The holidays are coming up and what better gift to give your friends and family than a jar of your homemade preserves! It’s an easy task if they live near you, a simple hand delivery will do. But what’s the best way to do it if they happen to live on the other side of the country?
I thought I’d show you the way that I wrap and pack my jars for shipping (although certainly, this is not the only way) to help you get plan the best way to get those precious jars of raspberry jam through the mail unscathed.
Start with a small to medium sized box (it depends on the size of jar you’re sending). Line the bottom with bubble wrap or some other sturdy padding (bits of old foam or eggshell mattresses work well here).
Lay out a long strip of bubble wrap and roll up your jar. If you’re using the small bubbles like the wrap pictured above, you want to encircle the jar in at least four layers. With the larger bubbles, two layers will do.
Behold the wrapped jar. You should only barely be able to see the jar through the wrap.
Secure the bubble wrap with tape, so that it doesn’t abandon its post during shipping.
Fold the ends of the wrap and tape those down too. Think of this like the physics project so many of us did in the tenth grade, in which we designed enclosures for eggs that would keep them from breaking when dropped off the top of the ladder. The same principles apply here.
A well-wrapped, well-secured jar. I always wrap glass to the point where I’d feel comfortable dropping it from a height of at least five feet onto my kitchen floor (which is a single layer of linoleum on top of solid concrete).
Nestle the jar into the box on top of that primary layer of padding.
Now, add more protection. I save all the bubble wrap, foam peanuts and other useful packing materials all year long, in order to have plenty of jar protection for the holidays. I beg you, do not use crumpled newspaper to pad your jars. I have learned the hard way that it is not nearly as effective at absorbing the bumps and bags that shipped boxes must endure.
A final layer of bubble wrap to finish off the box. At this point, I tape the lid and check all the box seams and give them a layer of taped reinforcement, should they need it.
If you are shipping more than one jar, I recommend looking into the flat rate boxes from the USPS. Jars of preserves weight quite a lot and if you are shipping more than one jar, the cost of mailing the box can quickly get expensive. With these boxes, you can ship as much as you can fit in there for a single rate. If you’re shipping multiple jars, do make sure to pad between them and pack them tightly enough so that they won’t shift during transport. And that’s it!