Packaging Information

A Guide to Best Practice

This Artmakers’ information sheet looks at the best way to pack and send your artwork to buyers.  It is not definitive and companies listed at the end are only a  sample of those available.

When sending lower value prints

For lower value prints a 2mm thick mailing tube can be used. The tube needs to be a couple of inches longer than the print, so as not to damage the print edges. Always make sure the print doesn’t end up too tightly rolled due to a narrow tube.

It is worth using acid-free tissue/archival paper on both sides of the print, so when rolled, both sides are protected. Make one side of the tissue/archival paper larger than the print so that you can fold it over the edges of the print and stick it down with a small piece of Sellotape or eco tape.

Once the print has been protected by tissue/archival paper, gently roll up just slightly smaller than the tube diameter. Insert the rolled print carefully, If you find that there is space left at the top of the tube you could create a buffer by adding more tissue/archival paper.

Add the top cap on and make sure this is secured as well as the bottom cap.

Attach delivery address securely, adding a layer of film or Sellotape over the address to protect it.

When sending canvas and framed works

It can feel daunting to send original pieces of work, however, as long as you have good packaging, delivery service which covers artwork and/or delivery insurance, this is most definitely possible.

Firstly, you need to find a box that your artwork can fit in with room for protective packaging.

The corners of the artwork are vulnerable to damage, you can buy foam, cardboard or plastic corners to attach to the artwork before wrapping.

It is good to wrap the work in acid-free tissue paper and then plastic film to protect further against moisture. If your climate-conscious and don’t want to use plastic, there are eco variations, such as Sugar cane biofilm.

After this, wrap the artwork in at least 2 layers of bubble wrap. There is such a thing as biodegradable bubble wrap, and also paper bubble wrap, however, I haven’t used this paper version before so am unsure of its effectiveness.

Secure the bubble wrap with, parcel tape, Sellotape, or eco tape.

Extra foam layers can be added so that the artwork fits snug in the box, you don’t want any movement.

Fragile stickers on the box are also recommended.

If you have a particularly valuable, large, or fragile piece of artwork, a custom-made crate is a good idea, information on crate packaging is also included in this PDF.
Attach delivery address securely, adding a layer of film or Sellotape over the address to protect it.

High value artworks on paper

You want to send high-valued pieces flat packed, not rolled. Rolling is acceptable for lower value prints, but not when it is concerning expensive or original works.

You want to wrap the artwork in acid-free archival paper. Making one side of the paper larger so that you can fold over and tape with a small piece of eco tape or easily removable tape such as masking tape, or scotch tape.

You can protect the corners by folding extra paper over each corner and taping carefully to the base layer of paper.

Plastic film can also be used to cover and protect the work against moisture. Eco versions are available, such as sugar cane film.

Place two or more pieces of firm cardboard on either side of the work and tape together securely.

Wrap this in a thick layer of bubble wrap. You can either put this in a box or add a layer of corrugated cardboard to the outside of the bubble wrap to create an outer cover. Make sure there are no gaps, and the box or cardboard is taped and secured well.

Attach delivery address securely, adding a layer of film or Sellotape over the address to protect it.

Sending Ceramics and glass

There are a few different ways of packaging ceramic and glass.

One method is to wrap work in several layers of bubble wrap and then place it in a box and then pad the outside of the box with air pockets or foam or packaging wool and then put this inside of another box and fill with extra padding, making sure the work is secure and not moving around in either box.

For small pieces, there are foam-lined boxes available as well as foam packaging bags that can wrap around the shape of a piece of work and then be placed and secured in a box.

When it comes to box fillings and void packaging these are just a few of what you can use:

Air pockets, Cardboard matting, wood wool, foam bags, biodegradable loose fill chips.

TBH no one likes receiving polystyrene balls or loose-fill polystyrene chips, so unless you are reusing them from a previous packet, we would not recommend them as there are plenty of alternatives.

Fragile stickers added to the parcel are a wise idea.

Attach delivery address securely, adding a layer of film or Sellotape over the address to protect it.

Large and 3D artwork

A crate will need to be used for large artworks. You can make your own, buy a pre-made crate, or have them custom-made. A quick google search brings up custom-made crates. has been recommended via another art site.

Firstly, wrap the piece in acid-free archival paper, however, you can skip this stage if you don’t think the surface can be damaged, rubbed away by the bubble wrapping and movement caused by transit. To keep the paper in place you can wrap it with a plastic or eco-friendly film. 

Secondly, wrap the piece in bubble wrap securing with parcel or eco tape.

If the piece is very larger you can wrap it in sections, just make sure the joins are secured together well so no gaps appear during transit.

Make sure that there are atleast3 -4 inches of bubble wrap/padding around the piece.

Place at least 3-4 pieces of bubble wrap in the bottom of the crate. And then fill with a void packaging, such as shredded or scrunched paper, Styrofoam, or eco pellets.

Make a well in the void packaging and place the piece inside and then fill up the rest of the crate. Make sure this is packed in tight with no gaps.

Seal the wooden crate with screws so that the recipient can open it easily, do not use nails or glue. How many screws will depend on the size of the crate. When the lid of the crate is well screwed shut, write on it in big bold letters and permanent marker ‘UNSCREW THIS PANEL ONLY’.

You can add fragile stickers and also a ‘This side up’ lables. If these stickers are not plastic-coated, it is worth covering them with Sellotape.

Attach delivery address securely, adding a layer of film or Sellotape over the address to protect it.

Some websites to look for packaging and who recommends them.– Packaging materials – also has eco options – Recommended by an artist. – Packaging materials – also has eco options – used by a gallery.  Custom crate business – Found in an online How to guide. Small packaging needs as well as eco tape – search engine.

NOTE: This list is only provided by ArtMakers for your convenience. Artmakers. is not liable for any of these suppliers and has no links, or commercial connections, with any of them.

I hope you have found this useful find more information on the Artmakers Support page under ‘Knowledge base‘.





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