How to properly pack mirrors and picture frames

Young woman looking at the frame and thinking about how to properly pack mirrors and pictures for moving.

Many of us cannot imagine living in a place without pictures and mirrors. In the end, those small details and decorations are making our place what it is. A small personal touch that adds up to the feeling of living in a place we can call home. Whether it’s just about preserving memories or for practical reasons, we all like to hang them on walls, and/or to place them on desks and shelves. But once in a while, we might have to relocate to another place, and this is where serious problems begin. They are quite delicate items that demand special care. So if you are thinking about how to properly pack mirrors and picture frames for moving or storage, there are a few ways to do it properly.

The proper way to pack mirrors and picture frames

The simplest way to describe mirrors and picture frames is to say they are extremely fragile. Packing them for protection and moving can be a complex procedure. You need to do it the right way or you are risking damage. Frames can only crack or bend, but mirrors and other glass items can completely shatter in pieces. Either way, the damage is inevitable if you don’t invest some time and resources to properly pack them. In most cases, you have two choices. Either you will get someone to do it for you, either you will learn how to do it by yourself.

A man looking at himself in three large mirrors.
Some items are better to be left for professionals to handle.

The easiest way to pack mirrors and picture frames

By far the easiest way to deal with packing your mirrors and picture frames is to get professionals to do it. Hiring a professional packing service from movers can cost a bit, but it’s one of the smartest investments that will cause no stress. Not only they have experience in dealing with such items but you got your items covered by insurance. In case something bad happens, they take responsibility. But, considering they know exactly what lies ahead, every situation, and every potential problem in transportation, there is a small to none chance something will break. Not to mention they use only the high-quality packing supplies when packing such delicate items.

If packing on your own, start by gathering packing supplies

Without decent packing supplies, you won’t be able to properly pack your mirrors and picture frames. There are various materials you can use, but not all of them are adequate for sensitive and glassy surfaces. Depending on the size, here is the list of quality packing materials and supplies you should use:

  • Sturdy and clean card boxes of all size
  • Specialized picture/mirror boxes or crates
  • Corner protectors
  • Plenty of packing paper
  • A lot of quality wrapping materials
  • Flat foam and cardboard sheets for separation
  • Decent packing tape, or artist’s tape
  • Blankets
  • Permanent markers
  • An additional soft cloth or similar fabric

While you can acquire some of the card boxes for free, it’s better not to use them for this type of item. Use them for other belongings when packing for moving, but for mirrors and picture frames you should use clean, new, and resilient boxes.

Air-filled wrapping material.
Quality packing materials are necessary for full protection.

The steps to properly pack mirrors and picture frames

The first thing you need to do is to clear out the space designated for packing before you even start. You will need plenty of room because you will use a bit larger boxes than your mirror or picture is. For example, always take a box 20-30% larger than a mirror. Since you are going to wrap it before placing it into a box, you will need some additional space left in the box. Also, when you pack a mirror, it will be in a horizontal position and you will need more space in a room to maneuver around it.

A painting with a decorative frame.
You will need a box larger than a frame to properly pack it.

Wrap mirrors and picture frames

It’s important to properly protect your items before placing them in boxes. Mirrors and paintings with glass front side are packed in a similar way. With pictures and paintings without glass, you should either remove them, or you can protect them in a different way. Here are the steps you need to take:


  • Start by placing a large blanket on the floor, or a large and stable table. It all depends on the size of the mirror or picture frame. If it’s an extremely large mirror, the floor is probably the only surface large enough to support it.
  • Cover the entire blanket with sheets of paper for this will be the first layer of protection. The entire paper surface should be large enough to cover the mirror from both sides plus some extra.
  • Clean the entire glass surface and frame before placing your mirror on the floor. Any dirt or similar piece left on glass can scratch and damage it if left between the glass and the paper. Once it’s clean and dry, you should secure the glass with tape. People usually place diagonal lines forming the “x” mark over the entire mirror. But, if the glass crack that won’t be enough to hold it in place in transportation. So, you should secure the edges too. Again, you shouldn’t do this if it’s painting without glass protection. Paintings needs and an additional layer of protection that won’t touch the surface, or should be separated and folded in special tubes.
  • Once you are done with the tape, place the additional layer over it. It can be a flat foam over the entire mirror followed by cardboard for additional protection of the front side.


  • Now it’s time to wrap that double-in-size paper you placed on the blanket around the entire mirror. Generally, you should pay attention to corners. It’s very important to tape the paper and add corner protectors.
  • Afterward, you need to wrap the entire item in wrapping materials. Needless to say, it should be firm so nothing shifts or deform in transportation. Also, don’t forget to mark the front side with markers so you know the sides.

Place fragile items in boxes

Place a box on the floor so the open side is looking toward the mirror. The principle is simple, you will carefully slide your mirror in. Once inside, you can add additional materials for cushioning and fill the gaps so there is no shifting at all. After that, test the entire package for shifting and tape the entire box. Keep in mind, you can pack several picture frames in the same box, but always use cardboard as a separator, and never lay them on each other. For smaller items like this, you will place them one by one vertically.

Packing delicate items requires a little practice. In order to properly pack mirrors and picture frames for moving or storage, it’s always better to check guides and other resources first. It’s the only way to learn how to do it the right way. Or, you can always ask professionals to do it for you. When it comes to valuable belongings, additional protection never hurts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *