When sending something you love with a courier, never leave anything to chance. By following these basic packaging and shipping techniques, your art will arrive as you intended it too – intact and looking beautiful.
The great thing about shipping with a courier is choice and flexibility. For art, the best two options for shipping is either with a new, triple ply cardboard box or a wooden crate. This guide will show you how to package both.
Let’s begin with framed art in a cardboard box
This is the most basic and expected way to ship your art with a courier. For this, you will need:
- Acid free art tape
- A triple corrugated box
- Acid free packaging paper
- Loose fill
- Bubble wrap
- Two pieces of plywood (0.5cm thick)
- Shipping labels
The objective: To create a 12cm protective bubble around your art, including the cardboard box.
This will ensure your goods are protected against all transit wear and tear.
The execution: Start by first cleaning the glass panel connected to the frame. This is to stop any smudges or marks appearing on the glass. You will then need to wrap the entire frame and painting in acid free wrapping paper and tape down the edges.
Now is the time to start your 12cm protective bubble. Take the bubble wrap and securely wrap your painting 6cm deep all the way round. Then take your tape and secure the edges to keep it firmly together. This will be your primary protection, so secure it tightly.
We now need to make it even more resilient. First, take some spare bubble wrap and shape it into corner protectors. You want these to be 2 inches thick and secured with plenty of tape. Then take the two pieces of plywood and attach them on the front and back of your piece of art to create a protective sandwich. Secure both pieces with tape – your art package should be feeling solid and secure.
Now you will need to take your new box and fill the bottom with 2 inches of loose fill. Don’t use packaging chips to fill any remaining space, they will just settle at the bottom – shredded straw and paper are best. You will then need to insert your packaged art into the box to rest on the loose fill.
Once inside, fill the remaining space with any shredded straw, paper or bubble wrap so your goods cannot move inside. The objective here is to make sure the internal packaging of the parcel is not touching the inner walls of the box.
To finish, secure the box with plenty of tape making sure to add tape to the hinges and flaps of the box. Then, run the tape three times in each direction around the box, much like a Union Flag.
Attach your shipping labels to the box and secure with tape.
Using a wooden crate? No problem.
Sending art in a wooden crate is sometimes the best option as a crate can offer better protection than a cardboard box. Packaging the crate is very similar to what has been listed above – a 12cm protective bubble, with goods suspended within the crate and not touching the inner walls.
You can buy wooden crates for shipping from most packaging retailers and are not expensive to purchase. You can also cheaply make it yourself. Here’s how.
You will need:
- Masonite board
- Wood glue
- Hard wood strips
- Strong screws
- Bubble wrap
- Acid-free wrapping paper
First you need to make the frame.
Use your hard wood strips to create the basis of the frame. You can use a size approximation by building it larger than your art work, after it has been packaged. Leave the top strip unscrewed as this will act as your lid.
You will then need to cut the two pieces of Masonite board to be the front and back of your crate. Secure them with the wood glue and screws. Now is the time to line the inside of your crate with bubble wrap and place your package inside.
Now secure the package.
Place your packaged art piece inside of the crate and fill any remaining space with bubble wrap or paper. Avoid using Styrofoam, which can create static. Place the other piece of Masonite board to the top of the frame to become the lid. Secure this with wood glue and screws and check that it is water tight. You can label it with ‘open here’, for easy access.
Attach your labels
You will now need to attach your shipping labels to the crate so the courier driver knows where to take it. Staple these to the crate so they cannot become detached during transit.
Need a Video Guide?
Check out this video tutorial from Agora Gallery.
Heshaam Hague is a content writer at international courier service, ParcelHero. Curating content based on all aspects of the company as well as customer insights. He joined their marketing team in early 2015 after working for digital marketing agency, Forward 3D. Outside of the office, you’ll usually see him at Griffin Park as a long suffering Brentford FC fan.