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How do I ship a small papercraft clock?
July 22, 2014 1:34 PM   Subscribe

As part of an artist trading card swap, I made a bunch of little clocks. Only after I was finished did it occur to me that the little clock hands bend (and presumably break) easily, and there are a lot of places where bits could get bent or otherwise messed up in shipping. What's my best bet for packing and shipping these things? More fun: one has to go to England.
posted by hishtafel to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
 
What's the backside look like?

I'd say find some way to affix the backside so it won't slide along the plane to a bit of cardboard that is the same size and shape of the "bottom" of the box. Maybe there is a peg hole you can use?

Alternatively, use 8 pegs and put them on the corners where the gearbox would rest - only - again, to keep it from shifting too much along the bottom plane of the box.

Then on the top, put in air bubble pouches until the box is filled (but not pressure tight, a little give along the up and down axis is fine). Seal, ship.

Box should be strong and otherwise generally crushproof.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 1:40 PM on July 22


Alternatively, box in a box with a hole for the clock works base and enough space around the face to keep it from being side crumpled. Again with the airbubbles to lightly pad the face and hands.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 1:42 PM on July 22


I'd put a layer of bubble wrap on the top and bottom, and then some cardboard. Ship without the battery installed. Tape the sandwich together, and put in a box. It'll be fine!
posted by barnone at 1:42 PM on July 22


I've shipped ridiculously fragile things to the US.

Box full of packing chips, with the object isolated from the box on all sides. Put that in another box, isolated from the outer box on all sides with bubble wrap/air bags/crushed newspaper.
posted by Leon at 1:47 PM on July 22


Other people have made some good suggestions. I will add that you should try to arrange to make sure there is "extra" space between the clock and the outer box. Yes, fill it with something super lightweight and puffy. Don't just leave that space empty. But have some space as a buffer. Don't just count on padding protecting it.

I made a handcrafted paper dinosaur that was huge and had to be shipped as part of our household goods (it was made for one of my sons, who would not part with it). Making sure it got shipped in an oversized box with adequate amounts of very lightweight padding helped it arrive intact. (I think I had to reglue one toe or something but I was very concerned it would be completely destroyed because it was huge and three dimensional and just made of paper.)
posted by Michele in California at 2:23 PM on July 22


I think that loose cotton batting is your friend. Wrap it closely in batting, and then embed that in a large box full of packing peanuts.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:19 PM on July 22


I have a friend who use to do a lot of shipping on e-bay who used lots of crushed up plastic grocery bags to cushion what ever he was packing in a box. He actually got compliments on his packing but that might have been from covering the address label and any seams with clear packing tape. I'd put a couple sheets of paper over the clock, just to be safe, in case the heat makes the plastic stick together.
posted by stray thoughts at 4:18 PM on July 22


Alternatively, box in a box with a hole for the clock works base and enough space around the face to keep it from being side crumpled. Again with the airbubbles to lightly pad the face and hands.

Or at least a plain double-boxed package, where the first box is packed with gentle stuff like bubble wrap, etc. to protect the clock and then that box is packed in a larger box with something sturdy like newspaper to prevent it from being jostled.

I have shipped many fragile things this way to many picky ebay buyers and have never, ever had a problem or complaint.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:07 PM on July 22


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