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This guide is intended to help anyone who has a fragile or breakable item to send out, haven't got a clue what to do, and would like to know how to package it up to avoid breakage for safe delivery to its destination.  This particular guide is for a mirror.

Recently, I sold a large dressing table mirror and did not know how to package it up to send it when it was initially listed.  I thought to myself by the time the mirror was sold, I would have figured out how to package it up.  A few days later the mirror was sold and I had put a box aside to put the mirror in, but it turns out the box I had in mind was a few inches too short.

I measured the mirror again and went down to my local supermarket with my tape measure.  I asked them if they had a box in their warehouse that they did not need that I could have.  I gave them the measurements and a few minutes later we had a big box.

Next, the mirror had to be wrapped up.  Bubble wrap, especially the ones with the really big bubbles are good for this.  If you don't have them or can't get them, buy the bubble wrap with smaller bubbles.  Wrap up the item very well with bubble wrap or use the foam looking stuff (I really don't know what it is called but it looks like foam and is very light).  Next, old newspapers work really well for extra padding.  Once you have covered your item with bubble wrap and/or foam, you can add some newspapers as though you're wrapping a present and sellotape it all up.  The newspapers have to be thick, so you will need to have quite a few.

Next, get some smaller boxes which have been broken down and wrap them around the newspapers in the same way, you are adding extra layers of protection this way.  Once you have wrapped up your item very well, you can put the item in the box you have if the box is fairly similar in size to the item you are sending out, add some packing peanuts (some of them look like polystyrene monster munch crisps) or the wotsits stuff (well they look like wotsits crisps but have a whitish colour) to fill out the box and cover the breakable item or scrunched up newspapers to fill out the box to add padding and fill any spaces.  You should aim to pack the item in such a way that if you shake the box, the item will not shake inside.  If the item shakes in its packaging, it could break in transit.  Now, if the box is very big, like my box was, then you can cut up the box to suit your purpose.  Lay the box on the floor and then put the item on top of it and now cover the item with the cardboard box fairly tightly and tape it all up with black or silver tape (the ones that have a sort of thread running through the tape), I think they are called Gaffa or Duct tape.  Well, they are very strong and will hold things together really well.  Wrap the box around your item tightly and hold it fast with lots of tape.  Be generous with the tape and make sure the box is sealed up very well.

Once you have sealed up the box and it is secure, print out your labels or write the delivery address by hand on a large A4 piece of paper with a large marker pen.  Use clear tape to sellotape the label on if it's not sticky and then stick large fragile labels on the box all over, or write fragile on the item in big bold letters preferably with a red marker pen or black marker.

Now, you can either take this item to the post office and send it Royal Special Delivery, which will be insured to cover the value of the item and breakable glass items and is a trackable, fast service.  Also, you can call up Royal Mail Parcelforce and send the item through them either by phone or online.  Give special instructions that the item is fragile and breakable so that they know that it has to be handled carefully and not thrown about.  Parcelforce will track the item online and a signature is required for the item on delivery.  Of course, there are other companies you can use, but the ones mentioned are pretty good for breakable, fragile items.