Here's a series of photos showing how I pack a lidded vessel for shipping. The whole idea behind this is to create a double box type of package without actually using two boxes.
First I prepare the pot by putting a couple of layers of thin foam packing material between the upside down lid and the pot. Then I cover the piece with either bubble wrap or paper, whichever I have handy, and tape it up tight so the lid can't move. The bubble wrap/paper is just there to keep the tape off the pot. I do not ever use bubble wrap as a packing material. It's overpriced, and you have to use many layers of it for it to be effective. Foam sheets are cheaper, and do a better job of protecting lips and edges.
Taped-Up.jpg 193.5KB 2 downloads
Then I put 3 inches or so of packing peanuts in the bottom of the box, followed by a sheet of cardboard. This, and all of the cardboard pieces I will be using, are there to keep the pot from migrating though the peanuts as the package gets jostled about in the shipping truck, as well as provide another layer of protection.
Bottom-Baffle.jpg 168.61KB 2 downloads
Then I start adding peanuts. Once they reach about halfway up the pot, I put in the side baffles. Again, these provide a big flat surface that can't migrate through the peanuts, ensuring that the pot stays centered in the package.
Side-Baffles.jpg 143.96KB 2 downloads
I continue filling with peanuts until they are about an inch above the pot, then add a final piece of cardboard to the top.
Top-Baffle.jpg 141.79KB 3 downloads
Then I add more peanuts above the top cardboard baffle. Notice how they are mounded up higher than the box. This is so that I can compress them down as I tape up the box, so everything it nice and firm. During shipping the peanuts will settle a bit, so if they're not packed in super tight you'll end up with a loose packing job. Movement is what breaks things during shipping. If nothing can move, nothing will break.
Peanuts.jpg 168.92KB 2 downloads
So there you have it. Piece of cake. I've always got odd sized boxes laying around that aren't suitable for shipping pots, so I cut those up and use them for the inner baffles. Reduce, reuse, recycle!