How to Package Glass Safely for Shipping

Jann Seal

Package glass pieces for shipping by double wrapping them and standing them upright in a heavy box.

You're downsizing, and that unattractive glass vase that Aunt Tilly gave you now has a new home. Getting it across the country or even to a new country in one piece is your challenge. Buy packing supplies anywhere from a big box store to a dollar store, but be sure the outer box is of a heavy weight and is just a little larger than the glass -- not when it's lying down but as it stands. Most moving supply stores or self-storage centers have extra-heavy boxes for packing glass.

    Gathering the Goods

  1. A large table is the best surface upon which to assemble all your packing supplies. Lay them out in front of you so they're easily accessible.

  2. Eyeballing the Glass

  3. Look at the item you're packing. If it has a stem, wrapping and packing is more complex. Measure the glass as it stands to be sure the box is large enough to insert packing foam on the bottom and paper at the top, and still close easily.

  4. Wrap Party

  5. Lay the glass on the table and wrap it in packing paper. Push the paper into the cavity if possible. Use bubble paper over the packing paper and secure it with the tape. Wrap the stem separately, doubling up on the wrap in the narrow portion of the stem. Secure with tape. Take a large piece of bubble paper and make another layer of protection by enclosing the entire piece of glass with it. Secure with tape.

  6. Preparing the Box

  7. Place Styrofoam pieces or a solid wedge on the bottom of the box. If possible, cut a piece out of the foam wedge so the glass sits snugly inside. Stand the glass upright in the box on top of the Styrofoam.

  8. Stuff It

  9. Using packing paper or old newspapers, stuff every corner of the box around the piece of glass. You don't want any movement from the glass once it's secured.

  10. Topping Off

  11. Put more foam or paper at the top of the box between the glass and the lid. Gently shake the box to be sure the glass doesn't move.

  12. Seal the Deal

  13. Tape the box closed -- top, bottom, around the circumference and from top to bottom. Also tape the edges that are intersected by the top seam. This reinforces the box.

  14. Warning Signs

  15. Let box handlers know the contents are fragile. Mark the exterior with alert notices such as "fragile," "glass" and "handle with care." Use arrows to indicate "this end up." Choose a red marker to bring attention to the notices.


Double box the glass for additional security. Fill the airspace between the two boxes with Styrofoam peanuts.


Do not use cellophane, duct tape or masking tape to seal your box.