Packing & Shipping for Fragile Items: Our Top 6 Tips

Posted by Ariel Davis on

If you're shipping your fragile dishware through the mail, here are a few key tips and tricks to ensure the pieces arrive safely. Whether you're moving across the country, selling online, or sending your heirloom tea set to our studio in Brooklyn, these steps will protect your belongings during transit.

How do I know this? My small business packs and sends a large volume of delicate dishware and family heirloom china through the mail each week.

It would be heartbreaking to mess up one of these orders and damage something I couldn’t replace. Before we began shipping china in 2019, we did a lot of testing to get it right every time.

I hope these tips give you the confidence you need to ship your delicate items with as little anxiety as possible. Here they are:

1. Stack Same Size Pieces & Add Cushion to Separate

Stack items of the same size and separate each individual piece of china with materials such as bubble wrap, coffee filters, foam, or even spare dishtowels. For added protection, create structure between items using a layer of cardboard or cardboard strips. Stacks should never overlap.

Separate and stack same size plates when shipping your delicate vintage china and other fragile belongings. Then bundle the stack so the items do not have the opportunity to shift.

 

You may be thinking—”ugh, I have to go out and get all sorts of packing supplies for this!” You might be surprised to learn that you can find many useful items for packing and shipping your fragile belongings lying around the house. For example, padded mailers, the kinds you get from all those late night Amazon orders, work great for safely packing delicate dishware—like a padded sleeve! 

Packing and Shipping Materials for Fragile Items

 Remember to save up those mailers in preparation for your shipment.

2. Tightly Bundle Stacks Together

Bundle a stack of same or similar-size china using tape, cling wrap, or by putting the stack into a plastic bag and tying it up tightly. The goal is to reduce any opportunity for shifting/movement in transit.

when shipping delicate china, protect delicate handles and protrusions with padding like bubble wrap and structured cardboard

 

3. Protect Delicate Handles

Add extra padding or reinforcement around delicate teacup handles or other protrusions. If you’re packing and shipping a larger quantity of items, consider using smaller boxes within your larger box to add structure and create separation between stacks or objects. You may also want to consider double boxing, particularly if the box is on the larger side.

4. Add Cushion & Structure & Fill Any Empty Space

Add a thick layer of padding on the bottom of the box before adding your stacks or pieces of china. Create a dense nest around each piece so it’s surrounded. We recommend having at least 1 inch of padding between your china and any side of the box. If you are shipping many pieces of china inside a larger box, separate the stacks with extra cushion.

  • Use soft and dense materials like packing peanuts or newspaper to fill the empty spaces between your well-protected pieces. Fill the box until you've reached the top.
Fill empty space in your box with void fill when shipping delicate china. Do a shake test to make sure nothing fragile moves in transit.

 

5. THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP:

***Do a SHAKE TEST***

Before taping up your box, close the flaps of the box without sealing it and give the box a good SHAKE. If you hear anything move around at all, open it back up and add more "void fill" before sealing up the package.

6. Add a Fragile Label

While you should never rely on it, a fragile label certainly can’t hurt.  No label? Use a permanent marker to write FRAGILE on the top and sides in bold lettering.

Bonus tip for packing and shipping many teacups at once:

The Padded Teacup Column

multiple teacups wrapped in bubble wrap column in order to be safely shipped in the mail

 

Conclusion:

And there you have it No need to go to go out and buy lots of new and wasteful packing materials or spend a fortune with your mail carrier to have them pack your fragile objects for you. Following the six intuitive steps above will do the trick!

If you found these tips to be helpful, let us know!  Have any questions for packing fragile items that you think we should mention?

Leave a comment below or email us at hello@thebrooklynteacup.com.

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