How To Ship Artwork Internationally Without Breaking a Sweat

You just sold your artwork to a client. Delivering and installing the artwork yourself is ideal. It is to ensure that the product is in the best condition. You likely sold your art online. At this point, you are wondering how to send your product to the buyer.

Your international client must receive your artwork in one piece. You must ensure it gets to them safe and as fast as possible.

As an artist, your skill is to create artwork. Shipping your product can be a complicated process. A lot of preparation and thought goes into shipping your artwork. This article will guide you on how to ship your artwork internationally. 

How to Pack Your Artwork Properly

Determine the Size

Measure the width, height, and length of your artwork. Mark the box after measuring. Once you have marked the box, cut it to the appropriate size. You can calculate the shipping cost by your artwork’s weight.

Using The Right Tools

Having the right toolkit is crucial when shipping your artwork. It can make shipping safer and easier. You can already assemble a basic tool kit for $100.

You may spend more to get high-quality products. Investing in these tools can be good for you in the long run. It will increase your work’s professionalism and productivity. Good tools will last for years. Getting cheap items will make you lost more cash eventually.

Box Cutter

You will likely be cutting a lot of cardboard once you start shipping. A big box cutter will be your most used tool. Having a sharp cutter can make cutting simpler. A dull cutter will result in a messy and crumpled cardboard cut.

You should change the blades of the cutter from time to time. It will ensure that the blades will stay sharp.

T Square

Use a proper T square to get a straight and even cut on the cardboard. I would suggest getting your cardboard 48 inches in width. The T Square becomes the perfect tool for well measured cuts if it is 48 inches in width. 

Tape Gun

Purchasing a tape gun can be efficient in packing your artwork.  If a tape gun is out of your budget, the regular tape will do fine. I suggest that you use the highest quality tape you can find. It will be easier to apply.

Box Sizer

A box sizer is a tool that creates even scores on the cardboard. The score then allows the shipper to fold the cardboard easier. A box sizer can customize boxes to meet your specific requirements. You can even make boxes out of raw cardboard.

A box sizer is a specialized tool. You cannot find it at your local hardware. Purchasing it online is the easiest option. If you want to buy a box without much effort take a look at UPS box sizes by Red Stag.


A sharpie is useful for marking your cardboard for cutting. A marker line gives a clear guide on where to cut. It is ideal for marking your packing materials.

Covering The Surface

Being careful and gentle with your artwork is crucial. Cover the work surface with cardboard, bubble wrap, cloth, or foam. 

Glassine Paper

Glassine paper is a good choice to protect the canvas from moisture and dust.  It is crucial to cover every surface of your artwork with glassine paper and secure it with artist tape. When rolling paintings for shipment in a tube, allow two inches of extra space on each side.

Plastic Wrap

The plastic wrap will protect your art prints, paintings, and canvases from scratches. Leave at least 3.5 mm in thickness when wrapping canvas painting in foil.


Bubble Wrap

After protecting your artwork and packing it in a box, it is time to use bubble wrap. Before you close the box and wrap it, check any spaces in the box. Fill any voids that may cause movement and friction. 

Wrap the bubble wrap tight to prevent bunching and maintain clean edges. Put two layers of bubble wrap on the artwork. The second layer should circle the edges of the first layer. 


Seal the deal by taping the box! Use the right tension when applying the tape. I recommend using packaging tape. Any other tape like duct tape is bad. Using high-quality tape is best. 

Preparing for Customs and Other Paperworks

Preparing customs documents by yourself can be a handful. Missing any details on the document can lead to returned or delayed delivery.  Here is a list of documents to include.

Export License

You may need an export license to countries where you will ship art. That will depend on the value and age of your art.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

You will pay VAT whenever you export art into the UK.

Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI)  

You need to get an EORI when you ship art into the European Union

Trade Tariff Commodity Codes

These codes will avoid extra charges and obtain artwork from customs.

Address Format

Check the address format to create a smooth delivery to your customer. 

Choosing the Right Shipping Company

There are three factors to consider when choosing a shipping company.

1. What types of art does the art moving company specialize in

2. Consideration and customs when shipping

3. Transportation coverage and insurance

You can use trusted shipping companies like FedEx or UPS. These carriers offer similar rates and discounts. Their difference is that FedEx delivers Tuesday through Saturday. UPS delivers Monday through Saturday. You can choose which carrier to use depending on your needs.

You can opt for specialized art transport. It may seem expensive, but it can be cost-effective.

Shipping Insurance

You can only do so much to avoid damage to your artwork when shipping. It is best to prepare for any damage by buying an insurance plan. FedEx and UPS have standard $100 shipping insurance.

The standard insurance plan may not cover the value of your art. It would be better to avail ourselves of better extra coverage. There are insurance companies like Shipsurance and Cabrella that can cover your artwork. They cost less and can file claims without any problems.

Final Notes 

Packing your artwork can avoid damage. It is crucial to use high-quality materials when packaging the product. Check your customs documents to make a smooth delivery. It will ensure the art will arrive on time. Buy insurance plans to cover any damage when shipping your art.


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