Down and Dirty way to Pack Posters Flat for Moving and Storing
February 29, 2016 3:01 PM   Subscribe

I'm in a sort of dire straits where I'm getting rid of most everything I own. I have 50 or so posters and lithographs that mean a lot to me (out of print, signed, nostalgic, and such) that I would like to pack flat and sandwich all together and am curious of any extremely cheap ways to do so.

If not cheap, like under $25, I then will let them go or trash them b/c I don't have other money. I don't have the luxury of space to use poster tubes. My initial thoughts were to get 2 pieces of particle board a few inches bigger than the 24 x 36 and slowly flatten each poster as if building a large sandwich..and then either duct tape the boards together or use some bungee or something. I want to do the best I can with the minimum cost and hopefully not damage them but am willing to take the chance they get damaged through trial and error vs just tossing. I am TOTALLY OPEN to your thoughts.
posted by chicaboom to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I bought a poster/frame moving box that was basically four corners that you taped together (the first picture on this page) sort of like a giant cereal box. It worked well and I think you could create them out of two regular boxes. If you do sandwich things together like you are talking about, you may end up with duct tape touching the posters. You don't want that, so think about putting some paper over the sticky part of the tape that is between the two boards. You could also bend some cardboard around the edges before taping.
posted by soelo at 3:11 PM on February 29, 2016

Best answer: Your particle board idea should work just fine. For even cheaper and lighter, use those bigass pink polystyrene sheets you can get at home depot. They cost about $3 each. Lie your posters flat out on that, maybe with sheets of tissue paper sandwiched between delicate ones, put another big piece of polystyrene on top, duct tape into oblivion.

It should hold up pretty well.
posted by phunniemee at 3:13 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I would suggest getting butcher paper or brown package wrapping paper to sandwich between them to protect them. Then I would suggest going to Michael's if you have on around, and asking if they have any free, empty boxes around the right size. If they don't, you could probably find some free boxes somewhere that, when flattened, would be big enough for your big sandwich. I would then wrap your whole sandwich with an entire roll of plastic wrap. Then do your duct tape on the outside for strength.
posted by Night_owl at 3:13 PM on February 29, 2016

Best answer: The last couple of times I moved I put my framed stuff in a box meant for a big-screen TV, sandwiched between mirrors and styrofoam sheets (and towels, t-shirts) etc. These boxes are 20 odd bucks each new, but sometimes they're on Craigslist for less, or for free. It's a PIA to unpack, but the cost was acceptable to me. Good luck!
posted by JulesER at 3:13 PM on February 29, 2016

Response by poster: All of these ideas are helpful...I will stay tuned for any more to roll in. I'm leaning toward the particle board, butcher paper, then saran wrap, then duct tape, so it is an amalgamation of all answers but will wait for any others to weigh in.********I'm sort of crying right now b/c it is nice to feel a big hug over the internet. Things are difficult so I appreciate everyones feedback. Thank you so much.
posted by chicaboom at 3:20 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Are they framed? It'd be easier if they weren't, or had minimal framing and matting, but it's not hard.

First recommendation: Get some acid-free paper to stick between them, assuming that they're not framed so that they're already protected. This is something that you can get at Uhaul for $10 for 10 pounds or so, and I bet you could do cheaper elsewhere. The important thing is just to have an acid-free barrier between them. Then you can jog them (line them up) as best you can, and buy a couple of cardboard frame corners (should be pretty damn cheap each, though I haven't bought any in a long time) or make them with packing tape and cardboard. By having the acid-free paper between the cardboard and the prints or posters, you'll avoid damaging them as much.

Then take a couple of other, bigger cardboard pieces and sandwich them, then wrap the whole damn thing in as much tape as you think is necessary to secure 'em.

Pretty easy and cheap all told, and I've used this technique more than once to move a bunch of poster-sized paper a long distance.

If they're totally unframed, etc. you can also get poster tubes, though in my experience, those become much more expensive pretty quickly.
posted by klangklangston at 3:23 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Go to your local grocery store when they are restocking (generally in the middle of the night.) Lots of boxes there that are just going to get crushed up, so if you ask to take a few, they'll usually be happy to give them to you. Big boxes can be flattened and might be large enough for your purposes. I'm thinking cereal boxes or paper towel boxes. Depending on how you plan to transport them, they might do the trick. Good luck!
posted by CincyBlues at 3:28 PM on February 29, 2016

Best answer: For large cardboard, go to your nearest Lowes and ask for an appliance box. If they don't have any when you go, they will save you one if you ask nicely. They are FREE!
posted by mightshould at 5:32 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Glassine interleaving paper is good for longer term storage between each poster (nothing with a gelatin coating though, so no print photos). It might be too expensive, but there could be a deal to be had somewhere on the webs
posted by jenmakes at 9:08 PM on February 29, 2016

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