Care, Storage and Shipping of your Collectible Glass Ornaments!
Collectors spend hundreds even thousands of dollars collecting glass ornaments. These become valued treasures that can be handed down from generation to generation. In order for their value to increase they must be kept in pristine condition. Cracks, chips and breaks can cause a valuable ornament to become worthless in an instant.
Collections might include Disney Ornaments, Mia Glass Ornaments and of course the Glass Ornaments designed by Christopher Radko and many, many others. All of these Ornaments are works of art; they are usually glass blown and painted by hand. It is a seven day process to make a single Christopher Radko Ornament, not including the design process and planning that takes place. These valuable treasures need to be carefully maintained to ensure their lasting beauty. So here are some tips on keeping your glass ornaments safe and sound.
When it comes to cleaning, gentle care will ensure that your glass treasures will be safe for decades, to be enjoyed by your family and honored guests. The paint or lacquer used on glass ornaments is usually water based. Do not clean any glass ornaments with water, glass cleaner, detergents or other chemical solutions, all of which could smear the finish. Just dust off your ornaments with a simple feather duster, which will attract the dust like a magnet.
Ornaments must be protected from extreme temperature changes and humidity-conditions which are often present in an unheated or un-insulated area like basements, attics and garages. Such unstable environments can cause stress fractures over time. They should be stored in an area with fairly constant temperature and humidity. Like a closet shelf or other similar place. Never store or display glass ornaments in direct sunlight, which can cause the delicate pigments to fade. Wrap these fine collectibles individually in acid-free tissue, microwaveable paper towels or cotton batting and store them in sturdy plastic containers or sturdy cardboard boxes with secure tops. Please note: Plastic will keep out moisture while cardboard will absorb moisture if the possibility of high humidity or a water leak could comes in contact then use a plastic container. And lastly take your time, even with all your ornaments properly boxed, if you drop the box the impact of the fall can cause damage.
Whether you sell glass ornaments on eBay, or you have decided to bless a loved one with the gift of a collectible glass ornament, care should be taken in the packaging of your ornament for shipping. I have literally shipped hundreds of ornaments within the United States, Canada and The United Kingdom with less than 1% breakage. In order to do this I use a method of box within box. This method can be used with any carrier like UPS, FedEx or my favorite USPS. It is my favorite because I ship using priority mail and USPS supply the boxes free.
Place the ornament in a light weight plastic bag (use new bread wrappers), not heavy plastic like zip lock bags. Wrap the ornament in cotton batting for a cushion and is available in any craft , hobby or fabric store. Place in your gift box. Make sure the ornament is not to tight in the box (especially the crown) but is secure and will not move around.This box can be gift wrapped.
Wrap this box in bubble wrap, available at office supply stores, shipping locations, variety stores like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target etc. and even eBay. Hold the bubble wrap in place with scotch tape. Place this in another box which either fits snug or you will need to pack around with packing peanuts, bubble wrap or even newspaper and close it with packing tape.
Lastly place this into the final shipping box surrounded by foam or packing peanuts. Tape the box closed with packing tape, add labels to the outside with the words fragile and glass, using either labels, rubber stamp from the shipping carries or a magic marker.
The completed package only weighs approximately 1 lb. 10 oz. and can be shipped very reasonably.
Why go to all this trouble? Just watch the shipping carriers handle your fragile packages. They have to be able to travel. "In either rain, sleet or dark of night" - they are bounced from one conveyer belt to another and transferred from truck to airplane and back to delivery truck. It is the only safe way I know and even so it's only 99% safe. Be sure to purchase the available insurance. I have never had a claim denied once the carrier sees how well the package was prepared for shipment. I believe the only reason for a broken ornament when packed as shown above is the impact of the package being dropped.
I hope you have found my guide to care, storage and shipping of your treasured glass ornaments to be helpful.
And now that you know how to care for your collectible glass ornaments, it is time to add to your collection!
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