Packing (small) artwork for shipping.

I thought I’d share with you how I plan to pack my work for shipping. Maybe this will give you some ideas for you own business. if you have any tips for me, do leave them in the comments.

As a starting creative entrepreneur, this is something that I think is very important. Having this system sorted out might help me later to save time.

I’ll be sending some drawing to people soon to see how that all works out.

As an artist who ships mostly original work, I want to have my work 100% protected while still looking nice. At the moment, I only have two sizes available; A4 and A6.

This is my how-to guide on my packing materials and how I packed them.

Packing artwork for shipping

Materials A4

  • Thick cardboard
  • Cellophane bags
  • Big envelopes
  • Colored tissue paper
  • Tape

Materials A6

  • Small cellophane bags
  • Tape
  • Envelopes

I have bought all my packing material in bulk so I would cost me less. Fortunately, I found a dutch site that offers small bulk amounts so I got 50 from each. I highly recommend really looking into this because It can save you a lot of money.

creative entrepreneur packing material

In total, this might have cost me around 30 euros to send off more than 100 works so I think that that is great. If business really gets rolling I can always buy in bigger bulk amounts which will make it even cheaper.


Steps A4

I would say that these are the most difficult. I’m not thinking about bigger formats yet since the shipping is very expensive but also because te risk of damage gets bigger.

What I plan to do with my A4 drawing is first to put them in a cellophane bag and add the thick piece of cardboard. The ones I ordered are 0,8 mm and A4.

cardboard against damage

packing the drawings

I then stick the bag shut and add extra tape so the cardboard and the drawing can’t move.

I then like to add tissue paper for a little extra padding but also colour. I’m also thinking of creating handmade thank you cards and maybe printing some business cards.

After I stick everything shut I just put it in the big envelopes. I hope that this way I can both protect my artwork and create a cute little package to open.

package ready to send

Steps A6

The cards are a little less exciting. I would love to keep these as light as possible so I can lower the shipping price. Since my cards are mostly watercolour cards, the paper that I’ve painted them on is far thicker than the normal drawing paper.

(240gr vs 120 gr)

Since they are less thin and thus less bendable and smaller, I don’t use cardboard for these. I did buy cellophane bags that fit some cards and some envelopes so I can send out cards in sets and include envelopes.

I personally think they look wonderful in their clear bags and I can’t wait to hear other peoples opinion. Of course, I want to include handmade thank you notes in these too since I think that is such a cute idea.

packing cards

Other ideas I have;

  • Adding my logo to the back of the cardboard or making a custom logo or sticker for that.
  • Tying the package with tissue paper and ribbons.
  • Adding a sticker or logo to the envelopes.

Other ideas I’m toying with are clear tape vs washi tape. I was originally planning on clear tape, but when I made the photos for this post the washi tape was the only one at hand.

It turned out super nicely. So I think that if I bought tape that fitted into my brand that that could be a very cute accent. Do let me know what you think about this! I would love to hear.

washi tape decoration

Overall I just want my drawing to arrive safely. I looked into a lot of options and I thought these were the nice. I really hope that the cardboard will keep de drawing from bending and sticking the cellophane bags to fit will hopefully prevent bended corners and such. 

I also found two handy Youtube clips for packing small work and large work.  I personally think her work is beautiful and these two really helped me when I wanted to know how I could best pack my work.


This was something that I did not really could find a lot about when I was searching around. I might not have searched hard enough, but I thought it could hurt to really include this kind of thing. It is all part of the journey. 

Let me know if you have any packing ideas or what delights you the most about a package.

 

4 Responses to “Packing (small) artwork for shipping.

  • It sounds to me like you’re doing a good job. I have watched some Etsy videos on this (maybe that’s what you’re links are-haven’t checked them) I did learn that one should never use packing ‘peanuts’ for large pieces cause the bulk will shift around in shipping. You may want some FRAGILE red stickers for posting…just thots :^)

    • Those fragile stickers would be a great idea. I’ll check if they sell those around here. And I will stay away from packing peanuts then! 🙂
      I haven’t watched the Etsy video’s, but now that you mentioned them I will check them out. I think Esty has great resources​!
      Thank you so much for sharing these with me!

  • The clear cellophane bags are beautiful, I love to use them too! I recommend using a nice thick rigid A4 size mailer for 8×10 inch or A4 size prints or artwork sent by post (something like this: http://www.quickbrownbox.com.au/mailers/consumer-mailers/mailer-a4 ). The side flaps fold over to protect all the edges of the artwork. This will give the best protection from bending or having the corners damaged as parcels may not be handled softly despite fragile stickers. (Some prints I have bought in the past have been packaged in thin envelopes and they have arrived from overseas very bent and damaged so it’s very disheartening.) I also find it’s good to get honest feedback from your buyers about whether the item arrived safe and sound, so you can have confidence in your packaging methods.
    I love your ideas of making the packaging look more beautiful with tape & ribbons – this makes it a lovely experience for the buyer. Best Wishes for your shop & future packages! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the tips! I will definitely see if I can get those kind of envelops over here as well. I wouldn’t want to take the risk.
      I’ll try to get the feedback too! I do think that is very important. I’m glad you like the idea for tape and ribbon 🙂
      Thank you for this lovely comment. It has taught me a lot 🙂

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