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How to Package Your Artwork & Prints Safely for Moving

by Eric Von Lehmden | July 10, 2014

package your artwork

Has anyone ever said, "I love moving…it’s so much fun?" If you have I would love to meet them. Moving might be the most stressful event in a family’s life. Trying to make sure all your stuff is safe, protected, packed and will make it to it’s final destination in one piece. One thing people ask us on occasion is how they should pack their artwork when they are moving to make sure it stays safe on the trip. This could be a framed photo with glass or a stretched canvas print. Art and family photos are important and need special attention when packing. Here is how to package your artwork and prints safely when you are moving.

Packaging is key

Here are some items you will probably need when getting your artwork ready to move:

  • Bubble Wrap - it’s fun to pop, but it will save your art from destruction
  • Foam Wrap
  • Blankets
  • Packaging Tape
  • Painters Tape
  • Cardboard & Cardboard Scraps

For any large framed prints or photos with glass (11x14 and larger) we recommend wrapping in bubble wrap. The last thing you want to deal with when you are unpacking is broken glass. Wrap each framed piece with bubble wrap and tape it down with packaging tape.

Foam wrap is good too for framed pieces, but I don’t think they give you the same protection as bubble wrap.

Take cardboard and cut it down to the size of the frame or canvas. Then use the painter’s tape to tape the cardboard to the front of your framed art or canvas print. Do this before you wrap your artwork in any bubble wrap or blankets. This will give some protection to anything piercing the artwork or denting the canvas.

Use the cardboard scraps to reenforce the corners of your artwork. The corners are always voted "most likely to get dinged" causing scratches and damage to your artwork. You might have to do a little origami work to shape the cardboard scraps onto the corners, but it is well worth the extra effort to keep the artwork "ding" free.

Blankets are a great protection for canvas prints and a final protection device for framed prints. Just wrap up your artwork like a present and use the packing tape to make sure it is secure. Don’t scimp on the tape. Make sure the blanket won’t fall off the artwork or leave a piece exposed.

Transporting Your Artwork

When the time comes to move the artwork into the moving truck make sure that each piece is stored upright…not laying on its back or face. Most moving companies should know this, but just to make sure we are clear. On a long trip (even on a short one) it is always better to pack the artwork so it is upright.

When you are moving several pieces you should have them organized face to face / back to back. If you have them wrapped up it shouldn’t matter too much, but it is always good practice. That basically means that you are alternating the artwork to face front and back so that fronts are facing each other and backs are facing each other. This is especially true in unpacked artwork that is stacked against a wall. It ensures that the hanging hardware on the backs of artwork won’t do any damage to the front of another piece of artwork.

One last tip for transporting your artwork. Artwork should go on last. Especially on a moving truck. When you have furniture and other large items on a moving truck that could move around during transport the last thing you want to do is have your artwork in danger of getting crushed by large pieces of furniture. Have your artwork loaded last so that it can either ride above the rest of the furniture and cargo.

If you have any other question about moving your artwork, framed photos or canvas prints give us a shout.

This article is written for Canvas Press. To find out more about Canvas Press’ products visit www.canvaspress.com.

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