How To Package Your Art For Shipping
You’ve sweated for days, sometimes weeks, or even months for that matter, finishing your commissioned artwork, and now the time has come to ship. Although the courier companies would love for us to believe that our cherished piece of art will be picked up, placed in a fluffy, padded suitcase, and securely locked and handcuffed to a delivery driver for him to personally hand deliver it to the recipient, I’m not too sure that’s the case! Having witnessed the sheer amount of packages that get transported from one place to another, all over the globe, on a daily basis, I know just how easy it is for items to become damaged during transit. So I think its absolutely necessary to wrap your packages with the best materials you can find to prevent this from happening.
If I’m sending a package ranging from size A6 to A3, I will firstly wrap the artwork in archival acid free tissue paper, and then place into a clear plastic self sealing sleeve. I will also place my thank you card and any other paraphernalia that I want to send in the sleeve also. I then slide the sleeve into a thick 300 gsm envelope. Sometimes I will tie a ribbon around the envelope and make a bow, depending on how much I weighed that morning and what mood I'm in (I’m trying to shift a few pounds). Following this, I’ll place the envelope between two thin 3mm MDF panels cut to size (you can buy them pre cut on amazon). It’s a good idea to duck tape the MDF panels together at this point to alleviate movement, and maybe place 5mm sticky spacer pads at each corner if you have anything inside thats thicker than your paper. I personally use a wax seal and miniature flowers to close my envelopes so the spacers avoid damaging the seal or flattening all the little roses (It felt weird typing that… I’m a bloke). The MDF panels are perfect for deflecting any poles, or sharp objects that want to put a hole in your hard work.
Once this is all securely wrapped it all goes into a large, thick, manilla rigid mailer envelope. These are 350 gsm thick and will hold just about anything. I’ll print out the address label and slap on a ‘Please Do Not Bend’ sticker, while having a cheeky smile to myself thinking, you’ve got no hope of bending that, and pop down to the post office.
For drawings that are larger than A3, I will use a postal tube. You can find plastic tubes which will offer much better protection but they can be quite expensive. I use the cardboard tubes and roll a sheet of archival acid free tissue paper inside the rolled commission.