Shipping for a framed, fragile photo?
June 7, 2011 9:38 AM   Subscribe

How do you ship a framed picture?

This is a dumb question, but I've tried going to Staples and the Post Office and there are no boxes in either place that will accommodate this framed photo that I need to ship across country.

It's an 11x16 inch photo and the frame extends several inches in each direction, and there's a glass plate across the front. I do have it shielded with some cardboard but it seems too fragile to ship it without a sturdy box around it - most boxes are designed for objects that are large in several dimensions, though.
posted by treehorn+bunny to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If I were you, I would take it into a pack and ship store. At the UPS stores for example, if they pack your item and something happens to it, they reimburse you for the packing supplies & services and the shipping price.
posted by Kimberly at 9:41 AM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

What I was told to do by a custom framing shop, when shipping art cross-country, was to have two boxes - one, like the cardboard around the photo, and then a larger box. Surround the framed picture and smaller box with "peanuts" or other packing materials.
posted by anya32 at 9:41 AM on June 7, 2011

I have seen framed things shipped with cardboard corners, a layer of protective foam film over the face and back, and wrapped in pallet wrap. This is for more large-scale shipping, though, so it might not conform to regulations of the UPS or whatever.
posted by phunniemee at 9:42 AM on June 7, 2011

I'd stop by your local frame shop to see if they have shipping boxes. I've had to do this once or twice. They should also be able to give you cardboard corners to protect the frame. I also make an X in tape on the glass.

Failing a good box from your framer, go to the container store--they have all sorts of boxes in various sizes that should work for this.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:42 AM on June 7, 2011

Best answer: UPS stores have special packing material for this. When I shipped a picture, it was 4 Styrofoam corners held onto the picture with a sort of strap around the perimeter, which was then slid into an appropriately-sized box which was then filled with packing peanuts. It was messy to unwrap, but the picture arrived intact.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:50 AM on June 7, 2011

Response by poster: thanks! I knew you guys would have an answer. Off to UPS!
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:51 AM on June 7, 2011

I used to work at a store that sold framed art. Shipping was as anya32 describes. Frame in box usually with styrofoam corners at some bubble wrap covering the glass. That box was placed in a larger box that was filled with peanuts.
posted by kimdog at 9:54 AM on June 7, 2011

I've shipped framed artwork and stained glass (even more of a pain than framed artwork). This may be overkill, but I've never had a piece break.
1.The first thing I do is put a glass protection film over the glass so that if it shatters, it won't tear the piece. I put cardboard over the corners of particularly fragile or valuable frames.
2. I wrap the piece in bubble wrap, then box it (and by "box" I actually mean "wrap in a piece of cardboard that came from some big flat thing someone got at Ikea, that I cut to size."
3. I then bubble wrap the box.
4. I then box the whole thing. I try to keep big flattish boxes around for this purpose (flat-screen TV boxes work really well: keep in mind the whole piece is now about 8-10 inches thick), but I've had to cut them to size or buy them at shipping places.
5. I ship it using the fastest method I can afford, with insurance.
posted by pernoctalian at 10:05 AM on June 7, 2011

don't forget insurance if you are worried about the pieces being damaged. both ups and fedex will not insure artwork. this advice looks good.
posted by jimw at 12:21 PM on June 7, 2011

There is also Airfloat -- probably overkill in this instance but the photos may give you some packing ideas.
posted by mlis at 12:51 PM on June 7, 2011

When double-boxing to ship things (a la anya32's suggestion) be careful that the in-between material cannot get shifted so that the two boxes can come close or touch. I think something other than peanuts might be a good idea, perhaps large rolled up pieces of newspaper. I've had a baritone saxophone sent to me in a case/peanuts/box configuration that was badly damaged because the peanuts they used shifted out of the way.
posted by spbmp at 3:36 PM on June 7, 2011

« Older Low vision occupational therapy   |   Help me find this OLD cake topper. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.