3 Ways to Pack Large Pictures for Moving

Pictures on your wall reflect your artistic taste, and they are part of the things that make your house a home. Moving these pictures becomes more complicated when they are large and fragile. At the same time, it is hard to do away with them because of their sentimental and monetary value.

Luckily, packing them is easier than it seems. This blog post includes three ways to pack large pictures for a move, ensuring their safety.

3 Ways to Pack Large Pictures for A Move

Pack Large Pictures for Moving

Not all packing methods suit all your large pictures. The way you’ll pack framed pictures differs from unframed ones. Besides, framed pictures have different shapes, and the shipping distance can also determine the packing method you utilize.

Supplies You’ll Need to Pack Paintings

  • Scissors
  • Butter paper
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wraps
  • Painter’s tape
  • Glassine paper
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Permanent marker
  • Picture/mirror boxes
  • Crates (For long-distance moves)

1. Packing Large Pictures in Cardboard boxes 

The most common way of moving pictures, especially the framed ones, is in cardboard boxes. But, adjustable mirror boxes are the perfect option when it comes to large pictures. These boxes are explicitly designed for moving large pictures, paintings, and mirrors. We covered How Pack Mirrors For Moving in our previous post. 

These boxes come with adjustable 4-pieces of cardboard that interlocks to form the outer protection. Being customizable makes it easier for you to fit your large pictures than in regular mirror boxes. 

Additionally, the boxes are single-walled and corrugated, making them strong enough to offer maximum protection to your large picture frames. 

If you’re unable to get a mirror box, you can build one by dismantling a cardboard box you don’t need and maneuvering the sheets to fit your large picture frames. You can get 4-piece adjustable mirror boxes from Partners Brand on Amazon.

2. Packing Framed Pictures in Wooden Crates

Wooden crates are the best way to move extra-large pictures, especially when moving them over a long distance. These packing methods offer the highest level of protection and maintain temperature and humidity. 

Even though it takes a lot of time and money to build crates, the protection it offers is always worth it. Considering the tools needed to build crates, it will be helpful to give the job to a moving company. But if you find doing it yourself more satisfying, you can build your crate following these steps:

  1. Cut 4 boards of plywood
  2. Cut the sideboards.
  3. Assemble the Frame.
  4. Assemble the plywood sides.
  5. Screw plywood to the bottom of the frame
  6. Lay Styrofoam in the bottom of the crate.
  7. Put your wrapped large pictures inside the crate.
  8. Place an entire layer of styrofoam on top of your large pictures.
  9. Screw-in your top sheet of plywood once the large framed picture is tight and secure in the crate.

3. Pack Large Unframed Pictures in Cardboard Tubes

pack pictures in tube

A Cardboard tube is an ideal method of packing large unframed pictures. Putting them in any cardboard boxes or envelopes will likely squeeze the pictures leaving streaks on the surface.

Beyond being environmentally friendly, these mailing tubes are light and rigid and can fit into any space in the truck. You can check out Stockroom Plus for good-quality cardboard tubes on Amazon. Here are the steps to efficiently pack your large pictures in tubes:

  • Take your large pictures off the frames.
  • Spread them on top of each other, wrapping plastic between them.
  • Stack in one direction with the front side facing the table.
  • Get 2 cardboard tubes of the same length but different diameters. The narrower tube will serve as the inner tube, and the wider one will be the outer tube. For instance, you can buy two 10 feet long tubes with one being 14” in diameter and the other 7”.
  • Place the inner tube on the edge of the stacked large pictures and roll them together, ensuring the front part is outwards from the tube.
  • Wrap the pictures around the inner tube in plastic and secure them with tape.
  • Put it inside the wider outer tube and cover it.

Important Tips: 

  • HDPE plastic such as butter paper and Glassine paper is best for rolling large pictures
  • Avoid glycine and wax paper as they will stick to acrylic pictures easily.

How to Wrap Large Pictures Before Packing

Wrap Large Pictures Before Packing

Large pictures can get damaged if not well wrapped in protective packaging materials, regardless of the packing method. These simple steps will help prevent your pictures from moisture and dirt:

Tape an’ X’ on the Glasses of Large Framed Pictures

Using painter’s tape, making an X on the glass of large pictures will prevent the glass from shattering completely if it cracks in transit. This will protect the large pictures from glass particles. It is not advisable to use duct tape as they leave streaks on the glasses.

Lay Soft Material on the Table while Wrapping.

Hard surfaces can scratch your framed large pictures and break the glasses at the slightest pressure. It is essential to spread a blanket or sheets before you start wrapping.

Cover the Face of the Large Pictures with Glassine

Glassine will protect the frames from dirt and moisture. Unlike wax paper, glassine doesn’t stick to oil and acrylic pictures.

Cut out a glassine 2 inches larger than each side of the frame and place the large pictures with its face down on the glassine. You can now hold it to the back of the frame with painter’s tape. You can add cardboard sheets on both sides of the large pictures for extra protection.

Place Cupboards on the Corner

If you’re wrapping precious large framed pictures, you need to protect the edges with cardboard. This layer of protection secures the edges of frames. You can either purchase the corners or make them yourself using cardboard sheets. 

Pad the Large Pictures in Bubble Wraps

Bubble Wraps provide padding for your large pictures, and it would help if you are lavish when using bubble wrap. Keep wrapping until it is thick enough to fill the depth of the box. 

Lay the bubbled side on the table and place the frames on the flat side to avoid bubble impressions on the large pictures.

If you run short of bubble wrap, you can supplement your padding with styrofoam or blankets.

Once you have fully wrapped the large pictures, you can place them in cardboard boxes or wooden crates and seal them tightly.

How to Transport Large Pictures

Packing your large pictures properly is only the most significant slice of the pie; how you handle and transport them is also vital.

Here are a few rules of thumb you can follow to ensure the safe transport of your pictures: 

  • Always keep the mirror box in an upright position. 
  • Distinctly label the box or crates “PICTURE/FRAGILE” to make it easy for movers to identify and handle them with care.
  • Avoid placing any heavy item on top of the box
  • Place the box between furniture to serve as a wedge

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