How to Pack a Crystal Chandelier


A crystal chandelier can be relatively simple and easy to handle, or incredibly ornate and heavy, dripping with dozens of crystals. If you're not sure how much your chandelier weighs, ask a friend to help you remove it from the ceiling. No matter its size, a chandelier should be packed carefully and never be left as a last-minute job. Before disabling your chandelier, make sure you have all the supplies you need and that there is another light source available in the room the chandelier is being removed from.

Things You'll Need

  • Thick towel
  • Plastic bag
  • Permanent marker
  • Blank newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Tissue paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • 2 pieces of foam
  • Strapping tape
  • Packing material
  • Sturdy cardboard boxes

Packing the Chandelier Body

  • Place a thick towel on your work surface.

  • Turn off the power and remove the chandelier from the ceiling. Place all screws and small findings in a plastic bag with a secure seal. Seal the bag and mark it "chandelier hardware." Lay the chandelier on the towel.

  • Remove any lampshades, light bulbs or other removable parts from the chandelier. You may also remove the individual crystals if they can be unhooked without damaging their wires or the armature of the chandelier. Set any shades aside and discard the bulbs if they are old, or place them in a crush-proof container if you wish to keep them. Keep all the chandelier parts together.

  • Wrap the chandelier in blank newsprint, working on one small section at a time. For example, wind newsprint around each individual arm of the chandelier and each decorative scroll. Continue until the entire lamp is wrapped. Secure the newsprint with masking tape as you work, and include any removed parts.

  • Wrap individual crystals or glass chains in tissue paper.

  • Encase the entire lamp in two or three layers of bubble wrap.

  • Measure the bottom of your box and cut two pieces of 2- to 3-inch-thick foam to that dimension. These are the top and bottom foam pads.

  • Insert a foam pad into the bottom of the box and lay the wrapped chandelier on top of it. Include any wrapped chandelier pieces and the bag of hardware.

  • Fill the box with packing material such as Styrofoam peanuts or popcorn. Fill every empty nook and cranny with packing material so the chandelier lays securely in place. Leave enough room at the top for the second foam pad. Lay the pad in place and close the box. Tape it shut with strapping tape and write FRAGILE on each side of the container.

Packing the Shades

  • Wrap each lamp shade in blank paper.

  • Line a small box that is approximately 2 inches larger than the shades with clean paper, or purchase a large box with individual compartments that are 2 inches larger than the shades if your chandelier has several. Crush a few pieces of paper to create a "nest" for each shade. Lay the shade on the nest.

  • Fill the box with packing material or more crushed paper -- enough so that the shades will stay in place when the box is moved. Create another nest of paper on top of the shade before taping the box closed.

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

Tips & Warnings

  • Only nest differently sized shades together if there is enough space between them for crushed paper or packing material. If the shades touch or rub against each other, they may be damaged.
  • Special chandelier boxes with a bar at the top for hanging the chandelier during transport are available from moving companies and packaging supply stores.
  • Silk lampshades can be easily damaged or stretched if they are packed with other items. Be certain to pack silk lampshades individually.
  • Be certain you can safely manage, load and unload a crystal chandelier before packing or moving it yourself. Many professional moving companies are available for handling individual items without obligating you to a full range of services.
  • Insure all valuable items before packing and moving.
  • Do not pack other boxes on top of your chandelier or shades.

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