Thursday, November 24, 2011

How to Send an Artwork Gift

With Christmas fast approaching you may be thinking about making a personalised gift and sending it. If you decide to send some artwork you will need to package it fairly well so that it will arrive in good condition. This is even more important for a present.

If the artwork is painted onto paper or canvas panel it will be the more suitable for sending. Stretched canvases need a lot more packaging.

However if you are sending paper, canvas panel or even a picture with a mount the easiest way is to use a board backed envelope.

Board Backed Envelopes

These come in a range of sizes. My local newspaper shop sells them singly so I can buy just one.

Ideally you want the size of the envelope to be about one inch longer and one inch wider than your artwork. If it is too large the picture tends to move about too much and can be damaged.

A board backed envelope can be cut down to size and the cut edges sealed with tape, parcel tape works well for this.

There are different qualities of board backed envelopes. If the one you buy seems too thin and flexes a lot you can strength it with another piece of thin card. I find that a cereal box can be a good size and thickness for this.

Cut the cereal box to the size of the envelope and slide it in to make sure it fits well.

It is a good idea to put the picture into a plastic bag to keep it dry – just in case!

Put a piece of spare paper, then the picture (in its plastic bag), and then another piece of card in a stack. Next slide this stack into the envelope with the good side of the picture facing the board part of the envelope.


Place the artwork so that it is facing the board of the envelope, so the extra piece of card to the back of the picture. This ensures that if the rear of the envelope is written on it will not mark the painting.

No board backed envelope?

If you cannot get a board backed envelope you can use a large envelope and make up a sandwich of packing to protect your artwork.

In this case you need to have two pieces of strong card both slightly larger than the picture. The cardboard needs to be about one inch longer and one inch wider than the picture.

Place your artwork into a plastic bag to keep it dry and then sandwich the picture between the cardboard layers. Tape the two cardboard layers together to keep the artwork flat.

This can be placed into a normal large envelope for sending.


Check that the cardboard is both strong and not too heavy. If it is heavy it will really increase the price of sending the packet.

Mark the outside of the envelope as “Fragile Please Do Not Bend” in large letters, on the front and on the back too.