Rise Art

How to package Artwork (for Shipping)

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott @ Rise Art on November 17, 2010

Packaging Artwork for Shipping

Before getting started you might want to ensure the surfaces you are planning to wrap your work on are clean.  Additionally, you might want to consider laying out a heaving plastic cloth on which to wrap the work.

Depending on what type of medium the work consists of, it will have different packaging requirements; below, we have outlined instructions for works on paper and canvas:

Work on Paper

What you need for works on paper:

  • Acid free tissue paper
  • Flat pack, print pad or cardboard
  • Packing tape
  • Cutter or Scissors

At Rise Art we recommend that you never lift an un-mounted drawing or print by itself. Rather, slide a sheet of cardboard beneath the work as support and hold the cardboard, not the work. If you must use your hands, please use tissue paper or photography gloves so that your fingers do not touch the artwork since oils from our fingers damage paper. Remember to support the long sides of the cardboard with both hands.

  1. Protect the work with acid free tissue paper on both, the front and the back of the artwork.
  2. To prevent bending, place two or three layers of cardboard on both sides of the work. Ensure the cardboard pieces stay together by taping around the outside.
  3. A little trick to ensure the artwork does not move within the cardboard is to fold sheets of paper into triangles with one open end each.
  4. Place the taped up cardboard between two pieces of corrugated cardboard and tape all sides securely.
  5. Mark clearly ‘fragile’ and your name on the outside.
  6. NOTE: Serigraph prints are best shipped flat since they are prone to crack. Also, if the work of art is a valuable investment, it is not recommended to roll fine art since corners can get bent and the art could be accidentally creased.

Work on canvas

  • Acid free tissue paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tape
  • Cardboard corners – fold cardboard into triangles, leaving one side open
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Foam board
  • A cardboard box – a little bigger than the work you wish to wrap.
  1. Place acid free paper on the painting surface, or wrap the whole work with it – this will protect the work from moisture and dust.
  2. Then, wrap the painting in generously in bubble wrap, without leaving anything uncovered.
  3. Secure with tape.
  4. Add the cardboard corners to secure the corners of the work – which again, you have to secure with tape.
  5. Place corrugated cardboard or foam board around the canvas.
  6. Add an additional layer of bubble wrap around the corrugated cardboard.
  7. Place the wrapped painting inside a cardboard box lined with foam board. The box should be the same proportions as the painting and fit snugly to prevent the painting from bouncing around inside. Should the box be too big, fill it with bubblewrap or foamboard.
  8. Mark the outside of the box clearly with the term ‘fragile’ and your name.

Last, but not least, as artist, curator and blogger Kirsty Hall suggests, add clear instructions of how to best wrap and unwrap your work for the recipient. The Artist, Emerging blog reminds us that it is helpful to use re-useable packaging material, particularly if you except the work to be sent back to you.


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