The Fantastic 15 for Shipping Work

15 Products to Prepare your Work for Shipping

A practical guide helping artists to send artwork easily and effectively. More good gestures and less stress!

Are you planning to ship a work of art soon in a home-made parcel? You can use tape and cardboard, but to optimize protection it is necessary to use a little more.

Today I propose a great list to have on hand. This non-exhaustive list can serve as a shopping guide because, as everyone knows, it is better to have an idea of what you are looking for before you start looking.

1/ Graphite Pencil

The graphite pencil is tool number 1 for writing and drawing. It’s especially useful for the box that we wish to make with cardboard.

2/ XXL Aluminium Ruler

To draw, fold and cut, the ruler avoids many mistakes. The very large metal rulers are very useful for creating homemade parcels.

3/ Cutter

For cutting straight and sharp strokes in one move.

4/  Wax Paper

For oil paints, it is recommended to avoid applying bubble wrap directly onto the surface of the painting. Bubbles can stick and leave irreversible marks.

You can protect the painted surface first with waxed paper (used in the kitchen) and then with others elements to finish your packaging.

5/ Foam Corners

To protect each corner of a painting or a framed work.

With acrylic painting, the foam corners can be placed directly on the work.

With an oil painting (always more sensitive) I prefer to use wax paper first.

6/ Double or triple corrugated cardboard

Lightweight, solid and easy to create a box with, cardboard is recommended for shipments not exceeding 25 kilos.

7/ Bubble Wrap

To wrap an artwork or pad out its box.

8/ Packing Tape Roll

Masking tape is very convenient because it tears easily with fingers. I use it mainly around the painting itself and with this it is not necessary to use a blade to unbox. I reserve the brown packing tape to fasten the outside of my cardboard box.

9/ Mini Transparent Plastic Wrap Roll

Very useful with its handle dispenser, the mini plastic roll can replace masking tape to keep packaging around your work. Electrostatic, this plastic film protects artwork, frames, and mirrors from dirt and moisture.

10/  Interlayers

I always prefer to optimize the protection of an artwork by adding rigid spacers inside my box (Masonite, MDF, grey board, foamboard, or polystyrene), to protect a painting or to separate several art works in the same box.

11/ Stuffing

To keep the artwork stable in the box so that nothing moves. Stuffing can be done with old newspapers, torn magazines, scraps of bubble wrap or old fabrics (Be careful sometimes odours embedded in some old fabrics that can be released when the box is opened).

12/ Transparent Plastic Wrap (large size)

To protect the outside of the cardboard box and avoid any moisture penetrating.

NOTE: Over time I have learned to take note of how carriers handle parcels, so I always add large strips of brown tape on the narrow sides of my parcel so that they can slide easily along the ground.

13/ Clear Plastic Sleeves 

Some parcels are required to pass through Customs and must be equipped with specific documents. Facilitate access to these documents by placing clear “easy-open” sleeves on the sides of the cardboard box.

14/ Black Marker

To write in large capital letters the postal address of the receiver.

15/ Wooden Box (or wood crate)

For any fragile or very heavy artwork, a wooden box is often used. A crate can be bought readymade, bespoke or made at home if you are well equipped.

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Find all these products at GreatArt Online or in their new art supply shop in London Shoreditch.

The content for this post was provided by professional fine artist, Amylee. You can visit her colourful portfolio or follow her Facebook page.

Find all the products on GreatArt Online or in our new art supply shop in London Shoreditch.

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