Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shipping Art Secrets

I thought I would share my shipping process with you today.  I would love feedback and suggestions if you have them.  I have bought some original art and it has come in all sorts of ways to me in the mail, it seems that packaging and shipping is just as individual as painting styles, so just wanted to share my process.

I always mount my works, which are on paper, on to a piece of acid free foam core leaving 1" around the painting.  I use acid free photo mounting corners to secure the picture to the foam core.
I sandwich the painting with another piece of acid free foam core on top.  On the outside of the foam core sandwich I mount my certificate of authenticity with mounting corners.
This is my fun, new toy, an embosser.  I emboss my certificate and envelopes for thank you cards, etc.  I got it from Three Designing Women.
Here is my painting, foam core sandwich.  I secure the sides with tape to ensure it all stays in place.
Wrap the whole thing in bubble pack.  I also place the whole package in a cellophane bag.  You can buy them here.
Wrap the whole thing up and make it pretty:)  A little ribbon and my business card. I put the whole thing in  a plastic bag after hearing some horror stories.  I've heard about paintings being impaled during shipping also having liquid things spilled onto them.  I also always put my paintings in a box for additional support.
Include a Thank You card and other postcards.
Artists Bio and additional postcards of my art.  I also include business cards. All made at Vista Print and extremely economical to have printed.

My mailing supply tub.  This makes my life so much easier.  I just grab my tub and everything I need is in it.  I went to Big Lots and stocked up on scissors, tape, envelopes, etc.
My wrapping accessory tub.  I have ribbon, tissue paper, etc in this tub. 
My ATG gun.  This is something if you don't have it you need to add it to your wish list pronto.  I discovered ATG guns while working at my Mom's frame shop.  They are a double sided tape gun used to adhere the paper onto the backs of frames, but they have so many more functions.  I use mine for wrapping gifts, framing, adhering cards and ribbons to my packages.  It's like having a glue gun, so useful!!!  I also have a huge roll of brown craft paper, another must have.  Great for the back of pictures, wrapping gifts, letting the kids draw on, so worth it!!  You can buy this here.  


  1. Great post, Carrie! Thanks for sharing the process. I do something similar but I wasn't including the top piece of foam board - but it makes sense! Your packages are beautiful! I love your choice in wrapping.

  2. This was so informative! I'm going to save it for future reference, if you don't mind. I'm glad you thought to share this step in the process of selling one's artwork! (not that I am selling at the moment, but you never know...) I also like the interview with Dottie above, especially when she says to trust in your own style of artwork and not try to be like others! She is going to be a very successful artist, just like you! I can see it in just these few pieces!

  3. I think it is so lovely to put so much care in to the packaging. It's the first impression after all. Your parcels look elegant and classy - Perfect! :0)

  4. Carrie, thank you, thank you for the helpful post about mailing paintings. Your packages are very professional yet personal. I'd love to get one of your packages!! Loved the interview! Dottie sounds like a creative, full-of-life person, and she certainly will have a successful career!

  5. This is extremely helpful. May I ask where you get your photo corners?

    I admire that you make your packaging look very professional -- mine is much less fancy in comparison. I would love to do it better but it does take a lot of time and resources. However, there are bits and pieces from this tutorial I'd like to pick up -- like the brown wrapping paper, which is not expensive at all. I do need to learn about wrapping though -- I am extremely bad at it.

    My question would be with all the materials and all how much you charge for shipping? I charge for $10 domestically and find it barely cover all the mat, foam, tapes, clear bag, shipping cost, DPW commissions and Paypal Fees, and it seems unreasonable to raise the shipping charge even higher for artwork that costs less than $100. I feel caught in the middle and would love to hear your input on that... Thanks a lot!

  6. When my painting came it was SOOOOO lovingly packaged and it looked beautiful. It felt like I had just gotten the best gift ever. :))

  7. Wow, thank you! So helpful if I ever ship a watercolor.

  8. That's a great way to secure your painting! It's never easy to ship such delicate art pieces, knowing that even the slightest damage can already decrease its value. It's also a good idea to pack it yourself; personal touch makes clients feel important. Good job, Carrie!

    -Renea Luong @ Legacy TSI