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How to Package & Ship Prints, Posters & Art

Whether you’re shipping art prints from your online store, or you’re mailing home a poster you bought on vacation, it’s important to know how to ship art prints and posters by properly packaging them to avoid damage in transit.

shipping posters

Follow our helpful guide to ensure that whether you’re shipping posters, prints or artwork, they will be delivered safely. We’re covering everything there is to know about how to ship posters and art securely, so your gorgeous pieces can be enjoyed exactly as they were intended. Read on, as we cover:

  • Packaging Supplies
  • Shipping Unframed Posters
  • Shipping Framed Artwork
  • Choose the Right Packaging

You’ll Need

Shipping Unframed Posters and Prints? Roll Them Up

shipping unframed prints

Rolling prints can be the perfect way to get them to their destination in pristine condition. But whether you ship artwork rolled or flat, before you can select the right packaging, you need to first measure the length and width of your artwork.

If you’re opting for the rolled method, the process is really pretty easy. Simply roll the poster or print just tightly enough that it measures approximately 1½” in diameter. This will leave additional air space between the poster and most standard square tube boxes or cylinder-shaped mailing tube poster packaging options. Remember: if the poster or print rests against the inner wall of the package, it greatly increases the chance of it being damaged.

Then just wrap the rolled-up poster in plastic or tissue paper for an added layer of protection. Use masking or painter’s tape to secure the paper in place, being careful to tape on the protective layer, not the artwork itself.

*Warning: Do not use an elastic band, which can crease and damage the poster.

Shipping Framed Artwork? Secure with Bubble Wrap and Cardboard!

shipping framed artwork

Shipping prints that are framed takes a bit of care, but with the proper protection and technique, you can do it. When shipping framed art, choosing the right box is essential.

How to ship prints that are framed:

  • Take measurements of your flat artwork and add six inches
    to each dimension to calculate the ideal packaging size you’ll need.
  • Apply painter’s tape in a criss-cross pattern over the glass (unless it has a UV finish, in which case the tape could damage the coating).
  • Trace the outer frame of your artwork onto a corrugated sheet.
  • Cut out the tracing and place it on top of the frame with a layer of bubble wrap between the glass and the board.
  • Using masking or painter’s tape, secure the board to the back of the frame.
  • Cushion the entire piece in additional layers of bubble wrap.
  • Add a layer of cushion (bubble wrap or packing peanuts) inside the box before you put the artwork in so it won’t actually touch the inside bottom of the box.
  • Gently place your wrapped framed print into your shipping box.
  • Add another layer of cushion to fill the space between the top of the frame and the top of the box before sealing it up.

Choose the Right Packaging for Shipping

choose the right packagingMailing tubes make an ideal shipping solution for rolled-up posters and prints. Opt for tubes with walls that are at least one quarter of an inch thick to better protect your artwork from damage. Consider adding bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or other cushioning materials at each end of the tube to protect the exposed edges of your print on the top and bottom of the tube.

For more sizable pieces, choose a box that’s slightly larger than your art when wrapped. Be sure to add extra cushioning with bubble wrap, tissue paper or packing peanuts to prevent your artwork from shifting around inside the box too much during transit.

If you’re using your own packaging, make sure you select a heavy duty corrugated box. When taping, opt for the “H” taping method to secure the bottom. Apply tape along the box’s seams and use additional strips perpendicular to the seams at four-inch intervals. This provides additional support so you know the packaging is secure and your artwork won’t be damaged.

Start Shipping Posters and Prints with Paper Mart!

Artwork can be a great reminder of a trip or memory that you never want to forget. Whatever type or piece you’re sending, knowing how to ship posters and artwork properly is key to getting your pretty prints to their new home intact and ready to display.

Find our exclusive selection of art, print and poster shipping supplies today. We’ve got everything you need to package and ship posters and prints like a pro. With these packaging guidelines under your belt, you can send your posters, prints and paintings with confidence! Check out Paper Mart today.


  1. Olivia S. November 5, 2021

    Thank you for explaining how mailing tubes can be a good way to ship prints and posters. My son has been starting up a small print shop to help him through high school, but he’s trying to find a good way to ship some items. I’ll be sure to talk to him about this to see if it’s something he’d like to use for his prints and posters that he’s selling.

  2. Enjoy February 13, 2019

    Making sure that your posters reach their recipients unscathed is vital. You can only imagine the experience your customers have upon receiving your artwork in the mail. When it’s met with smiles and excitement, all your hard work is worth the effort and then some.

  3. Matt Brown October 30, 2018

    So before you fall in love with a box, or any kind of packaging, test it. Buy about ten of the boxes. Mail a complete order to ten people you know. Get detailed reports – photos, ideally – of what the packages look like when they arrive. Pay careful attention to your results.

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