Presentation, packing, & shipping methods?

Hi - I’m considering joining DPW as a participating artist. First, I’ve been doing my “homework” - viewing the paintings posted, reading & learning from DPW art talk, and visiting galleries & blogs of member artists.
Questions: What presentation, packing, & shipping methods work best?
Am I correct in thinking that oils & acrylics on panel are usually on cradled panels ready for hanging?
For works-on-paper, such as watercolor, I’m assuming they are sold and shipped without glass & frame - correct? But do DPW artists place works-on-paper in plastic sleeves for shipping? Do they mat them?
Do buyers prefer paintings that are ready to hang?
Thank you for any advice/insight you can provide. - Elaine

Hi Elaine,

I will try to answer your question to the best of my knowledge, starting with the last one. For my oil on canvas pieces, I feel its best to send the work ready to hang. For this, I work closely with a framer. After the sale, I ask the buyer if they’d like the piece framed and have it done if they say so. If they don’t, I make d-ring and wire assembly at the support bars of the stretched canvas for frameless display.

For work on paper, I ship it in bubble-lined envelope.

For shipping, I use usps and/or ups. I also add the thank you note care instructions and certificate of authenticity with each package.

Hope this helps. I would wait to see your work.



Thank you for your helpful response, Bhavna.
For oil paintings on stretched gallery-wrap canvas, I like your method of giving the buyer a choice of framed or unframed. When you do this, do you offer the painting at two different prices: Unframed with hanging hardware attached on the inside of the wooden stretcher bars (less expensive)? Or framed (more expensive)?
Thank you - Elaine

Yes, I mention the framing price. If they choose framed art, they pay for it.

Framing inhouse is usually very discounted compared to the big box store framing.

Hope this helps.

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The majority of my work on DPW is small. I generally use cellophane envelopes on all my paintings on paper. I ship them all USPS sandwiched between cardboard and wrapped with large bubble wrap and heavy shipping paper. I’ve had no complaints on this method. I have found, thru the years that selling unframed is best since buyers have all sorts of opinions on what frames should look like. If you sell framed…the frame alone could turn off a prospective buyer. Good luck on DPW.


Hi Elaine,
I just started DPW this year. I found that I had to figure out what I was comfortable with and also feel out what customers wanted. Since I was just starting out I didn’t have a large budget but I wanted to look professional. I did spend out on matboards and plastic sleeves but I wasn’t interested in frames (too unpredictable about customers likes). Also customers may already have frames ready to put the art in. A canvas board or wood board can slip into regular frame (this means no custom cost).
Something that was important to me was always insuring artwork when mailing it. For the prints I don’t. This may all change as I go along.
I learned how to mail canvases in boxes I custom made (luckily I took a 2 & 3D art design course a long time ago) but I wrap pieces in bubble-wrap and tissue paper/personalized stickers so when they open it up, it looks like a present. I also have business cards, thank you card and a brochure for them. I’ve had repeat business so I think this works. Paper artwork is always matted for me, in a sleeve and I wrap it then sandwich it between cardboard when sending it. I really think it’s whatever works for you. You have done your homework, I think you just have to make decisions. Also note that they can change as you go along. What you decide for right now will only improve.
I hope this helps your decisions.


Thank you for your informative response.

Everything you say makes sense, & I appreciate your response. It is very helpful to hear what decisions people have made about presentation, packing, & shipping, plus how this evolves as needed. For works on paper, shipping them unframed makes the process much simpler, easier, and affordable! And I can also see that creating art that fits standard-size commercially available mats and frames is smart, because many buyers don’t want to pay for custom framing. Do you agree?

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I think that keeping standard sizes at the beginning is smart because of the uncertainty of your audience. (I will mention that I’ve had a great experience with most of my customers, and had repeat business). Keeping costs low with smaller canvases/boards and smaller mailing costs helps you out too, lowering start up costs. My sizes range from 5" by 5" to 16" by 20" for mailing. I have yet to be asked about framing for the stretched canvases I have sold online. I could be an anomaly (also I only started up February 2018). Hope this helps.


For 6x6 Gessoboard (uncradled) paintings, what is the standard way to protect and package them for shipping?

I only ship 6x6 gessobord (uncradled) – Carol has a great free artbyte (under Tutorials). I do much the same, especially using USPS priority mail envelopes (great for tracking) with extra cardboard and bubble wrap. Paypal labels are a tiny bit cheaper than USPS. Finally, USPS has a great “schedule a pickup” feature that will pick up the envelop on your front step so no trip to the post office. Note - our front step is quite secure which may not be the case in some areas.

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Hi Johnna,

Is there a fee to schedule a UPS pickup?

Assume you mean USPS - no fee if pick up is during regular mail delivery. $23 for a specified window (!).


It checks your address to see if the service is available in your area, so it’s restricted in some way.

It asks (later) for type/weight but have no idea if restricted.

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Oh, USPS. I didn’t read carefully. %^P Thanks for the info. Trisha

Can you please share how you make your own shipping box? Im very interested! I would love to do it my self!:gift::ribbon:

Hi Stasia, Instead of filling up this page, I have responded on my blog about how to make boxes. If you’re interested, go to: This is not a self promotion, it’s just easier and there’s lots of photos to help you. Please tell me if it helps.

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Thank you so much, i tried to leave comment on your blog, but it didnt published, i tried few more times, you may have few excited comments from me​:smiley::rofl::joy: thank you again for sharing

Carol Marine has an excellent tutorial re. packing and shipping here on Daily Paintworks, and it’s free. Just click on Tutorials from the DPW main page.

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