How Do You Crate Art for Shipping? A Guide to Safe Travels for Your Prized Possessions

So, you’ve got a masterpiece (or perhaps a cherished family heirloom) that needs to travel. Whether it’s a prized painting heading to a new gallery or a delicate sculpture being shipped to a loved one, safe transport is critical. But how do you ensure your artwork arrives at its destination without a scratch? Fear not, art lovers! This guide will unravel the secrets of proper art crating for shipping.

Preparation is Key: Before the Crate Takes Shape

Dimensions: Measure your artwork meticulously. Adding 2-4 inches to each dimension allows for proper padding within the crate.
Photograph Everything: Take detailed photos of your artwork from all sides. This documentation will be helpful in case of any damage during shipping.
Choose the Right Packing Materials: Invest in high-quality, archival-safe materials like acid-free tissue paper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts.

Building the Perfect Protective Shell: Crafting Your Custom Art Crate

Wooden Crate for Artwork: Select strong, warp-resistant wood like plywood or MDF for the crate’s frame. This ensures a sturdy custom art crate.
Custom Fit: Cut the wood to create a crate slightly larger than your artwork with the additional measurements you took earlier.
Padding Power: Line the interior of the crate with thick foam or acid-free corrugated cardboard to absorb shock and vibrations.
Corner Champions: Pay special attention to the corners! Use additional padding or corner braces to safeguard these vulnerable areas.
Secure Sealing: Assemble the crate using screws or nails (not staples!), ensuring a tight and secure fit.

Artful Touches: The Finishing Steps

Inner Sanctuary: Carefully place your artwork inside the padded crate, ensuring it’s centered and doesn’t move.
Bracing Beauty: Use spacers or bracing materials to prevent the artwork from shifting during transport.
Labeling Done Right: Clearly label the crate with “Fragile” markings and arrows indicating the proper upright position.
Insurance: Consider purchasing shipping insurance for added peace of mind, especially for valuable pieces.

The Art of Delegation: When to Call in the Professionals

While DIY crating is an option for smaller, less fragile pieces, for larger artworks, delicate antiques, or invaluable collectibles, it’s best to trust the experts. Professional crate builders possess the knowledge, experience, and specialized materials to create a secure haven for your artwork during its journey.
Art crating companies will be in the know of regulations, standards, and requirements for shipping crates across the globe.
By following these steps and considering professional crating when needed, you can ensure your artwork travels safely and arrives at its destination ready to be admired for years to come. Now go forth, and let your art travel the world (or at least the country) with confidence!


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