The Practical Considerations of Packaging ArtDec 10, 2021
By Leigh Penner
The Practical Considerations of Packaging Art
So, you've decided to gift your art this Christmas. The people you love adore your artwork, and you want to bring them joy. Now all that remains is matching the right person with the right painting. You've considered which subject, color, and size of work to give. You've decided between gifting prints or originals, and you've figured out whether you want to create new works or to choose from your existing inventory. Now, let's talk practicalities.
Gifting your art has the potential advantage of being budget-friendly and the undisputable advantage of being the most personal gift possible. It also brings the complication of how best to wrap, package, and ship your gift.
The first thing to know about shipping art is that it is not inexpensive. This is one place where size makes a large difference to cost. The second thing to know is how best to protect your art during transport.
1. You Need to Make Sure Your Art is Completely Dry Before Packaging. If the paint is not fully set, your work can smear, or stick to the packing materials.
2. Make sure that any paper that covers the artwork is acid-free. This will keep the paint from being damaged. Some options are tissue paper, glassine, or kraft paper. Do not let cardboard touch your art directly, as it is not acid-free and might damage the art.
3. Make sure that the corners of your art are protected as they can scuff during shipping. Likewise, make certain there is enough packing material in your shipping box to keep your art immobile. A good choice is bubble wrap.
4. Don't ship glass with your art. If there is glass in your frame, remove it before shipping. You don't want to risk having it break and puncture the artwork.
5. Place your art inside the cardboard mailing box, and use plenty of packing tape on the outside of the box. Any seams on the box could potentially allow moisture to damage the art.
**Packaging and shipping can be expensive. To minimize shipping costs, our mentors recommend saving all packaging materials and making your own recycled boxes. As well, for those who can, they recommend using the U.S. postal service as a shipping provider rather than UPS, as the cost is significantly lower.
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