Many people have asked me my suggestions on packing and shipping art pieces. From much research and personal experience, here are some of my suggestions. Please know there are many artists with great ways to pack and ship their art and I would love for you to post additional or alternative thoughts. Many of my techniques come from selling art with Saatchi Art.
We work hard on our art and want our art to be protected from the moment it leaves our house to it new home. Nothing is more disappointing than working hard on our art, finding that right buyer and having our art damaged due to poor packing supplies and techniques. If you art is larger than 48 inches, consider packing it in a cart instead of the below technique.
First, here are my top 5 packaging requirements:
· Acid free archival paper (Glassine)
· Bubble wrap
· High quality packing tape
· Protection for your corners
· Foam Board
Acid-Free Archival Paper (Glassine)
Acid-free (archival quality) paper is an absolute necessity when wrapping artwork for both shipping and storage. Archival quality materials are pH neutral (i.e. between 7 and 8.5) and will therefore have no chemical interaction with any objects it contacts. I find my archival paper by the roll from most art supply, craft, or frame stores.
I feel you really need an adequate amount of bubble wrap for wrapping your art. Bubble wrap will provide a surprising amount of protection by distributing pressure and impact across a wide area. Bubble wrap does two important jobs: 1) cushions the art in the event of impact 2) fills empty space, preventing unwanted movement within your packaging. For these reasons, bubble wrap should be your padding and filler of choice.
High quality packing tape
Always buy good quality packing tape! Here’s why:
I feel a sturdy support is necessary for safe packaging and storage of all flat artworks. Foam board (also called foam core) is what I use as you can find it at most art supply, craft, or frame stores. Foam board comes in varying degrees of thickness (depending on the amount of protection needed for your work), and can typically be purchased individually or in bulk. I recommend you use foam board of at least ½” thickness. Archival quality foam board is also available from some manufacturers and it should be used if it will come into direct contact with the artwork.
Cardboard corner protectors
Corners of flat artworks are especially vulnerable to shipping damage, that’s why I use cardboard corner protectors. You can buy corner protectors ready-made at many art supply, moving supply, or frame stores, or you can construct them yourself. A quick search on Google will lead you to online resources offering instructions on how to make them.
Maintaining a professional image is very important for us as artists. Many times we sell out work through word of mouth or by others seeing our work displayed. So here are a couple things that I recommend you avoid.
· Avoid using anything in your packing that can shift around like those Styrofoam peanuts. These can settle and leave an area unprotected. You can use non-archival tissue paper wadded up around your art in any empty space.
· Avoid newspaper or store plastic bags as they just give an unfavorable impression from the start.
· Never use non-archival paper to wrap your art as it is not acid free and could hurt your art.
I hope this post has given you some good hints for packing your art. Please feel free to let me know your helpful hints!!
"Myo͞oziNGs" by Cheryl Wilson
Cheryl Wilson, artist
"My world without art is just "eh"