides, making it easier to break upon impact. A box that provides breathing room for the item is ideal and provides room for adding the packing materials.

  3. 3

    Pack the box tightly with cushioning material. Crumpled paper is OK for this step, but earth-friendly peanuts made from non-toxic materials are great for sending glass items. Add a layer of the paper or peanuts to the bottom of the box, place the bubble-wrapped glass item inside, and then fill the box with more protection. Make certain the box is packed tightly so the item cannot move around.

  4. 4

    Seal thoroughly. If the box is not sealed correctly it may open during shipment causing the item to break. Use packing tape and seal the openings on all sides. If the item is extra heavy, use plenty of tape on the bottom to ensure a safe delivery.

  5. 5

    Indicate fragile on the box and purchase insurance. Write the word “Fragile” on all sides of the box in large, bright letters using a permanent marker. Once the glass item is ready to go, let the post office employee know it is a fragile item. The employee will stamp the box as fragile and offer insurance. For a minimal fee the post office insures the item and refunds the cost of the item if it breaks during shipment. Be honest about the item’s value and hold on to the receipt in case the glass item does break.

Tips and warnings

  • The post office provides free boxes for shipping items via priority service.
  • If the item is for a customer, charge an extra dollar or two for shipping to cover packing material costs.
  • Never use masking, electrical, painter's, household or any tape other than packing tape to seal a box for shipment.
  • Non-permanent markers can bleed if it rains or the box becomes wet during shipment.

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