A step by step guide to shipping artwork

By Nicole Tinkham


If you’re worried about shipping your artwork, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief good friend. We’ve put together a guide that is going to help you send out your precious artwork without a worry in the world. Plus, if you are shipping out your art that means you’re selling pieces and that’s reason enough to celebrate! Go you! So where do you start? It’s actually quite simple, and once you get the hang of it you’ll be teaching others how to do the same.

Side-note: Doing it yourself will save you a lot of money! So it’s easy and inexpensive. Follow these 6 steps carefully and remember there’s no such thing as too much tape! If you get stuck refer to the diagram at the end of this blog.

Step #1: Gather your tools

Shipping artwork is a little more involved than sending a letter to a friend. Here’s what you’ll need:

•    Box cutter (or X-Acto knife)
•    Scotch tape
•    Packing tape
•    Scissors
•    Garbage bags
•    Insulating foam board (check Home Depot or Lowes)
•    Cardboard boxes

Step #2: Use your garbage bag to protect the painting. Slide the canvas in, fold the bag tightly around the artwork, and tape the bag on the BACK side of the painting.

Step #3: Cut two foam pieces to the size of your artwork using a box cutter. Sandwich the artwork between the two pieces of foam board and tape in place with your packing tape. Be sure to go all the way around your “sandwich”. All you really need to do is wrap the tape around twice (both ends of the package).

Step #4: Use your handy work to cut a large cardboard box so it lays flat. Using old boxes is fine as long as there’s no writing or markings on the outside. Wrap the cardboard (you may have to bend it) around the sandwiched artwork tightly, leaving enough room on the ends to fold over. Feel free to cut off any excess cardboard. Hold the cardboard in place by wrapping with packing tape as you did with your artwork sandwich.

Step #5: For the sides, score the corners so you’re able to fold them in. Once you have both ends folded, tape all the way around the package the long way, taping the ends shut.

Step #6: For extra security, line the edges with more tape. Don’t be scared to use a ton of tape! You definitely want to keep your artwork safe.

**Note: If you’re packaging a frame with glass, we recommend separating the glass and doing the sandwich method in step #3 for the glass alone.

Guess what? You can now call yourself a professional art packer. We’re not even exaggerating. This is actually how they’d do it if you chose to pay an arm and a leg to get it done. Nothing is worse than sending out one of your best pieces only to have it damaged in the shipping process. Be sure you have the correct materials and follow this blog step by step. If you do all that, you should be good to go!

We’d love to do some more tutorials like this one. Tell us, what are you currently struggling with as an artist? Let us know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “A step by step guide to shipping artwork

  1. Good tips. I’m mailing out an 8×8 mini album I made and I have lots of bubble wrap to surround the album. It should be ok. Your info is great foe shipping flatter art.

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