Thursday, February 16, 2017

How to create a bubble wrap envelope for your framed artwork

I spotted a very useful set of instructions today for two different ways of creating a bubble wrap envelope for your artwork when transporting it to an exhibition.

Last week I had fun and games sat in the National Dining Rooms at the National Gallery last week taking custody of a painting and creating a bubble wrap envelope for it so I could take it home on the tube. All done over the knives and forks and napkins! (Next blog post: "How to make yourself the centre of attention!"). Incidentally, I used the second method!

Anyway - here's the link to the instructions - which have ace diagrams - which could do with being a tad bigger but are perfectly readable

Bubble Wrap Envelope Instructions - New England Society of Botanical Artists

On my home with painting wrapped securely - on my way to the tube
Here's my bubble wrap sandwich - complete with big red buses and lions in Trafalgar square in the background.  It has string tied around it to prevent it coming undone.

I also recommend string bags for carrying packages which are securely packed.

They offer absolutely no protection whatsoever but will change shape for just about any package.

Plus you have no extra weight or substance to carry on your way to the pick-up or going home after the drop-off.

Nor do you have any problems getting a  string bag into e.g. galleries or restaurants (as compared to a suitcase).

Interestingly I walked out of the National Gallery with a picture - and nobody stopped me!

QUESTION: What's your favoured method for transporting artwork when you don't have access to a car.


  1. I have made bubble wrap envelopes like this using a sewing machine to sew up the 2 sides.I had previously tried tape but in time it went tacky and horrible.
    Or you can buy Stiffy Bags online which are ready made ones.

  2. I've used cardboard in the past. I started making custom cardboard boxes to carry wet oils home from the hills (there's an illustrated "how-to" here: and they work for transporting canvases, too. A stripped down method that works for carrying framed canvases of relatively modest size around London is a cotton carrier bag and two sheets of corrugated cardboard cut to size with some string or taped folds to keep everything in place inside the bag. I feel that the cardboard offers better face protection to the canvas than bubble wrap. The frame itself can be protected by folding oversize cardboard or with pipe lagging.


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