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The Craft Room: How to Pack a Sewing Machine and More!

July 17th, 2013 - 1:34 PM

Moving the Craft Room: Packing the Sewing Machine and Craft Supplies

What’s your craft of choice? Quilting, crocheting, painting, jewelry making – a little bit of everything? Whether your craft supplies are made up of small beads or huge canvases, and whether they’re kept in totes in the closet or in a dreamy, organized craft room, when it comes time to move it’s important to protect your investment. Today let’s talk about some tips for packing your craft supplies, including how to pack a sewing machine!

Packing and moving craft supplies and sewing machines
[Photo Credit]

Packing up the craft room isn’t as tough as you may think. I’ll go over the biggest and most fragile craft supply, the sewing machine, and then give you some general packing tips for all your craft supplies.

How to Pack a Sewing Machine

There are two main types of sewing machines: treadle machines (the foot-powered machines on a table) and portable electric machines.

Electric machines range from small beginner machines to large sergers and embroidery machines – and they’re all basically packed the same.  

If your sewing machine doesn’t have a cover

  • Begin by preparing a box that is slightly larger than your machine by placing crushed packing paper in the bottom of the box (U-Pack’s medium or large box should work well).
  • Remove the needle and anything else that is loose or could work itself loose (the needle can be taped to the machine or packed inside your sewing kit).
  • Lower the presser foot.
  • If possible, remove the spool holder. (If not, protect it by padding with packing paper).
  • Cover the feed dogs with fabric or a thin piece of cardboard.
  • Protect the tension control by covering it with cardboard.
  • Wrap the head of the machine well with bubble wrap or packing paper, then wrap the entire machine.
  • Place the wrapped sewing machine inside the box, and fill any spaces with crushed packing paper for a snug fit.
  • Mark the box “FRAGILE” and “This Side Up” so your machine remains upright during transit, and heavy items aren’t placed on top of it.

If your machine is equipped with a hard cover, place the cover over the machine, tape it well, and wrap in paper. Then, place it in a prepared box as you would with a machine without a cover.  

Now for Packing a Treadle Machine
As you probably know, a little more work is involved with packing a treadle machine as it is typically more fragile. It’s important to note that the sewing machine experts at Treadleon.net are adamant about separating the sewing machine head from the case and removing anything that is loose or can work itself loose (like needles, attachments, bobbin, presser foot, etc.).  It’s also highly recommended that you take a lot of pictures as you disassemble the treadle machine so you’ll have a good resource for putting it back together (especially if you don’t have instructions).  You’ll need both large and small boxes for this type of machine and they should be prepared ahead of time by putting extra padding (like Styrofoam insulation or crushed packing paper) in the bottom of the box.  

Here’s how to pack the treadle machine once it’s disassembled:

  • Carefully and thoroughly wrap each piece in packing paper or bubble wrap. Pay special attention to areas on the machine that could be easily damaged (be careful not to tape directly to any of the pieces as this could damage the finish).
  • Wrap all small pieces in tissue paper, place inside plastic baggies, and label.
  • Place the wrapped sewing machine head and other pieces inside moving boxes, making sure not to overload them (we recommend keeping box weight under 40 lbs.).
  • When it comes time to pack the treadle, you’ll need to brace the pedal and the drive wheel to keep them from moving during transit. You can do this with pieces of foam, cardboard or Styrofoam insulation – then fill the inside of the cabinet with crushed packing paper.
  • Completely wrap the cabinet/table top in paper padding (making sure not to tape directly to the finish).  
  • Because these types machines are more fragile, it’s highly recommended that you “build” a box suitable for the cabinet and use plenty of padding and packing cushion (Styrofoam insulation, paper padding, bubble wrap, etc.). Depending on the size of your machine, you may be able to customize a box sufficient for your treadle machine out of a U-Pack wardrobe box.
  • Place the cabinet inside the box and use plenty of cushioning – if you hear or feel any movement, add more padding.
  • Tape all boxes securely and write “FRAGILE” and “THIS SIDE UP” on all four sides.

Moving on to the Craft Supplies

If you’re a crafter, you know that craft supplies are as varied as the crafts you create. I’m going to talk about a lot of supplies you may have, but if you have some that I don’t cover, be sure to check out our general packing tips – or, of course, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help!

These are all things that can be packed together inside moving boxes labeled “CRAFT ROOM.”

  • Things like paints, aerosols (like basting spray) and glues are on the Do Not Ship list. So carry them with you, give them to your crafty friends, or sell them at your garage sale – just don’t put them in the trailer or container with the rest of your household goods.
  • Wrap unused skeins or balls of yarn in packing paper to keep them from getting tangled, and put loose yarn into individual zip top bags.
  • Keep beads in their original container (taped shut – you don’t want rouge beads running loose) or place them into zip top bags.
  • Hook thread on the spool and pack the spools into zip top bags.
  • Fold or roll fabric and pack into moving boxes.
  • Pack the glue gun, but leave the glue sticks behind. Temperatures can get warm in a moving trailer during the summer months and melted glue can make a mess!
  • Wrap crochet and knitting needles in bubble wrap or packing paper.
  • Wrap paper items in packing paper or large zip top bags (if you use packing paper, make sure to tape only to the packing paper!).
  • Keep stickers in their original packaging, a sticker album or a zip top bag.
  • Wrap paint brushes in bubble wrap or packing paper.
  • Tape down ribbon on spools (to keep from unraveling) and place inside large zip top bags.  
  • Fake flowers can be packed loosely into moving boxes. To avoid crushing them, separate the flowers by adding crushed packing paper in between.
  • Markers, pencils, and other writing utensils are moved best in their case, but they can also be placed into zip top bags and placed into a small box. Just make sure lids are tight on the markers.
  • If you have decorative hole punches, scissors, or paper cutters, you will want to remove the blades (if possible), or tape them closed.  Wrap them in packing paper to keep them contained during transit.
  • If you’re brave enough to move with glitter, I recommend applying a layer of tape to the top of the container so it doesn’t spill out in transit (and create a crazy-glitter situation).  

Now you’re ready to pack your sewing machine and craft supplies!

If you’re looking for ways to move these things, along with your other household goods, across the country, check out U-Pack! It’s a great option for do-it-yourselfers looking to save money moving. You pack, we drive it, and you save money. Getting an instant moving quote is free and easy!

If you have questions about packing your sewing machine or craft supplies, or you have questions about moving with U-Pack, leave us a comment! We love to help!