Tips on Packing Your Art or Craft for Shipping to an Exhibition.
Plan Ahead If Hand Delivering Your Work to an Exhibition.

Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions

When shipping work to an exhibition I include instructions for UNPACKING, DISPLAY, ASSEMBLY (if necessary), and RE-PACKING MY WORK for return shipping.

IMG_2860In every box, a copy of the instructions is glued on the inside flap of the interior shipping box and a separate set is in the box. I glue the instructions to the box so that even if the loose copy is lost or misplaced, there are always instructions with the box and artwork. I also include disposable gloves in my interior shipping box. (See image below.)

Instruction Labels should include the following:

  • Labels on the boxes should be neat and easy to understand.
  • Use Elmer’s Glue or rubber cement – not glue sticks – to adhere the labels to the box.
  • Glue an ADDRESS label or ‘rubber stamp’ inside all boxes with your complete name and address. 
  • Glue a TITLE label, including title, date created, materials, and dimensions on the outside of your interior shipping box.
  • Include assembly instructions, if necessary, along with a diagram or photograph of how the artwork should look or be displayed. (READ the previous post.)

Sample image for your packing box.

Artwork should be well-constructed and designed to survive shipping conditions.  During the creative process, it is a good idea to design the work to survive the sometimes unpredictable vibration or "rough and tumble life" of shipping conditions. Consider what will happen if your box is turned sideways or upside down. Work that is not appropriately designed for shipping is much more likely to become damaged during shipping and consequently unable to be shown in the intended exhibition. For this reason, sometimes it is best to design work to be disassembled and reassembled at the exhibition location. This is especially important if there are heavy components and lightweight or fragile components in the same artwork.

Remember Me by Harriete Estel Berman
Remember Me     © 1998-99
Recycled tin cans and vintage steel doll
houses, Brass wire embroidery,
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Consider how the work will be displayed.  Include a custom display, if needed, along with clear instructions for the setup. If you have a pre-conceived idea of how the work should be displayed, this information should also be sent to the Exhibition Sponsor two months prior to the show.

Just in case the exterior of your shipping box is damaged, the interior shipping boxes should be labeled with:
Artist name

City, State, Zip
Phone (area code) and number
Web site: 

Here are Packing Tips you can download as a PDF.

Remember Me in it's custom-made interior shipping box. The interior of the box is upholstery foam cut to fit the artwork. The foam is covered with flannel and felt. In this photo the felt flap is open. This interior shipping box is appropriately sized for storage. For shipping, it should be surrounded by 1"-2" of peanuts in a larger exterior shipping box.


Documentation for SHIPPING Art and Craft

Custom Shipping Box /Design Your Work for Shipping

PACKING one-of-a-kind artwork for SHIPPING

This post was updated on January 19, 2022, to provide current links.