Useful Tips for Packaging Your Art

María Escalona May 08 2021


Whether it is a sculpture, a wall hanging, a print or a painting that you are sending away, we hope these 10 steps will help you in the process of packaging it safely, efficiently and affordably.

You made a sale! Congratulations are in order, and now it’s time to send your precious original artwork to a new home. First and foremost, let’s make sure that you are packaging it safely, efficiently, and affordably. Here are 10 tips that we have collected from well-established and emerging artists working in different mediums to help guide you towards the best way to package your art.

1: Measure your artwork

This step is crucial: The key to great packaging is to use the perfect amount of material. Not too much, which may leave gaps and add unnecessary costs, but not so little that it is left unprotected. Measure the length, width, and height from the farthest extremities, then add one or two inches to each number. That is how much space it should take.

2: Make or select an appropriate container

With those measurements, the space your artwork takes up should give you an idea of how to package it. This could be:

  • A rigid envelope for flat artwork (no bigger than 10x10 inches by a ½ of an inch) such as this
  • A mailer for thicker art like these
  • A tube or triangular tube for rolled pieces (only recommended for unstretched canvas and flat art larger than 17x22 inches) similar to these
  • A box or self-made container for bigger or framed paintings or sculptures
  • A custom crate for pieces that are bigger than 46 x 46 inches
3: Inner-packaging

If you are shipping flat or paper artwork, we strongly recommend having a backing board that is the exact same size, or something similar to this that you can cut to measure. This will add rigidity, prevent bending, and possibly help the framing in the future. Place your piece directly over it.

The next step is to protect the piece against moisture and direct contact, so we suggest a thin paper material like glassine, “a smooth and glossy paper that is air, water, and grease resistant.” You could also use tissue paper, reused plastic, or even better, kraft paper.

If your piece is a stretched canvas (without frame), cut two pieces of double thickness cardboard the exact same measurements as the art. Place the wrapped art between the two cardboard pieces as a first layer of protection.

For extra protection, cover the corners or sharp edges with cardboard, foam, or thick paper to avoid those delicate points being damaged.

4: Fill the gaps

If you are shipping a sculpture, use a box where the piece doesn’t have much mobility and is covered all around. To fill the gaps we suggest two things:

  • Bubble wraps or its alternatives: corrugated bubble, air pillows, biodegradable peanuts, paper shred or any crumpled paper.
  • Build a stabilization system specifically for the piece. This will guarantee that it will not move at all inside the box or crate, and you can avoid using unnecessary bubble wrap. You can build this by first cutting the shape of the base of the sculpture from a cardboard piece. From there, add 2 or 3 more layers of cardboard around the base. Cut other pieces of cardboard to fill the space between the sides of the sculpture and the walls of the box or crate. Then, repeat what you did for the base with the top of the piece. The stabilization system can also be replaced with any sort of crumpled or shredded paper.

Pro tip: If your artwork has glass or acrylic, use masking tape to make an X from corner to corner. In case of the glass or acrylic breaking, this will keep the pieces together and avoid damaging the art or leaving dangerous bits loose.

If you are shipping a soft piece, like a wall hanging, wrap it several times in similar materials as suggested with the filling methods provided above.

5: Add personal touches

You can secure the protective paper to your artwork with colorful tape or with a sticker. If you want to be even more thoughtful, create your own stickers. To leave your art buyers extra satisfied, add details that reflect your brand, your care, and your time. Whether it be a bow, a card, a note, a freebie, or even personalized wrapping paper, these thoughtful touches will definitely help you increase repeat purchases. If needed, add instructions on how to handle, open or display the artwork.

6: Outer-packaging

After the first wrapping and securing of the package’s interior, it is time to either put it in your outer container, or make one yourself.

If you want to make your own packaging for a painting, all you need is two pieces of cardboard. First, one that is the exact size of the painting, and then another that is that size plus a couple of inches, or the height of the piece. Fold the edges of the larger cardboard to cover all the sides, place the other cardboard on the other side, and secure it with strong packaging tape. Repeat this step if necessary.

For a sculpture, secure the box with an extra box or more cardboard. You could also make your own crate with pieces of wood, or buy one such as this one here.

For your art prints, drawings, paper art, or other flat artworks, place them inside a rigid envelope, a mailer, a tube, or make something similar to the packaging for paintings, but with less cardboard.

7: Seal it

Use a strong packaging tape and add a sticker or stamp that reads “fragile” or “don’t bend”.

8: Test it

Before sending it off to its new home, make sure that nothing inside your package moves around, and be wary of any void spaces that could be weak points when transporting. Shake, flip, and knock it with your hand to verify that it will be very hard or almost impossible to damage your one-of-a-kind piece.

9: Take pictures

We highly suggest that you submit a few photographs of the packaged artwork to the buyer through the Bidgala website (inner box, otterbox, and personalized touches). That way the buyer can see that the art is in good care, and they can create an expectation of what it will look like when it arrives. This will also be useful in case anything happens with the shipping services.

10: Tracking it

Lastly, keep your customers up to date with any shipping updates using Bidgala’s messaging system, and don't forget to provide them with the package’s tracking information. As soon as you submit the tracking info & the buyer happily receives their artwork, your funds will be released and you will be paid!

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seocontentwriter9992592 replied 4 months, 4 weeks ago <p>Your article are very informative I learn a alotes of thing eg <a href=""><strong>custom boxes</strong> </a>And you are images use in the content are very attractive your site are very good customize.</p>
yuruncai1434 replied 2 years, 4 months ago super useful!
cf123 replied 2 years, 4 months ago It would be devastating to receive damaged artwork... Thanks for the tips!
scy replied 2 years, 4 months ago Clever tips...
anastasia_koutso1260 replied 2 years, 4 months ago Super thorough and clear, thank you!