Tips for Shipping, Packing and Crating a Mirror
Mirrors come in every shape and size, from simple dorm-room rectangles with plastic black frames (or no frames) to ornate gold-leaf designs from the 18th century. Some art-deco, modern, or contemporary style mirrors have interesting decorative elements made from wood, plastic, or metal, and can be just as delicate.
Regardless of their style, most mirrors lead boring lives. Hanging on the wall day after day, they have little chance of being damaged. When it comes time to move, their worlds are shattered when they are quickly packed without being prepared for the grueling world of small parcel shipments. Unfortunately this often results in a premature end to their reflective occupation.
So, how do you ship a mirror without damaging or breaking it (and avoid 7 years of bad luck!)?
Protecting the Glass
The glass can be protected with foam, bubble wrap, or a combination. The important goal when shipping a mirror is to keep pressure off of the glass, or at least keep any pressure even over its surface area. The foam or bubble will also help to prevent scratches on the surface of the glass. During shipping, the mirror box will be subjected to substantial shaking and movement which could cause the packing material to be dragged across the surface.
Packaging the Frame
Many people focus so much on the glass that they forget about the frame. If the frame is fragile (thin, delicate, etc.) and/or you want to protect it from chips, dings, nicks, and scratches, make sure to protect it with some bubble or other soft padded material. If you need to ship a mirror, make sure to pack the frame well.
Packing the Box
If the mirror is inexpensive, small, and/or lightweight, a cardboard box may be sufficient for the outer container. The box should be sturdy and rated to handle the weight of its contents. If planning to ship a heavy mirror using FedEx, keep in mind the weight limit for Home Delivery (to a residential address) of 70 lbs. UPS will accept packages up to 150 lbs.
The box must be large enough to fit the mirror inside with plenty of padding all around. Peanuts are not advised if the mirror is heavy, they will shift around and the mirror will be damaged.
Shipping Large, Heavy, or Valuable Mirrors
Large, heavy, or valuable mirrors may require a custom crate, designed to hold the mirror firm in place and protect it from penetrations. Very large mirrors may be palletized for freight shipment, which can be a safer mode of transport.