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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mailing Canning Jars for the Holidays - Caring is Sharing!

Whether you are sending canning jars for family or friends, overseas or in the US, you will want to have a few good mailing and packaging tips. We spend precious time making and then processing the food in jars so we want to make the mailing box safe and secure to be received by our loved ones.

I have also found that the mail, USPS, has a great price for mailing canning gifts. United States Postal Service has free boxes for their priority mail Flat Rate Medium service and its a perfect size and a reasonable price in that "If it fits, it ships". The weight isn't an issue and from the packing that I have done recently you can send quite a few jars in this box. For the medium box I sent 4 half pints and a pint and they made it to their destination without a scratch. Here are a couple of additional tips and some from my friend Maria at Knit & Play with Fire to ensure a safer canning delivery. 


Ziploc jar for leakage
1.  Place your jars in ziploc bags, removing the air and sealing them. This will help in case there is a break. Your box will stay dry and not have food leaking all over the other jars.


Ziploc jar and roll
2. Roll the jars in bubble wrap with the bubbles on the outside. Place tape in the middle folding in the ends like a "burrito" as you roll. Bubbles on the outside will add cushion between each jar without lots of extra padding.
"Burrito Roll" the jar - Bubbles out
3. Once all the jars have been padded place bubble wrap or newspaper on the bottom of the box and then stack the jars in the box leaving some space in between.


Add packaging to the bottom


Fit in box leaving space
4. Fill the spaces with more bubble wrap or news paper until filled then cover the top of the jars with the bubble by folding it over the top or using more packing materials.




5. When ready to seal make sure that the lid of box closes comfortably and doesn't feel like it is touching or crushing down on the jars.


Mark "Fragile" on box
6. Seal with tape and using a permanent marker write "Fragile" on all sides of the box. This may not make the Postal or Parcel workers treat the package any different but if something does break then you have a warranted insurance claim.

7. Make sure that your address label is easily read. It would be better to take the time to type the label either in the USPS site or on your computer using a word processing software.
Note: If you use the USPS site you can pay for the postage on line and just take the package to the post office without waiting in line. (Bonus over the holiday)

8. If you are going to mail your package pay the extra .50c (or free if you do it online) and get the delivery confirmation so that you know when it has arrived.

For the holidays here are some additional ideas from Maria:

  • You can wrap the jars nicely in a pretty tissue paper or wrapping paper before putting them in the ziploc bag. Tissue paper rolls around the jars nicely.  
  • If you are sending other items like a knitted scarf that is squishy, it works well as padding.
  • A lot of newspaper works as well as bubble wrap if you do not have any. Shredded paper compacts and is not a good packing tool other than to fill in voids provided you pack it in really tight.
  • Save packing materials all year round to use for holiday shipping.  If you have something fragile do not pack it inside something else without a lot of padding. I had an Ebay shipper stick the glass lid and gasket to an old Ball bale jar do this. The jar was fine but the glass lid? Broken.
A special thanks to Dayna for the original packaging and props for this post. Also a thanks to Maria for the additional tips which changed the way I packaged my jars!