View Full Version : Mailing watercolour paper art

05-02-2002, 03:43 PM
I was wondering what people use for mailing watercolour paper art. I have been doing very well with selling quick paintings using watercolours and chinese ink on ebay but the actual packing is quickly becoming a hastle. At present I'm just using thick corrogated cardboard from boxes and cutting them to the right dimensions. I fold the cardboard piece so it now covers the front and back of the watercolour sheet (this is inside a plastic sandwich type bag) and can be taped with packing tape all along the edges. This is extremely well packed but I packed 8 of these the other day and it took like 2 hours. There's also a lot of cardboard waste which I then have to bundle and dispose of for recycling. All in all too much work.

What I found that might be an awesomely quick alternative are these "jiffy rigi mailers".


They are thin but tough. I've tried jabbing one with an object such as the eraser end of a pencil with quite strong jabs and no dents or bends are made at all. I tried the same force jabs with a thick corrogated carboard piece and dents were made and actually a slight bump on the other side was the result (which could harm the watercolour paper).

As for bendablity, the corrogated packaging I've been doing is not bendable but if you reached a certain point of force they would probably just crease and fold causing damage to the watercolour paper.

The rigi-mailers are flexible but applying a large force to bend them just curves the whole envelope but it springs back flat. The watercolour paper would be more bent if it were shipped rolled so I don't see much harm in this uniform curved bending.

My question is , has anyone used these . They might give the impression of insufficient packing but after some investigation they appear to be very strong and secure from damage in normal mail.

To pack 8 with these would have taken 2 minutes compared to 2 hours for the other way :eek:

05-02-2002, 03:51 PM
David one thing i've noticed is that alot of people on ebay don't figure in their time packing and cost in packing their work...are you?

Since I figure in my cost to ship, + any supplies of my own (bubble wrap, foam core, tape, etc) and my time to package each one, I don't resent the time it takes to pack it...

I always use foam core...a bit more costly, but I've had stuff bent in other packing material.

05-02-2002, 05:23 PM
Well I don't want to spend much time packing these as they are selling for very little but I can do one drawing/painting in perhaps 15 minutes of time. I charge $5US for shipping which covers the costs of shipping and the materials (being about $8 Canadian). I charge $9.95 US for the work (being about $15 Canadian ....which is pretty good for 15 minutes work). Sometimes they go up much more.

My larger paintings on canvas I would still pack in bubble wrap and make the box. But since my small quick watercolour paintings are doing well I might not bother selling my canvas ones as I can get more for them in other places.

05-03-2002, 11:36 AM
David ...Thanks for the idea on shipping watercolor works. Here is an idea for shipping larger paintings ...
I had to ship 2 very large ones (both framed) last year for Ebay, the first picture I took to my framer for packaging and this is how he instructed me to do it.
Cut a piece of corragated cardboard to exactly fit the inset of your frame or the canvas itself (if shipping un-framed.) Take a larger piece of corragated cardboard and snugly wrap the piece, bringing both sides around to meet in the middle with a bit of overlap and tape securely ( like wrapping a gift) . Cut the extra over-hanging cardboard at each end so that it can be folded down snug (one over the other) and secure with packing tape. Repeat process once more...my framer ships alot of items and said bubble wrap is not great as it can cause the item to shift. He said to pack it as tight as possible so there is no movement what-so-ever during shipping. I think I could have driven a car over these packaged paintings and they would have come out fine...lol.

Both U.S. customers were extra pleased with the care taken to the packaging. I wont ship many framed items in the future...too much fuss and expense, especially if it involves glass ( though it certainly increased my price! ) but will apply this same technique to my stretched canvases also.

05-06-2002, 04:26 PM
Well I just ordered a pack of 150 of these. 10.5" x 14" or so. They worked out to be like 65cents (canadian) or so in this large amount. I'll let you know how they go.

05-06-2002, 06:21 PM
David, the best containers I've found for shipping are the triange shaped boxes that are used for Priority shipping. Since you can't use those....you could use the shape to create your own boxes. Measure a square piece of cardboard in three equal spaces and score along the inner two lines for ease in bending the cardboard. Then cut the ends so the fold over and tape it all shut.

I use white paper over the front of my paintings and roll them around a tube....so that they roll up easily. Remove the tube and wrap a piece of paper around the outside to hold the painting in the rolled shape. Then tape the paper...this way you won't risk taping on the painting. Slide the painting into the tube and its ready to ship.

This may sound like more work....but before I got the boxes free...I was making about 6 at a time for my shipping. They are really sturdy in the triangular shape!


05-06-2002, 08:14 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. But I really don't want to got back to making any more boxes. It's just far too time consuming. However, I might give cardboard tubes a try too (which would be as tough or tougher than a triangular shape).

But these rigi-mailers seem to be pretty good. My only thought is people may think they are not good packing even though the painting arrives without damage.

From some tests I've tried (above) I've found them to be really tough and are bendable but the amount of force needed to bend these so opposite edges touch is a lot and I would hope would be beyond the worst limits of mail abuse offered in the Canadian and US mail systems . This force when applied to my other way of mailing is enough to cause my two thicknesses of corrogated cardboard to just plain break and cause a crease.

Anyway, I'll post here my results whenever I get these things :)

05-06-2002, 09:58 PM
I am interested in those JiffRigi Mailers but I could not find the ordering information at the sight. Nor could I find the sizes available. Can someone direct me?