How to Pack Glass Stemware

Glass stemware – wine glasses and such – are some of the easiest items to break or damage during a move. It’s so common that it’s literally the symbol for “fragile” on a box.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Most breakage occurs because of improper packing methods. But, with a little care and a little knowledge, it’s possible to move your finest glass stemware without breaking. It just takes the right tools and the right technique.

The Tools

To properly pack and move glass stemware, you’ll need three items: a box, moving paper, and tissue paper.

The box: The proper box for glasses is called a Dish Barrel box. They’re double-walled for extra support and can handle the extra weight of glassware. They are also typically sized for a specific number of glasses and can be purchased with hand holes for easier moving. Check pricing from Uline. We don’t recommend purchasing the partitions because we will be using additional padding.

Moving paper: The extra padding comes in the form of moving paper and tissue paper. Moving paper is essentially clean white newspaper. You can buy it two ways: on a roll or by the sheet. It’s cheaper to buy it by the roll but must easier to use if you buy it by the sheet. Considering it’s only $10 for 200 sheets, go with convenience on this one.

Tissue paper: We’re going to use tissue paper to wrap around the stem of the glasses before wrapping them again in tissue paper and then in moving paper. What’s great about tissue paper is that it crumples and cushions easily. You could consider other kinds of packing material here, but it’s ease of use and relative inexpensiveness makes it a winner.

The Technique

To pack glass stemware using paper so it won’t break isn’t magic, it just takes a little technique. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Prepare the box. Take your dish barrel box and put a few crumpled pieces of moving paper in the bottom for cushioning.

Step 2: Fold a piece of tissue paper length-wise until it’s roughly the same width as the stem. Wrap the tissue paper around the stem. This will serve as support for the stem.

Step 3: Place the glass in the corner of a piece of tissue paper and wrap it like you’re wrapping a burrito at Taco Bell.

Step 4: Repeat the same wrapping technique from step 3 but with a piece of moving paper. When you’re done you should have what looks like a stuffed paper cylinder.

Step 5: Place the glass in the box, stem up. This will take the pressure off of the stem and will take advantage of the stability the width of the open side of the glass.

That’s all there is to it!

Remember, if you’re packing other dishware in the same box, pack your glasses on top so they won’t get crushed.

To see a video of how this is done, click this link or watch the below video and skip to the 1:55 mark.