Broken painting!

I have been shipping my 6x6 and 6x8" paintings on hardboard panels for the past 5 years by wrapping them in tracing paper (it doesn’t stick) and sandwiching between 2 pieces of corrugated cardboard and mailing in the USPS flat rate padded envelopes without incident UNTIL last week. My collector sent me this photo showing the art broken right in half!!! I was worried about maybe a corner getting bent or broken, hence the cardboard. Ha! Guess I’ll be shipping in boxes from now on!

Do not give up on envelops yet.
I do not have that mach experience, but perhaps my solution will work for you. It seams to be simple enough.
I too use corrugated cardboard. For 6"x8" pictures I cut two 8"x10" pieces and 8 strips 8" long and 3/4" wide. Basically everything is cut from a 8" wide piece of cardboard. Then the strips are glued to the sides two on each side. This gives enough depth for 3mm hardboard + the whatever wrapping is necessary.

The structure makes a kind of a box. It is not going to withstand someone stepping on it, but perhaps it is a bit better than just sandwiching the picture between cardboard. At the same time the whole “box” fits into an envelop and still classes as a large letter. The total weight is about 200 grams.


Thank you Artemi, this looks more sturdy than mine, although I do think my package was stepped on. I’ll have to think if this work is worth the price of shipping a box. Thanks again.

You are welcome Andrea. I was thinking about boxes myself, but the price of posting them goes up quite a lot. As I sell my paintings quite cheaply, around 50 dollars, it does make a difference for me. I would definitely consider boxes for items around 100 dollars and above. Otherwise just take a risk.

Wow! That is amazing. That just shouldn’t happen. Someone was very careless. Probably dropped a heavy parcel on top of your package. I have been shipping the same way, but I will reconsider now. Perhaps two layers of cardboard on each side would work? Sorry this happened to you.

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Oh my goodness, that is such a sweet painting. So sorry to see that. I only ship in boxes. I worry too much, so its worth the extra expense. I buy them in bulk from U-Line or recently thru amazon which I was happy to find since it was free shipping with my Prime account. I use the Indestructo box Mailers for smaller works and the heavy weight craft boxes for the larger sizes. It works out to be less than $1 per package and I charge a shipping and handling fee to cover the cost. I also offer first class shipping with insurance for work under $100. It end up being around $4 to ship within the U.S. that way. Sometimes shipping in the envelopes ends up costing that much. Best of luck!


So sorry your beautiful painting was broken!

Bought some small corrugated boxes through Walmart. 7x9x4. Perfect for 5x7 and smaller. I weighed one on my shipping scale with all the contents, and compared its weight to that of a padded envelope with all the contents. Turned out to be about the same. I’ll be using up these boxes.

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So sorry to see this, Andrea! It’s a beautiful painting!
Boxes are not much more expensive than envelopes, but I’m not sure a little box will save the painting if someone steps on it…

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I do as Artemi does both for carrying to and from shows, shipping and storing. You are making a custom ‘box’ or a cradle for the painting without the cost of buying pre-made boxes and by doing so you are not wrapping it in a way where packaging touches the surface of the painting. It is easier than you think once you get the hang of it.

For shipping I will tape the cardboard shut and wrap it in brown paper.
If it is being shipped some distance I will wrap the cardboard cradle in a layer of thin foam first then the brown paper.
If you buy the thin foam and brown paper in rolls it is only pennies per painting.

Really too bad but yours having been broken in half is the exception and that does not happen often.

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… and the USPS has their own flat rate shipping boxes/envelopes so you always know how much it will cost. Although I don’t recommend envelopes.

Remember you are shipping original art not just some product.

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USPS does provide free boxes for flat rate shipping and priority shipping so I will no doubt be using these in the future. And they are insured up to $50; perhaps paying the extra for the full value would be wise? or maybe water money?

I’ve just checked Amazon and indeed there are nice small boxes that go as Large Letter in the UK for just £0.27. I didn’t look hard enough last time I needed to post my paintings.
On the other hand, recently I was told off by my children because I had been using a lot of babble wrap in my postage. Besides there is always a lot of spare cardboard from various items we buy online. That is why I want to reuse whatever possible and make my parcels a bit more ecologically friendly so to speak.
Anyway, I would be the happiest bunny if I had used up all my cardboard stock and needed to buy boxes. I would mean my sales were going very well indeed.


When using sheets of cardboard to protect a painting for mailing I make sure the “grain” on the two sides runs crossways to each other. It makes it more resistant to folding.