We are often asked about how we make sure that wall plaques are packed for shipping to reduce the risk of damage. Well here goes with trying explain how we pack them and what we use to make sure that the packaging can be recycled and if possible is on its second use.
What makes wall plaques so vulnerable?
Generally it is because they tend to be long and thin so that if they are dropped on their flat face they tend to snap see the photographs below to illustrate. This plaque is one of a set of three that made up a triptych. I have used the handle of a wooden spoon to illustrate how plaques are most frequently broken, by dropping them across an edge.
So to begin with we have to protect the decorated surface from damage either by the back of another plaque or the hanger on another one. In most cases we would put the plaques face to face with some protective paper between the decorated faces. In this case because both the front and back have projections that could cause damage we have to pad between each plaque.
From the photograph above you can see paper around each plaque and the corrugated cardboard/paper between each plaque.
We use a lot of thick wall carboard tubes to pack items as they tend to be more rigid than a box and a lot of vases and lamps tend to be round or square section. Above you can see that we have cut a tube length that is longer than the plaque by quite a margin. In this 50 mm each end this allows us to pad each end so if the package is dropped the end or corner of the plaques is protected.
The two photographs above show the ends of the corrugated paper/cardboard folded around the ends of the plaque. The effect can be seen in the second photograph when the plaques are now the same length as the tube. This protects the ends of the plaques and stops them moving inside the package.
The photograph above clearly illustrates the amount of space there is around the plaque. This is important as we do not want the plaque to be tight to the to side of the tube, as if it is dropped there is a risk the plaque will snap. So get your best origami brain on and making a series of pads that will hold the plaques in the middle of the tube, see below.
Once the pads are in place and we know they are a good fit we have to seal the bottom and top of the tube. This is done with end caps that are stapled through the tube wall and cap. To stop anyone cutting themselves on the staples we cover them with paper tape. The end caps are made of a commonly recycled plastic but as we cant get metal caps at the right diameter it is a compromise we have to make.
Completed tube showing stabled end caps and protective paper wrapping.
Hope this has helped answering some of the questions we get asked about how we get plaques and other items to our customers safely. It is the trouble that we take at this stage that leads people to comment in their reviews on the standard of packaging.
Regards Lyn and Wayne