Instructables

Safely pack and ship a sewing machine.

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Picture of Safely pack and ship a sewing machine.
Okay this is pretty niche, but if you ever have to do it you'll be glad you saw this. Maybe more importantly, if you ever need to have someone else ship one to you, you can point them here before they do. It takes some time to do it right, but you can't even imagine the horrors that could happen to a sewing machine in transit if it shifts in the box!

You may think, "not this old Singer, it's indestructible!" but the fact that it is so heavy and sturdy also makes it vulnerable when shipping. It can bust out of its confines, becoming susceptible to dings, dents crack and worse. I'm displaying a 1956 Singer 301 and a ton of accessories for this demo, but you can modify to suit any machine, obviously. Just note your trouble areas and deal with them accordingly.

Okay, here we go!
 
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Step 1: Gather your materials.

Picture of Gather your materials.
You will need:

1] Good strong packing tape

2] Bubble wrap, about 20 feet.
--- Usually it's $2.99 for a roll at USPS or Kinkos. I am not sure how long a roll is, so you may have to spend up to $6 if you don't have any around.

3] Styrofoam peanuts, one large box full (probably four crappy plastic shopping bags full.
--- I don't know anyone who doesn't have a bag or box in their garage, so if you happen to be one of those rare creatures who does not, chances are at least one of your friends does. If all else fails, ask on craigslist! You can also use slabs of styrofoam for this but it just has to fill in all gaps and be snug!

4] Two sturdy shipping boxes. The first (or inner) box should be about 4-5 inches larger than the sewing machine on all sides. The other (outer) box should be about 4-5 inches larger than the first one on all sides. This is a general thing. The idea is that the machine will have ample padding and will not move AT ALL within its box. This may be how the average person would think it was safe to ship. BUT that box then needs to be surrounded on all sides bu additional padding in an outer box.

NOTE: You can use blankets and pillows etc instead of bubble wrap and styrofoam and it would probably get there safely, but it would also double your shipping fees so it's really cheaper to buy the packing supplies if you have to.
pampero9 months ago
Excellent instructable, thanks.
kkoole2 years ago
Your Instructable is a lifesaver! My senior citizen parent just bought me an antique Singer and I have to walk him through the packing and shipping. As they say, a picture saves a thousand words and with your wonderful tutorial, I know my lovely machine will get here safe.
archerj3 years ago
Excellent instructable! Can be used for shipping any kind of really fragile item. Thanks.
mehl5 years ago
VERY informative and helpful. Just sold a sewing machine on ebay and wanted to make sure I shipped it properly. This was just the tool I needed. Thanks!!
rupamagic (author)  mehl5 years ago
Glad to be of assistance!
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rupamagic (author)  Howtoshipanything6 years ago
So far I am in the dark ages, so to speak. Not made the leap from 8mm to digital video, but one of these days I will have to, no doubt! Thanks for the compliment and if I ever do a video I'll be sure to share it.
We have a really lovely old singer in the garage, thankfully it's the manual type that's like a table, they have a special box cover that make shipping safe as long as the actual box and tabe are protected. It was under our house for years, I lifted it out during moving, lifted the box and it was perfect, not one mark on it the enamelled finish wasn't even dusty...
rupamagic (author)  killerjackalope6 years ago
Aren't they amazing? I just love them! They also work FOREVER, much like the gas stoves of that era. A little oil and cleaning now and then keeps them so happy!
even the foot tilt drive mechanism is perfect, need a belt for the drive though, only thing that disintegrated...