How can I package my artwork to avoid damages during delivery?
How can I package my artwork to avoid damages during delivery?
Please note that you are entirely responsible for packing your artworks properly to avoid any breakage or damage during transport. This packing guide will only serve as a reference and a reminder to pack your artworks as safely and as professionally as possible.
The materials used can be found at many packaging and art supplies retailers such as ULINE, DeSerres, etc.
Please note that the cardboard box is recommended for short or medium distances. Long distance shipping will require a wood crate or cargo crate. The crate is a custom box usually made of chipboard (masonite) or plywood (depending on your budget.) Some framers, transport companies, storage companies can make crates. We suggest that you check with professionals in your area.
Package dimension: In the "Shipping dimensions" section, it is therefore strongly suggested that you add at least 4 inches to each of the dimensions of your artwork (height, depth & width) . We recommend that you always estimate the dimensions upwards to avoid delivery price revision.
Package weight: When it comes to estimating the weight of the packaging, add approximately 80 to 100% of the weight of the artwork ( for a regular canvas). As for the dimensions, make sure to estimate upwards to avoid unpleasant surprises.
*If you underestimate the dimensions or the weight of the packaging, you may be charged for the additional costs incurred.
Make sure the artwork is PERFECTLY DRY before packing it.
Work on Canvas
Here is what you will need:
Acid-free tissue paper or glassine
Roll of good quality microfoam (polypropylene)
Plastic sleeve or roll of polythene-type plastic
Good quality bubble wrap
Adhesive packing tape
Cardboard or foam corners
Rigid cardboard box or reinforced corrugated cardboard (double or triple fluted) to make a box
Wood crate or cargo crate
1. Protect the painted surface
The first step is to protect the painted surface. We strongly recommend to use acid-free tissue paper or glassine as these will not create any chemical interaction with the work which will remain perfectly intact, even if it is packed for a very long time.
You can also use polythene-type plastic or microfoam packaging. Microfoam is very interesting because it adds a cushioned thickness. If your artwork has relief, choose microfoam to protect its texture.
How to do it: Cut a large piece of paper, plastic or microfoam and lay it flat, face down. Make sure that everything is perfectly smooth and stretched out so no creases are left on the surface of your artwork. Fold over the excess behind the artwork, close as if you were wrapping a gift, and seal the openings with adhesive packing tape.
Note: Never substitute packing tape for other tape (e.g., duct tape, masking tape). Other tapes will not be as strong and will give a much less professional appearance. Never use tape on the surface of the artwork. Instead, make sure to seal everything up on the back of the package.
It is important to protect your artwork from water, humidity and temperature variations. Therefore, the second step consists of wrapping the artwork in a plastic sleeve or a large piece of polythene.
How to do it: Cut a large piece of polythene and lay the artwork flat on it. Fold over the excess and seal all folds and openings perfectly with tape. In the case of a plastic sleeve, insert the artwork in it and, once again, seal all openings.
3. Protect the corners
The corners of the canvas are the areas most at risk of damage, especially from rubbing or falling. Protect them with cardboard or foam corners. Foam corners designed for paintings are much more expensive and difficult to obtain. Cardboard is a good option for unframed work. If your work is framed, choose reinforced cardboard corners or foam corners.
How to do it: Cardboard corners found at retailers selling packaging supplies have folding options to accommodate different painting thicknesses. Press the piece of cardboard against the corner of the painting, fold the edges over and tape them securely to the back of the painting.
4. Protect from impact
The next step is to protect your artwork from bumps and falls with bubble wrap. There are many types of bubble wrap available. Choose a good quality product. The bubbles should not burst too easily since once they are burst, they offer no protection. Don’t hesitate to add several layers if you deem it necessary.
How to do it: Place the artwork face down on the bubble wrap, bubbles facing in, fold the excess over the back of the artwork, then secure with packing tape. If you didn’t wrap the artwork in polythene or a plastic sleeve, be sure to seal all openings and flaps with tape to protect it from water and moisture.
Note: Each layer of packaging should be smooth and tight, but not too tight as this can create tension that could damage the artwork.
Note: Bubbles can leave marks on the painting’s surface, hence the importance of step 1. In the unadvised case that you must skip step 1, wrap the work with the bubbles facing outward, not inward.
5. Prepare the artwork for transport
The well-packed artwork can now be placed in a cardboard box or you can custom-make a box with reinforced corrugated cardboard.
Additional protection: Before placing the artwork in the box, include additional protection by adding cardboard or foam boards. To do this, place the artwork on a piece of cardboard (or a foam board) of the same size or larger than the artwork, then add a second piece of cardboard (or a foam board) of equal size to the back of the artwork (like a sandwich). Tape the cardboard pieces (or foam boards) together. Don't pull the tape too tight: you don't want to create tension or pressure on the artwork.
How to do it: If you use a prefabricated box, choose a size that is as close as possible to the size of your artwork once it is packed so that it fits securely inside the box. The content must not be too tight or move around because of excess room. Securely wedge the artwork into the box by filling in the empty spaces with bubble wrap. It shouldn’t move nor rub the edges of the box. Avoid using Styrofoam peanuts or salvaged materials such as old newspapers or plastic bags, as these can crush or pile up and will not effectively protect the artwork. These options will also leave a bad impression on the customer.
For a perfect fit, it is suggested that a custom box be made using heavy duty cardboard such as double or triple corrugated cardboard. A custom box will prevent the artwork from shifting as it would in an oversized box.
How to do it: Start by placing the artwork on the cardboard and outlining it with a pencil, leaving a little space to allow the cardboard to bend and to ensure that the artwork is not too tightly packed in the box. Use a ruler to make straight lines and right angles. Next, measure the thickness of the packaged artwork and draw a second rectangle (or square) around the first. Again, add a little space to avoid a box that is too small.
Using a ruler and an X-ACTO, score only the first layer of cardboard which will allow it to be easily folded in a straight line. Cut the cardboard at the corners to create flaps, fold the flaps and the corners and tape them securely.
Cut along the solid lines and fold along the dotted lines.
You have created the bottom of the box. Repeat the steps, but this time using the bottom you just made as the unit of measurement to create the lid.
Place the artwork in the box and tape everything very securely.
*Instead of making a bottom and a lid you can also make the box from a single piece of cardboard according to this pattern:
ADDITIONAL PROTECTION: Please note that the cardboard box is recommended for short or medium distances. Long distance shipping will require a wood crate or cargo crate. The crate is a custom box usually made of chipboard (masonite) or plywood (depending on your budget.) Some framers, transport companies, storage companies can make crates. We suggest that you check with professionals in your area.
6. Indications, stickers
Before closing the box, please include, if applicable:
The official invoice to be given to the customer
The certificate of authenticity (optional)
A personalized note to the buyer (although not required, this personal touch can enhance your package and optimize the customer experience)
When the box is closed:
Stick the shipping label to the front of the box.
Stick on the Arto Galleria logo sticker.
Artworks should always travel vertically. Therefore, write on the package '' Do not lay flat ''. Also, draw an arrow pointing upwards with a permanent black marker or put on stickers that mean " This side up " to indicate the direction in which the box must be handled.
Write “ FRAGILE ” in large letters on each side of the box or apply " Fragile " stickers.
Artwork With a Frame
The packing steps for framed artworks are the same as described above. However, it is suggested to use foam corners, add a layer of bubble wrap and add a cardboard backing as described in the “ Additional protection ” section of step 5.
Artwork With a Frame and a Glass
If the glass can be removed from the frame, do so. To wrap it separately, place several diagonal strips of masking tape on the glass: form at least a large X on the glass with the tape. This will hold the pieces in place if the glass breaks.
Place the glass between two foam boards. You can replace the foam board with reinforced cardboard and bubble wrap. If the glass does not come off, place strips of masking tape as described above.
Wrap the artwork following the previous steps. If the frames are fragile, for step 3, it is better to use foam corners. We strongly suggest that you add a piece of cardboard on each side and an extra layer of bubble wrap for extra protection against shocks.
Secure the artwork and the wrapped glass in the box. Make a separation between the artwork and the glass with a cardboard of about the same width as the box. Secure everything with bubble wrap.
Artwork Rolled Up in a Tube
Place the artwork face down on a piece of tissue paper, of glassine or of microfoam (polypropylene). Place a second sheet on the back.
Wrap the artwork delicately around a first smaller tube. The illustrated side should be facing outwards. Do not wrap too tightly as this could damage the artwork.
Wrap with bubble wrap and seal all openings with tape.
Place the roll in the larger tube and fill in the gaps with bubble wrap. The artwork should be securely fixed in the tube.
Artwork on Paper or Unframed Photograph
Wrap the artwork in acid-free tissue paper by placing it face down on the paper. Make several layers and fix with tape on the tissue paper, never directly on the artwork.
Place the wrapped artwork on a cardboard slightly larger than the artwork and place a second cardboard of the same size on the back (in a sandwich). Secure with packing tape.
Wrap everything in bubble wrap, bubbles facing inwards.
Slide everything into a mailing envelope of the right size.
Stick the shipping labels and write “DO NOT FOLD” on the envelope.
Sculptures can vary greatly in shape, weight, delicacy of materials, fragility, etc. Therefore, it is impossible to create a universal packing guide. Here is a basic guide that may apply to your sculptures. It is your responsibility to determine if the instructions below may be appropriate for your artworks. In case of doubt, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is what you will need:
Good quality bubble wrap
Shredded paper or other cushioning material (dunnage)
Rigid cardboard box or wooden crate
Wrap the sculpture in several layers of bubble wrap and secure it with packing tape. Pay special attention to fragile parts and protruding elements. Before adding the bubble wrap, it may be necessary to create "nests" of shredded paper all around these elements to form a cushion. This will allow you to pack well without putting pressure or strain on the element. Keep in mind that wrapping too tightly or creating a pressure on a part of the artwork could break it. Secure all bubble wrap flaps and seal openings with tape to protect the sculpture from water and moisture.
In a very sturdy box or wooden crate, place a good layer of cushioning material on the bottom, ideally bubble wrap and shredded paper.
Place the artwork in the box and fill the box with dunnage. There should be no empty space left and the artwork should be perfectly immobilized. You can use bubble wrap for large spaces and to create cushioning. Finish filling up the box by adding the shredded paper to fit the shape of the sculpture.
Updated on: 01/07/2021