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Monday, February 9, 2015

How to properly pack a crystal chandelier

Moving chandeliers safely
Avoid expensive mishaps by correctly packing chandeliers
By Joan Silver

Packing a crystal chandelier may seem to be a daunting task, but not all chandeliers are created the same and you may be surprised to find out how easy this activity could actually be. 

There are chandeliers that have a relatively simple structure and therefore are easy to handle, while there are those which are exceptionally elaborate and heavy, dripping with dozens of crystals. Regardless of the size of your chandelier, it needs to be packed with much care and this should never be left as a last-minute job.

Before you disable your crystal chandelier, make sure that you have all the things you need. Also see to it that there is another light source available within the room where the chandelier is being removed. Also, if you are not certain how much your chandelier weighs, ask someone to assist you in removing the light fixture from the ceiling.

Things you'll need:
2 pieces of foam
Blank newspaper
Bubble wrap
Masking tape
Packing material
Permanent marker
Plastic bag
Strapping tape
Sturdy cardboard boxes
Thick towel
Tissue paper

Steps in packing the crystal chandelier body
Step 1:
Lay down a large, thick towel on your work surface.

Crystal Chandeliers - Capitol Lighting
Avoid electrocution by shutting off all power to the chandelier
Step 2:
Turn the power off. Remove the crystal chandelier from the ceiling. Keep all the screws and small findings in a plastic bag with a secure seal. Seal the plastic bag and mark it "chandelier hardware". Place the chandelier on the towel.

Step 3:
Remove all removable parts such as lampshades, light bulbs, and individual crystals. Make sure that you only remove those parts which can be unhooked without damaging their wires or the armature of the chandelier. Keep all the parts together and place them in a crush-proof container. Discard old light bulbs.

Step 4:
Wrap the chandelier fixture in blank newsprint. Work on one section at a time, continuing until the entire chandelier is wrapped. Seal the newsprint with masking tape as you work, including any removed parts.

Step 5:
Wrap all the individual crystals and glass chains in tissue paper.

Step 6:
Cover the entire chandelier in two or three layers of bubble wrap.

Step 7:
Prepare the top and bottom foam pads. Measure the bottom of your box then cut two pieces of 2 to 3-inch thick foam to that dimension.

Step 8:
Place a foam pad into the bottom of the box then carefully lay the wrapped chandelier on top of it. Include in the box all wrapped chandelier pieces as well as the bag of hardware.

Step 9:
Keep the chandelier securely in place inside the box by filling the box with packing material like styrofoam peanuts or popcorn. Make sure that you fill every empty nook and cranny, but leave enough room at the top for the top foam pad. Lay the pad in place then close the box and seal it with strapping tape. Write “FRAGILE” on all sides of the box.

Steps for packing the shades

Step 1:
Wrap each lamp shade in blank newspaper.

Step 2:
Get a small box that is 2 inches larger than the shades and line this with clean paper. If your chandelier has several shades, you may need to purchase a large box with individual compartments that are 2 inches larger than the shades. Crumple a few pieces of paper and use these to create a nest for each shade. Lay the shades on their nest.

Step 3:

Fill the box with packing material or more crumpled paper. Place enough of these so that the shades are kept in place while the box is being moved. Create another nest made of crumpled paper on top of the shade before securing the box with tape.

Step 4:

Label the box "Fragile - Top Load Only" on all sides. 

By properly packing your crystal chandeliers, you can rest assured that it is kept in good shape while in transit, so the next time that it is assembled and mounted, it will look as magnificent as it has always been!

About the author: Joan Silver is a known lighting expert from Capitol Lighting (1800lighting.com) and a fan of all things “lighting”. She currently provides customers and designers with robust information on their lighting needs.

Images: 1. WKnight94, "Closeup of the State Drawing Room chandelier at Dublin Castle", GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0    2. Cliff1066™, CC BY 2.0