View Full Version : idea for transporting artwork

12-30-2014, 11:02 AM
I may be the only one that hadn't thought of this before.

I have only done 3 exhibits, but found transporting artwork can be a nightmare. The first exhibit was only 15, the second 30 when I did 53 pieces for a third, I had to come up with something.

I am grateful I have a sister that likes to sew. She made me a pile of different size fabric bags to protect the frames. She used some REALLY ugly upholstery fabric, old sheets, tablecloths and any odd fabric she had laying around. The heavier upholstery fabric is best. The fabric keeps the frames from scratching each other and keeps them from getting dusty from outing to outing.

Before I had used sheets of cardboard between them, and though it works ok, there was still a little damage.

She's making me some more. (Yes, I have an awesome sister)
Old pillow cases work well, but it's nice to have various sizes.


12-30-2014, 11:27 AM
cool idea and yes, you do have an awesome sister!

12-30-2014, 11:39 AM
This is a super idea. What a great sister. Thanks for sharing. I'm so impressed that you are showing all those paintings good for you!!

12-30-2014, 12:04 PM
Yes I have an awesome sister. there are 4 of us and we sort of labor swap often. She likes that making them is mindless and relaxing, and she gets to use fabric that wouldn't have a use otherwise. To me, anything concerning a sewing machine is painful.

I started out with beer boxes (strong enough to hold the weight and have handles) with cardboard between paintings. That worked OK, but the bigger ones didn't fit so they were just loose in the car with cardboard. The rubbermaid container fit most of the larger ones. I still use the beer cases for the smaller ones. I thought if I really got organized, I'd pin labels on the fabric of which painting is inside.

If anyone has any other ideas to make exhibiting easier, I would love to hear- and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

The exhibits were nice, but the most recent, largest one I could tell before I even hung it that nothing would sell. Just not a good place. They did put 2 color ads in the local paper promoting it and were easy to work with so I would do it again just for exposure.

I did sell a couple at the second one. I'm hoping to get back there this year even if I can't hang more than 30, I got the most interest there.

12-30-2014, 03:16 PM
I used to really get into costuming for historical events. I'd go through this cycle, see some character I wanted to dress like, make the costume, put it on, notice that I am not six feet tall and broad shouldered like Thor but small and crooked and lumpish, think I goofed up on the costume somewhere. Give it away to someone it fit better and repeat. I got pretty good at sewing and making costumes that fit other people.

So I actually get the sewing thing and how it can be great to get some bargain on ugly upholstery fabric you can use for something only to be scratching your head later on just exactly what possessed me to get ugly mustard green upholstery fabric? This totally makes sense!

It's also not that hard to operate a sewing machine and make bags. They're sort of the easy bit. Making clothes shaped like people is the hard part. Making clothes shaped like me when I'm two different sizes depending which side you measure is the really impossible takes a master tailor bit, which is why I no longer dress up like a Viking.

Dang it, now I'm frustrated that my sewing machine died while I was in Minnesota. I'd finally have a use for it again and a reason to snap up some kind of weird 25 cents a yard heavy fabric somewhere online.

12-30-2014, 03:49 PM
Robert- Sorry to remind you of your sewing machine.

I am amazed by people who can sew. I don't think in 3-D. My sister has been sewing period clothes. Drop front pants, frocks etc. She is really good. Her and her husband went dressed to a flint lock shoot dressed up. (at the fort my son is doing his Eagle Scout project) I had bought her a couple 1960s era blankets to use as lining. She ended up using one of them for a coat- and everyone LOVED it. I love recycling.

I think part of the fun with the bags is guessing where the fabric came from. I have one with a pocket still on it. Looks don't count, function does. Some of the upholstery fabric is downright nauseating.

12-31-2014, 08:54 PM
I've bought every heavy duty wheeled luggage carrier I can lay hands on at garage sales, never more than $2 - the kind that fold up flat when not in use. I wrap my frames in old towels, which are the perfect size for up to 16 x 20 & people are glad to give their ratty stuff away LOL. I can get 6 or 7 pieces on one carrier, held w/ bungee cords, roll them out to the van, pick it up and roll it into the bay to lay flat, and roll it out again on arrival. Towels are thick enough to really protect while stacked. I also have a couple of quilted fabric bags like yours when I only need to carry a few. Hauling art around can get REALLY old, really fast. I'd love to hear what the art fair people do. Oh yeh, just to keep count, I am one of those people that can rotate things in 3D in their head. So far, this has not been a lucrative skill :lol:

12-31-2014, 10:21 PM
I have encountered this problem for the first time this last summer. Great tips and ideas here, thanks!

01-01-2015, 06:18 PM
Yes, I like the fact that on the carriers the paintings are lying flat and not sliding around the van - I don't like to transport my pastels vertically, I think it's much more likely that dust will detach and end up on the glass and the mat, ruining the whole effort.

01-02-2015, 11:01 AM
I'd love to get a carrier with wheels. I couldn't store all of mine flat- not enough room in the jeep. A lot of my art is watercolor, ink, etc so I don't have to worry so much about falling dust.

Many of my relatives have been giving my sister fabric. Old towels would work great, even more padding than upholstery fabric. my old towels get reused on the dogs- after that NO ONE wants them.

I never imagined how cumbersome framed art could be. I have even quit taking some of my larger pieces because of potential frame damage, just not worth it.

Barbara WC
01-02-2015, 02:37 PM
Very clever use of old material for making frame bags. I love recycling!

I am thinking of getting a few heavy duty bubble wrap frame bags sold from Frame destinations. They included a sample of the material used in my last order, and it is very sturdy. They are reasonably priced, especially for someone like me that never has more than half dozen paintings to transport. For my typical 12x16 paintings, which have a frame size of 17x21, a bag costs around $13. http://www.framedestination.com/GalleryPouch_Bubble_Wrap_Bags.html