Quick Tip: Box-Within-a-Box Packing System

When shipping pottery, I use the box-within-a-box system. The pottery is secured as normal with traditional packing materials (paper and bubble wrap) and sealed in the smaller, interior box. Create a bed of empty plastic water bottles with the lids on in the bottom of a second, outer box that is a few inches (the diameter of the plastic bottles) larger in every dimension. Position the bottles so they are lying on their sides. Place the small box into the larger box, and line all four sides with water bottles. The bottles should be nestled between the two boxes. Water bottles are then laid on top of the small box, so that it is completely surrounded by plastic water bottles. Finally, tape the box shut and it’s ready for rough handling during shipping.

1 Line the bottom of a larger box with empty plastic bottles, lying on their sides. Center the smaller box of packed ceramics on top of the bottles.

2 Fit plastic bottles around the sides of the interior box.

Water bottles are not the only bottles that can be used. I also use plastic bottles from mineral supplement drinks. You could also use 1-quart milk containers or 1–2-liter pop bottles for larger packing. The bottles are light weight, abundant, free, and recyclable.

3 Lay additional plastic bottles on the top face of the interior box. The outer box is now ready to be taped shut, and the packed work can be shipped securely.

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