How to pack sculptures for shipping

Shipping a sculpture is not the same as packing and shipping a painting or another similar type of art. Your valuables will be safe during the shipping if you pack them properly. Since you can’t influence transport and handling during the shipping process, you need to do everything you can to safely pack sculptures for shipping.

Prepare for shipping

Sometimes people try to make a cross country move easier by shipping their stuff. Long distance movers Charleston SC can help you move easier by using a packing service. Long-distance moves are usually quite expensive so help yourself by finding a reliable moving company. In case you have a large or fragile sculpture, you could ship it and your movers could transport the rest of your belongings.

Stock up on packing materials in order to pack as safely as you can. Get the following items:

  • Packing peanuts and shredded paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tape
  • Boxes or wooden crates
  • Packing paper 

Pack sculptures for shipping in various shapes and sizes

The principle is almost the same for different shapes and sizes of sculptures. No matter if you made yourself this piece of art or you bought it, you need to take a little time to pack it properly. You can’t just wrap it and put it in a box. Shipping includes sometimes different means of transportation and a lot of handling, so you need to pack it tight to avoid potential damage during transport. When you are long-distance moving Sarasota, for example, you will get the supplies for packing the rest of your belongings. Make sure that you prepare some extras so you can pack sculptures for shipping. Check if your movers have packing materials you need and compare prices before you purchase.

Cardboard box opened
Free boxes are usually already used and slightly damaged

Plastic wrap

Bubble plastic wrap is the best solution for wrapping the sculpture. When you want to pack large or oddly shaped sculptures, it is better to wrap separate parts of the sculpture. This basically means to wrap the top of the sculpture and then the middle and the bottom. Make sure that there is no unwrapped surface. You can wrap with one more layer of plastic wrap at the end. Secure every layer with artist tape. Be careful not to tape the sculpture directly. Tape residue could damage the surface when you unwrap it. 

Always tape just the ends of plastic wrap. 

If your sculpture is made from wood, you could wrap it with paper or moving pads first and then with plastic wrap. Plastic could sweat during the shipping causing damage to a wooden surface. It is the same when you are packing wooden furniture.

Packing peanuts

Packing peanuts are a good option to fill the empty space inside your package, but it is not enough to use only them. Small peanuts can be shifted a lot during transport and they will leave empty space, so your sculpture could hit the side of package and break or get damaged. Use the mixture of packing peanuts and shredded paper and this will make moving inside the box a little harder.

Boxes or wooden crates?

Depending on the size of your sculpture, you can choose either a box or a wooden crate. 

Moving boxes are a good option for smaller or medium-sized sculptures. There is a difference between moving boxes and regular store boxes. You can probably get free boxes from your local store or supermarket, but they are not as sturdy as moving boxes. Moving boxes are tougher because they are meant to last through transport without falling apart. Moving boxes come in various shapes and sizes. Always choose a box that is a few inches bigger than your sculpture. If you take a box that is the right fit for the sculpture, you won’t be able to fill it with shredded paper. Also, it has to have enough space for wrapping and filling the void with additional packing material.

Angel stone figure
Stone sculptures are heavy, even the small ones and a crate is always a better option.

On the other hand, a much larger box requires a lot of cushioning material between its sides and your sculpture. This is not the perfect solution, because you will use more packing supplies and also you will give them plenty of space to move around during transport.

Wooden crates are the excellent solution for larger and heavier sculptures. Buy the crate or make it yourself. Make sure that there is no space between wood planks. If you are using wooden crates, you need to fill them with shredded paper and packing peanuts before you place your sculpture inside. 

Prper way to pack sculptures for shipping in the wooden box like this.
The wooden crate must be labeled

Use a double box for additional security

Sometimes artists use this method when they want to be extra careful. Basically, it means to pack your sculpture inside the box as we already described above. Use every step like you will ship it just in that box. Once you secure the box place it in the wooden crate. Then fill the void between the crate and the box with blankets, packing peanuts or shredded paper, whatever you choose. Label the side of the crate with an arrow and fragile sign.

Label the box or a wooden crate

Once you have safely packed the sculpture, secure the bottom of the box with extra tape. Whether you decide to pack sculptures for shipping in a box or in a wooden crate you have to label it properly so everyone knows how to properly handle it. Fragile sing and arrow that points to the top of sculptures are necessary labels. To avoid any misunderstanding you could write “ this side up” on the box or crate. Make sure that you use a permanent thick marker.

Do whatever you can to safely pack sculptures for shipping and prepare them properly since there is nothing you can do during the shipping process.

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