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Saturday, March 26, 2016

How to Ship an Unframed Pastel Painting

'Sunny Days'        6x6  inches         pastel           ©Karen Margulis
available for 40% discount
It is a great question and one I get all of the time....How do I ship my pastel paintings. I decided that it was time to bring an article about shipping out of the archives and present it again. I hope you find it helpful. Be sure to scroll down to the end for a special treat!

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I've got my shipping down to a science. I have packaging and shipping unframed pastels down to a science.  I have shipped hundreds of pastel paintings to their new homes. And the method I use has not failed me. My paintings arrive safe and sound. I only ship unframed paintings. If I ship a framed piece to a show I use an airfloat box. So what is my shipping method? I make a foamcore sandwich! Here's how I do it:
A painting all ready to ship safely wrapped in it's foamcore sandwich
  • Cut the foamcore so that it is a few inches larger than the painting. I use a utility knife. I cut a double wide piece, score it in the middle so that it can fold shut.
  • Tape painting inside the foamcore using white artist tape. I hinge the tape. See my post on hinging tape here.
  • Cut a piece of glassine paper slightly larger than the painting and tape it down to cover the painting. I usually only tape two sides so the glassine can be lifted to view the painting. I get my glassine on rolls and cut it to fit. A roll lasts me a long time.
  • Close the cover of the foamcore sandwich and tape shut. I have printed a label with instructions that I put on the foamcore (see below)
  • I slip my foamcore sandwich into a clearbag that has a self adhesive strip. I include some business cards, a bio, pastel care information and a thank you card.
  • I have just started to wrap the whole package in nice gift wrap with a handmade card.

The finished package with my information and business cards

The painting is all wrapped and ready to ship

The painting is now ready to be slipped into a padded envelope or Priority Mail box depending on it's size. If it is over 8x10 then I have to make my own box from a couple of Priority Mail boxes. I save my Dakota and Blick paper order boxes for shipping large paintings. I use USPS for all of my shipping and after shipping hundreds of paintings I have never had a problem (knocking on wood here!)

And now for the treat!  I have decided to offer a Spring Savings of 40% on all paintings in my Etsy store. It is time to make for the paintings I will be doing on my upcoming trips! Visit my Etsy shop to see what's available. I have paintings in all sizes. Use coupon code SPRING40 at checkout for the 40% savings.


Unknown said...

I don't ship pastels, but find there is always something to be learned about shipping art. I found your article to be a great artist's share, so thanks! I love the packaging and quote, by the way. -Jamie

robertsloan2art said...

Oh, this is beautiful! I package mine a little simpler - yours is a classy version of my shipping with some great little extras that I'll see about using when I get back to selling again. VERY cool stuff! The gift wrap is a neat idea too and makes it easy for the buyer to give one of your paintings as a gift.

The core of it is glassine or tracing paper cover and two protective cover boards. I have sometimes used mat board instead of foam core, especially when I had a whole pile of Basic Crescent mat boards and decided to switch to good rag mats for actual art matting. I used them up as packing material for paintings between 5 x 7" and 9 x 12" and just like you, I never lost one. If they weren't white, I attached the painting on the white side.

Beautiful idea using Blick paper boxes for large paintings. They include an extra sheet or two of corrugated cardboard (also useful for a board to cut mats on) and a big bag over the paper, so it'd be easy to ship a big painting reusing that big bag too and taping it shut.

I learned this by trial and error and by looking at the packages from artists like Charlotte Herczfeld when I bought art. It's the best way to ship unframed pastels, and unframed is the best way to ship pastels. When I bought a framed pencil drawing from another artist, I was just glad he'd removed the glass from the frame and wrapped it separately in the package, or it would have ripped the irreplaceable master drawing that inspired my book.

I prefer to frame with styrene or acrylic glazing to reduce those problems and the weight of the framed glass. Even so, an earthquake knocked down one of my purchased small paintings once, the frame landed corner first on the floor and broke. If that had glass in it, the painting might not have survived, but it's now in a new frame and all right.

I'm not in California any more but accidents happen. I'm still all for light weight unbreakable glazing.

Unknown said...

Hi Karen,

I love your work and your videos. Thank you so much for sharing your valuable knowledge.

Question: is your foam core board acid free, and what brand, size do you typically buy?

Thank you again!