How to Pack Fine China

by Cynthia Measom, Demand Media
    Packing materials must adapt to china's varying shapes and sizes.

    Packing materials must adapt to china's varying shapes and sizes.

    Whether you're packing your fine china for a short trip to the basement or attic or a trek across the country, your method should be the same. Because china is notoriously fragile, make your packing methods top-notch. The expense for your wrapping materials doesn't matter so much, as long as they secure your breakables. You need to make sure the wrapped dishes are nestled snugly in packing material in the storage box so they don't jostle against one another during their travels from point A to point B.

    Items you will need

    • Sturdy cardboard box
    • Packing tape
    • Packing paper
    • Bubble wrap (optional)
    • Gift-wrapping tape (optional)

    Plates

    Step 1

    Place a sheet of packing paper or bubble wrap flat on the table. The sheet should be large enough to fold in at the corners and completely cover the plate you are about to wrap.

    Step 2

    Place the plate face down in the middle of the paper or bubble wrap. Fold the corners inward to the middle to cover the plate. Tape the corners together to hold the paper or bubble wrap in place.

    Step 3

    Place the wrapped plate face up in the bottom of a sturdy cardboard box. Repeat with the next plate, stacking the plates carefully.

    Step 4

    Fill in gaps with crumpled packing paper, crumpled newspaper or packing peanuts to prevent movement. Seal the box tightly with packing tape.

    Bowls

    Step 1

    Place a sheet of packing paper or bubble wrap on a flat surface. Crumple one or more pieces of packing paper and place them inside of the bowl.

    Step 2

    Hold the packing paper inside the bowl with your hand and quickly turn the bowl face down. Place the bowl in the middle of the packing paper or bubble wrap.

    Step 3

    Fold the corners of the packing paper or bubble wrap inward to cover the bowl. Secure the corners together with tape.

    Step 4

    Place the bowl face up in the box or container. Do not nest bowls; instead, make a single layer of bowls in the bottom of the container, separating them with paper or peanuts, and cover with plenty of packing paper or peanuts. If you have room, make a second layer of bowls. Fill the top of the box with additional packing paper or peanuts.

    Cups and Items With Handles

    Step 1

    Put a sheet of packing paper or bubble wrap on top of a table. Crumple one or more pieces of packing paper and place it inside the cup or other handled item.

    Step 2

    Cut a 4- to 6-inch-wide strip of packing paper or bubble wrap. The strip should be about 12 inches in length, or long enough to completely wrap around the item with the handle.

    Step 3

    Wrap one end of strip of paper or wrap around the handle of the china item. Hold the handle and wrap the paper or bubble wrap around the rest of the item. Tape it securely.

    Step 4

    Place the item upright in the middle of the sheet of packing paper or bubble wrap. Fold the corners of the packing material inward to completely cover the item. Tape the corners together.

    Step 5

    Do not stack cups or other items unless you have a substantial layer of packing material in between each layer to prevent breakage. Fill the void in the box with crumpled packing paper or other soft packing material before sealing.

    Tips

    • Towels are an alternative to packing paper or bubble wrap.
    • For long-term storage, opt for a plastic storage container or other container that won't deteriorate under damp conditions.
    • If you are shipping the china, pack it securely in a small box, then pack that box inside a larger box filled with peanuts or other packing material. This helps protect the interior box from damage in transit.

    Warnings

    • Never stack containers or boxes that hold fine china because they could topple over.
    • If you use newsprint instead of packing paper, be aware that the ink may transfer to your china.

    About the Author

    Cynthia Measom wears many hats. She's a writer and the owner and accountant of a nanny placement agency she founded in 2007. Measom received her B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in human resources.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images