Art by Aimee Cozza
Art and photo by Aimee Cozza.

Are you an artist or perhaps just an art collector? Do you have a lot of pieces of artwork or framed good hanging around your house, and it’s time to move? Moving with art and other framed items doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you know what you’re doing, making sure all of your art gets there in one piece and undamaged is a breeze.

Framed Works
Included in this are glass paned and plastic paned items. Mirrors with frames can also be included in this as well.

  • Be careful of corners. The portions of the framed pieces that can be damaged most easily while moving with art is the corners. Make sure to pad the corners with bubble wrap or corner protectors and secure them with tape or plastic wrap.
  • Protect your work of art with a plastic bag first to ensure it doesn’t get damp or rained on.
  • Sandwich your artwork with cardboard, insulating foam, wood, or anything else that you don’t mind getting damaged during transit. Secure it with tape or plastic wrap and make sure it’s nice and snug.
  • For added protection, slide the whole thing inside a box. Make sure it doesn’t rattle around inside the box by securing it with crumpled up newspaper, packing peanuts, other items, or bubble wrap.

Did you break the panel of glass on your piece of artwork? Don’t worry. Many hardware stores such as The Home Depot sell replacement glass panes or even PlexiGlas panes you can simply replace the glass with. Art supply stores often sell these panels, too, and may have more elusive sizes.

Unframed Works
These include items such as posters, fliers, and others. Your best bet for moving items that are not inside a frame is to purchase a shipping tube that will fit the item, and carefully roll your items up, put them in the tube, and bring them with you. You can purchase cheaper cardboard shipping tubes at any shipping store, or you can also purchase plastic shipping tubes at art stores, if you plan on storing for a little longer or you want to make sure your art doesn’t get damaged while moving or wet.

The big thing with canvas is trying to make sure that you don’t puncture the canvas. If you do puncture it, it can be a whole different process to repair the item, but we’ll go in to that later.

  • Bubble wrap! Make sure you wrap your canvas tight and secure in bubble wrap. If you really value your canvas artwork, make sure you place it snug in a box, too, so it doesn’t jostle around a lot. Use lots of packing tape or even pallet wrap to make sure everything is snug, especially on corners that can ding or scratch.
  • Don’t stack anything inside the back of the canvas or artwork. If you have to store the canvas, lay it face down. If you must stack items on top of it, make sure the item is larger than the wooden frame on the canvas, that way you are placing pressure on the whole canvas rather than the delicate fabric.
  • Sandwich your work with cardboard, insulating foam, wood, or anything else that you don’t mind getting damaged during transit. Secure it with tape or plastic wrap and make sure it’s nice and snug.
  • Here’s a wonderful additional detailed tutorial on how to wrap and ship canvas items: How to Ship a Painting

Oops! Did you tear your canvas item while moving? Don’t worry. It can definitely be repaired. Here’s a great tutorial on how to repair ripped or torn canvas.

Do you have any additional tips you learned while moving? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 thoughts on “How to Move and Ship Artwork”

  1. A shipping tube that will fit the artwork is a great way to mail your unframed works. Properly rolling your picture around it could help protect it and ensure that it safely gets to its destination. I would imagine that you could check with different companies that sell shipping tubes in order to see how effective their product is in protecting artwork during mailing.

  2. I like the idea of using shipping tubes to place unframed work such as posters and fliers without being folded, crumpled, or damaged while in transit. I asked my brother to help me create a flier and poster for some marketing campaign in the office. He’s currently out of town and I’ve been thinking of ways for him to ship the sample fliers and posters for approval. Shipping tubes, in this case will make a perfect fit to send them to me without the risk of getting damaged.

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