How To Pack A Cello


Renters, this post is for you! Packing a cello can look complicated. How you do it is important to prevent damage to the instrument. If you rent from us and need to ship your cello back, we developed a packing method many years ago that protects the cello from damage.

Before We Start:

  • Take note of how the cello was packed when you received it. We have pictures in this post, but it doesn’t hurt to take some of your own to make sure you remember how to pack it.
  • Save all of the packing materials. Seriously: ALL of them, including the return shipping label.

You Will Need:

  1. The cello and case
  2. Box
  3. Foam
  4. Bubble Wrap
  5. Tubes
  6. Packing Tape
  7. Shipping Label

Cellos 1/2 – 4/4

STEP ONE: Prep the Cello


Pack foam anywhere that something on the cello could collapse, such as:

  • Either side of the bridge, to keep it upright
  • Under the tailpiece and fingerboard, to keep them from collapsing on the instrument

STEP TWO: Prep the Box


Left: neck support, Right: endpin support

  • Add the cardboard inserts to the box
    • The neck support goes roughly where the neck will lie
    • The endpin support sits at the bottom of the box
  • Save the final insert! You’ll need this later.


Line the bottom of the box where the body of the cello will be with bubble wrap

Step 3: Add the Cello


Put the cello inside the case and place it in the box with the bridge FACING UP. The endpin should slide into the endpin insert.  Then adjust the neck insert so that it is touching the body and supporting the neck.


Put the final insert above the neck and scroll as shown above.

Step 4: Stabilize the Cello


Place the two tubes in the bouts on either side of the instrument. This keeps the box from collapsing on top of the instrument if something is placed on top of it in shipping.


Pad the sides around the body with bubble wrap. You want enough that the instrument won’t slide around.

STEP FIVE: Cushion the Cello


Pad the top of the body with a few layers of bubble wrap, but make sure not to put too many layers over the bridge. This is because it can create too much pressure on the top of the instrument and cause damage.


Add just enough that the bubble wrap and the top flaps of the box are flush. Any more than that and you risk the same type of damage we mentioned with the bridge.


Close and securely tape the box.

Cellos 1/4 and Smaller


Prep the cello in the same way described above, then place it inside the case. Wrap it with bubble wrap. Then line the bottom of the box with bubble wrap.

Note: for smaller cellos, there are no inserts.


Add the instrument to the box and place the four tubes around it.

  • Two go on either side at the widest point at the bottom of the instrument
  • Two go on either side at peg-leve


Stabilize the cello around the entire instrument with bubble wrap, then build up in layers until filled. Don’t forget to be careful of the bridge!


  • Pack the instrument with the bridge facing down.
  • Pack the instrument outside of the case

As always, if you have any questions we’re happy to help! Please give us a call at 800-359-3951.


Silvija Kristapsons

Silvija is a violist and works in the marketing department at Johnson String Instrument.

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