Friday, August 23, 2013

Packing It Up

So the time has come to ship your flute for repair, and...  Well, what happens next?  How will you ship it so that it doesn't move around in the box?  What kind of box do you use?  What other materials do you need to pack the box?  These questions may arise, and they often do right before you are ready to box up the flute and send it on its way.  We met with Powell's Shipping and Receiving Administrator, Chris Lavoie, to find out exactly what shipping materials are needed and how to properly pack the flute.  There are a couple of different options as you'll see below. 

One of the ways to secure your flute in the box is with packing peanuts.  You'll want to cover the entire bottom of the shipping box with the peanuts, then put the flute on top.

Next, you'll need to add more peanuts around each side of the flute box.  Final step is to add a layer of peanuts all across the top, and then you are ready to close and seal.

Another great way to secure you flute is by using foam inserts.  You can find foam at most fabric and craft stores. You'll want to cut each foam piece to size.  With this packing option, you'll start by placing one piece of foam at the bottom of the shipping box.

Next, place the flute inside the shipping box, on top of the bottom layer of foam.  You'll want to add foam pieces around each side of the flute box and a small piece inside next to the flute.

Flute is secured with foam inside the flute box.  Flute box is secured with foam inside the shipping box.  Ready for the final step.

Take one more layer of foam (same size as the one on the bottom of the box), and place it on top of the flute box.  Close and seal the shipping box, and you're ready to go.  Note -- you can buy a shipping box with pre-cut foam inserts on the Powell website at  Add coupon code SHIP2ME for a 10% discount on the shipping materials!

 A third option for securing the flute is bubble wrap.  You can usually find bubble wrap at shipping supply stores or even larger stores like Target.  You'll want to start by covering the bottom of the box with about two layers of bubble wrap.

Place the flute inside the shipping box.

Add layers of bubble wrap around the sides and over the top of the flute box.  Close and seal.

If you don't have the flute box, it's okay.  You can use peanuts, bubble wrap, or foam and follow the same procedures as you would if the flute were in a box.  We use foam (as you can see).  You will probably need to add extra padding around one or more sides of the flute.

Cover with a top layer of foam, close box, and seal.

Shipping a piccolo follows the same procedure as shipping a flute.  Below, we see two shipping boxes: one for the flute (21 x 10 x 6) and one for the piccolo (14 x 8 x 6).  (Box measurements are in inches).

Piccolo almost all packed up.  Just one more foam layer on top, and it will be ready to seal.

Here at Powell, the shipping box for piccolos is also used for headjoints.  A little extra foam on the side might be needed if you have only one headjoint.

And you can always ship more than one!

 As always, foam layer on top before closing and sealing.

Shipping crowns?  We start with a small box that is 9 x 6 x 4 inches.

Jewelry boxes are great for protecting crowns.  Place the crown in the jewelry box and close the lid.  Place the jewelry box inside the shipping box.  Same padding principles apply, so make sure to properly pad the bottom, sides and top.

So, that is it!  As you can see, there are many options for securing your flute for shipping.  As mentioned before, we do have shipping boxes with pre-cut foam available in the VQP Shop online at  Don't forget the SHIP2ME coupon code at checkout for the 10% discount!  It's fairly quick and simple to pack your flute, too.  In fact, we have a video below with Chris to demonstrate. You'll see that it took him just over one minute to pack the box, and that is "slow time!"

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