Framed art and mirrors present a packing challenge. The pieces can be large and unwieldy, are often expensive, and are usually fragile.

What are the best packing techniques to make sure your art arrives at its destination in good shape?

1. Prepare the item

There are a couple things you can do to help the glass in your frame stay in one piece. First, use masking tape to make an X across the front. If the glass cracks it will be more likely to stay in the frame instead of scattering everywhere.


Next, place a sturdy piece of cardboard on the glass to protect it in the move and reduce static with the bubble wrap. You can use a piece of a cardboard box, foam core board, or even a fragment of a carpet pad.


2. Wrap it up

The first layer should be bubble wrap, and don’t skimp. It doesn’t matter which way you wrap as long as the thing is well cushioned. Secure all ends and edges tightly with tape.


3. Box it up

If you can find a box the right size, that will be your best bet for safety. Moving companies and box manufacturers will offer boxes in various sizes made specifically for mirrors and framed art.

Art box

If your pictures are on the small side, tape several of them together to make a larger package and find a standard size box that will accommodate them.

Stuff paper, foam peanuts, or linens around the works to keep them in place. The box shouldn’t rattle when you move it back and forth.

4. Or find boxing alternatives

For large paintings or pictures, you might need a telescopic box, which is like two boxes that nestle over and under one another around your art. Fill in any gaps to make sure the piece doesn’t bump around inside, and tape the boxes together tightly.

Telescoping box

Alternately, if you can’t find or don’t want to buy a box of the right size for a large painting, another way of safely packing is to tightly secure pieces of cardboard around the edges and corners, atop the bubble wrap. Use heavy-duty packing tape to make sure they stay in place.


5. Label it right

The word “Fragile” should be visible clearly on both sides of your package. Use a thick black marker and write in large letters. Specialty art boxes may already have this printed on the side.