'HOW TO' PACKING GUIDE, PART 3: packing your art in tubes for safe shipping

How to pack a painting in a tube for shipping: people open painting tubes with artworks by artist Claire Desjardins.

Welcome back to the final installation of my specialized 3-part series on painting packing – the art of ensuring your creations reach their destinations unscathed. In our previous post, we explored packing works on the frame. Today, I will shift focus to a method that marries protection with flexibility: rolling paintings for tube shipping. This technique is not only efficient for space but also offers a high degree of safety for your artworks during transit. Whether you're an emerging artist or a seasoned professional, mastering the art of rolling your paintings is a skill that guarantees peace of mind. Let's dive into the step-by-step process of preparing your rolled artworks for their journey.

Paintings on loose canvas, waiting to be rolled up and shipped in a tube. Artist: Claire Desjardins.

Rolled in a tube: ensuring flexibility

Materials needed:

  • Acid-free tissue paper
  • Sturdy mailing tube
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing tape


  1. Initial wrapping
    Lay the painting face down on a clean surface covered with acid-free tissue paper. This is essential for protecting the painted surface.
  2. Roll carefully
    Gently roll the painting around a tube, ensuring that the painted side is inward. This method helps maintain the painting’s form without stressing the material.
  3. Secure in mailing tube
    Slide the rolled painting into a larger, sturdy mailing tube. The tube should be slightly longer than the painting to allow for padding at both ends.
  4. Cushion the ends
    Fill the ends of the tube with bubble wrap to prevent the rolled painting from shifting during transport. Seal the tube with packing tape, reinforcing the caps on both ends.

Painting rolled in a tube, ready for shipping!

As I conclude this guide on securely packing paintings in a tube, remember that this method is more than just rolling and packing; it's about preserving the essence and integrity of your art. Looking ahead, my next post in this series will address another vital aspect of art transportation – packing framed paintings. This upcoming discussion will be indispensable for those seeking to ensure their framed pieces travel safely, whether across the city or across the globe. By understanding these various methods of packaging, you can rest assured that your artwork, irrespective of its form, will always arrive in the same condition it left your studio – pristine and ready to captivate.

I hope this series – from works on paper, to pieces shipped on the frame, and now rolled canvases – has provided you with the insights and confidence to ship your artwork safely and efficiently.

Van filled with packed paintings: where some artworks are shipping on the frame, and some are shipping in tubes. 

Here are quick links to each of my packing series, below.

HOW TO pack guides

  1. Artworks on paper
  2. Paintings on the frame
  3. Paintings rolled in a tube
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These blog posts are so helpful Claire! Thank you so much!


Superbe! Merci Claire!

Chantal De Serres

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