Packaging options

I’ve been looking for strong but lightweight packaging options in particular for larger prints, my largest prints are currently 60 x 80cm. Over the past few years I’ve used many different options, including bubble wrap bags, and all of the cardboard and bubble wrap that has come into our home, obviously recycling packaging as often as you can, if you have the storage space to keep it is great.


Greyboard seems like an excellent solution as a substrate to strap on either side of a print, I’m going to give it a go. I am going to try 2mm, 1,260 gsm and see how that feels as a protective option, I’ll probably wrap that in something, or just tape it up the edges… I’ll come back to this to update next time I send something out, note that my prints are in cello packs to give them a waterproof protection prior to packaging.

I used greyboard to send an original piece, Arisaema ringens watercolour over to the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh, where it will appear in the 17th International Series in Autumn 2024. Have a read about that packaging experience here >> It worked a treat and the painting arrived unscathed…

I found this extremely useful chart from on conversion from grammage to mm.

There is a formula to calculate the thickness of the greyboard simply as below.

Thickness (mm) = Grammage (gsm) * 1.55 / 1000

For example, if the grammage is 1290gsm, then

Thickness (mm) = 1290 * 1.55 / 1000 = 2 mm

Below is a conversion table for the common greyboard thickness and grammage that are used for the cardboard gift boxes, rigid boxes and set up boxes.

615gsm 1mm

775gsm 1.2mm

970gsm 1.5mm

1160gsm 1.8mm

1290gsm 2mm

1420gsm 2.2mm

1581gsm 2.4mm

1645gsm 2.5mm

1805gsm 2.8gsm

1845gsm 3mm

2150gsm 3.5mm

2460gsm 4mm

Arisaema ringens - watercolor painting by Marianne Hazlewood packaged between two layers of grey board, with the top of the painting indicated - being packaged for the Hunt International Series Exhibition 2024
Arisaema ringens - watercolor painting by Marianne Hazlewood removed from its frame, sitting on a grey board back piece - being packaged for the Hunt International Series Exhibition 2024


Silver foil bubble wrap bags

This may not seem like the most eco-friendly option, but it’s proving to be very reusable…

I met artist Jo Perkins at the Borders Art Fair in 2023 and this is her tip. Make bags to hold your framed pieces out of silver foil bubble wrap*, you can seal the edges with hair straighteners. You then have bags that you can slip work into without having to tape up and un-tape at either end.

So what I was finding was that the bubble wrap I was using and reusing was getting more and more tattered, and smaller, and smaller as I taped and re-taped and cut off the useless raggy ends… These bags are robust, and easy to put your work into and remove without damaging the bubble wrap, so their life span is much much much longer than the old bubblewrap I was using… (and which has now been repurposed for small mailings). It also speeds up a hang and take down, not having to layout bubble wrap, wrap and tape! Win Win!

* You need to get the right silver foil bubble wrap, not all bubble wraps will heat seal, so make sure that you can return a roll to the supplier if it is not the right type!

Silver bubble wrap bags, protective reusable packaging
Silver bubble wrap bags, protective reusable packaging