A stained glass window in a polystyrene lined wooded box

Packaging process for window glass

People often ask “How to ship stained glass?”. This page is partly intended to show how well protected your glass will be if you pay for me to ship it to you. I have different methods depending on the quantity, size and whether or not the glass is framed. The following also demonstrates the amount of time I spend on packaging, which informs my shipping prices.

My methods:

Example of four framed toplights (small windows) I sent to Virgina, USA, using my “wrap and strap” method

That’s easily 1.5 hours. A bit less if sending one or two toplights but the entire process is the same.

Cardboard for unframed toplights (maximum 500mm length)

I use 50mm thick polysterene with double layered cardboard for the outer sleeve. Similar time commitment for measuring and cutting.

While this enables a lighter and therefore cheaper package to send what is not shown here is the amount of time and mess it takes to safely extract a leaded light from a frame. That’s a whole separate sequence of photos!

No this is not a sideline smuggling illegal substances! Sometimes I use old Samonsite hardshell suitcases if I can purchase secondhand at reasonable price.

Wooden boxes for larger windows

I commission someone to make wooden boxes for pieces which are larger than toplights or have complex patterns which make them more susceptible to damage in transit but still fit the inner padding myself.


These I sent to New Jersey, USA. Sometimes it is cheaper to send several packs of four as shown above rather than the added weight and cost of commissioning palletised crates. It really depends on what you order.

This was a tall order to Italy!

To Massachusetts: