Preparing Art for Shipping to Buyers

Preparing Art for Shipping to Buyers

Let’s talk about shipping today. Specifically, preparing art for shipping.

Shirleen asked the question for today. Here it is.

How do you package you artwork for safe shipping and do you include frame or only matted? Thank you

Thank you for your question. This isn’t a topic I talk about much, so thank you for giving me the opportunity.

Preparing Art for Shipping to Buyers

Preparing Art for Shipping

Over the years, I’ve come up with a very simple packaging process for shipping colored pencil work.

Packaging the Drawing

I buy resealable, archival clear plastic envelopes from a company called Clear Bags dot com. The envelopes come in a wide range of sizes from very small to huge, so it’s rare that I can’t find a size that fits well.

I also buy white, archival backboards from the same company.

Each piece is slipped into a clear envelope, then I put a backboard behind it. This allows me to prop the drawing up on a shelf while I’m finishing with shipping preparations, and provides a little extra support during shipping.

I also mat the piece whenever possible, since matted artwork is an overall better presentation. I like the Crescent Conservation quality double mats in white because they look good on almost everything, are archival, and add extra stability to the art piece. But as you see in these illustrations, standard black and white double mats also make a good presentation, and look good on almost all art.

You can probably get better prices and more color selection from other sources, but if you’re ordering envelopes and backboards anyway, buying everything together may save you more time and money than shopping around. If you do want to buy mats elsewhere, try Picture Frames dot com.

This is the packaged artwork.

The Bottom Line to Preparing Art for Shipping

You can, of course, pay someone else to package and ship your artwork, but why should you? This method of shipping is relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and gives you full control over the way your artwork is packaged and shipped.

For additional information, read How to Prepare, Package, and Ship Your Colored Pencil Art. I wrote this step-by-step tutorial for EmptyEasel, and it’s a more in-depth look at preparing art for shipping.


  1. RhiannonLewis

    Hey Carrie!
    I feel like I ask you far too many questions but since you’re the only profession colored pencil artist I know…. here we go! I have two questions today. sorry it’s so long!

    due to various life circumstances I am unemployed spare for a content creator job that pays$10 a video, every once in a while. I live with my parents, which is the only reason I’m not destitute. While I am looking for a typical job, I also am trying to turn my l love of art into a business. I’ve made One commission sale after two years of advertising on Gab Social. I try to save up my money, but where to spend it to better my chances of selling and to improve my “business” (be more professional and not just like some hobbyist) is where I’m struggling. in a pinch, what do you consider to be the Most Important Investment? I bought Prismacolor pencils but the way I draw eats them up so fast (I could only afford a 12 set) I was rather horrified and went back to Crayola and Sargent, using Prismacolor only as a top off for making certain features stand out more. that aside, should I be saving up more for paper or canvas, pencils, or packaging?

    My second question is a bit less long winded than the first. How do you get over the bias against colored pencil? every time I try to apply for a job on Upwork, or someone inquires about a commission, they drop me like a hot potato the moment they know I’m not a painter! I don’t want to paint, I’m not good at painting! it’s fun and I do paint but it’s certainly nothing I would allow myself to sell. I have discussed with them the reduced price, the more detailed nature of colored pencils, the intimacy of creating art with colored pencil– nobody cares. Most stop even reading my messages much less responding. The only people interested are other artists… and they aren’t buyers, only cheerleaders. I’m at a loss as to what to do!

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