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Title: What Is Correct Way To Make 4x8 Foam Board Box for Shipping Art?
Tags: 4x8 pvc foam sheet PVC celuka board
Blog Entry: As I created a lightweight yet sturdy box to ship a painting to its new home last week, I decided to take photos and write down the steps in the process in case other artists might be interested in this method. I learned how to do it from looking at a box made by another pastel artist and given to me by a framer, so I am passing along the helpful information to others. To make the box, you will need 3 4x8 pvc foam sheet that are larger than the size of the painting. I used 22x30 inch boards for a 16x20 painting. This will give me room to cushion all around the work. Gather an xacto knife or foam cutter, scissors, clear packing tape, a pencil, and a yardstick. Plan to work on a table with a protective cover, since you will be cutting through foam boards. Decide on the diminsions of the box. I wanted mine to be 3 inches deep and hold a 16x20 inch stretched canvas. Using the yardstick, measure out the width of the box to the desired size, adding at least 2 inches on each side as the protective cushion. For mine, I kept the board width size as it was at 20 inches, and my length was going to be 24 inches. The length of the board, 30 inches, left me another 6 inches to use as the top and bottom panels of the box. I decided NOT to cut that completely off and tape it back on, but use it to fold down. I measured in 3 inches from each end, and marked it with the yard stick and pencil. I used this tan color board simply because the store was out of white, but perhaps it will be good for the demo purposes. Look at the edges of the board in the photo below where I have partially cut it to create the top and bottom side panels for the box. The cut is made only partially through the board, leaving it to hinge downward. Hold the yardstick firmly to use as a straight edge, and run the xacto knife or foam board cutter along the marked pencil line that is 3 inches in, without cutting all the way to the back. Do this on both ends of the foam board on one of them. Turn your attention to the second sheet of foam board. It will need to be cut to the same diminsions to match the first, so it should be cut to fit together with a side panel. For mine, I measured 24 inches from one side, then totally cut away the 6 inch piece that was left. This will be cut into strips to be folded into triangles to function as a cushion in the inside. Now, take a 3rd sheet of foam core of the same diminsions, and measure 3 inches into it along the length. Then measure 3 inches into it along the length of the other side. You are creating the side panels for the box, and they will fit together. Run the cutter along the straight edge of the yard stick again for a neat trim. Next, you will put the box together. I gathered the side panels just cut and the top panel that has the flaps on the ends. Using a piece of clear packing tape for each of the 4 corners, I tacked the side panels to the end panels to form a tray. Then, I turned the tray over and did some serious taping, running a strip of tape along all four edges of the top and panel, and reinforcing the corners. Apply the tape as smoothly as possible so that the box looks professional--it is a reflection of you when you ship paintings in it. Turning the tray back over to the inside, I created foam core scrap cushions for the painting. You are on your own for this, because it will vary according to whether a work is framed or includes glass. For this painting, I only needed to keep the canvas away from the front and sides of the box. I made folded triangles and taped them into shapes that would not let the acrylic painting slip to the front panel and would be suspended from all sides. The long side triangles that can be seen in the photo below open to the front panel, holding the painting from it. For a painting with glass, I would have created a tray insert out of another foam board and placed the painting in it to hold it from the front. Note--don't pack acrylic paintings with bubble wrap against them. The box is now ready to be finished, so I taped the remaining panel to the filled tray along the edges of the panel. It is strong, lightweight, looks great, and cost me about $7 to ship the painting, plus the cost of the foam boards and tape. If you have preferences for how the recipient should open the box, mark it for which end to open. I used a bold black marker on the panel where the top of the painting was, writing "Open This End." When I use these for entering a show, I also enclose instructions on how to repack it and include return labels. The PVC celuka board is also one of our products, welcome to your come and purchase!