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Client Package Prep

Stephen Enggass

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Ok, I’d like to know the proper way(s) to prepare a job for pickup by client. Protected for transport, labeling, etc. I’m sure there are many ways to accomplish this, but I’d love to hear some ideas of how you all do it. Materials needed etc. thanks!!
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When I had my Framing shop I often displayed finished work on easels for the above reasons and as a way of exhibiting different framing examples.

All finished work was loosely wrapped in good quality brown paper, shown to the customer for approval, and then completely wrapped securely.

Being obsessive about my mitering, I never used those corner protectors.


Angry Badger
I would caution against displaying customer's work without their consent. Most don't care, but there's always one that does.

I also don't see how being obsessive about mitering has a bearing on protecting the corners from casual damage.

For everyday work we use the folding cardboard corners and keep them in place with 3" stretch wrap. The stretch wrap also serves to cover the face of the frame and protect it a bit.


In a life time of framing, and some, I never came across "that one customer" who objected to their framing displayed in fact, the opposite was always the case.

As for those corner protectors, not all, but too many are used to cover dodgy mitres:rolleyes:

Wrapping finished work with good quality brown paper correctly results in the corners being doubly protected. Perhaps I was lucky because I never had a frame returned suffering casual damage.

Terry Hart cpf

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
We either cut a piece of cardboard to protect the front & wrap in kraft paper or more often than not wrap the whole piece in a cardboard wrap. Lay the framed piece on a sheet of cardboard a bit larger than the frame, trace, score out to the edge, remove the corner pieces so you have a cross shape the another quick score so you can wrap around the back of the frame & tape. Protects the whole works & customers love it for safe transporting of their artwork.


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Bubblewrap Bubblewrap Bubblewrap.

.........and a roll of masking tape.

I say masking tape because it peels off easily. So you can unwrap it, show the customer the frame if
required an wrap it up again. I hate when I get stuff wrapped in reams of good bubblewrap but stuck
up with Sellotape or similar gooey stuff. You can spend hours trying to re-use it. 😬


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I have never had that one customer either, who would object to art being displayed. Isn’t that the purpose of framing the art in the first place?
It is also more practical to me, as I don’t have that much space 8n the workshop and is is better off in the cleaner retail space.


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I've always been worried about displaying customer's artwork, as often they are gifts, and the recipient of the gift may live close by.
Also, not being a conversationalist, the request for consent can be awkward.

We store everything with a layer of cardboard in front of the frame, and wrapped in kraft paper.
(90% of this cardboard is packaging from the supplies we order)
These are all stored in a shelf unit, with their name written down the side of the package.
We also tape a copy of the work order to the front of the package, just in case we need to consult it.


PFG, Picture Framing God
As far as customer's gifts to a spouse or family member, I always ask about this and when we call that the order is ready, will the call go to the person that is getting the gift possibly ruining the surprise...o_O
We often have customers in our POS with many family members getting framing done over the years.

This is all discussed at the time of sale and I always make a note to only call the number when the job is ready that will call the giver of the gift..:thumbsup:


Angry Badger
I had a lady customer chew me out for displaying her "copyrighted" photo. The piece wasn't even in the gallery area, but hung above one of the work benches in the back.
She was livid with me and said that someone seeing it might steal her idea.
It was a photo of a rose in a bud vase.
Obviously it was original to her.
I just didn't know.
I now ask if I think I might want to have it out for people to see, or I might want to snap a photo of it for my records.
For basic sturdy and metal frames, I make cardboard corners. I'll wrap these in paper or put in a plastic bag at the customer's request. For hand-finished, leafed, or delicate frames, I use a thin foam wrap.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Just a word about cardboard corner protectors; I once famed a dozen of so photographs in a fairly cheap painted black and gold moulding roughly 15mm wide with a raised, rounded outer edge and, because they had to travel, I put cardboard protectors on the corners.

Big Mistake.

One of these frames came back for reglazing a week or so later and I saw that the paint had been rubbed right off all of the corners. I touched them up and had the customer bring in the others so I could fix them too and after that I only ever used bubble wrap on timber frames.

Terry Hart cpf

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Good point about the abrasiveness of cardboard & even kraft paper. Any sensitive finsh gets plastic bag, bubble wrap or foam wrap before being wrapped in cardboard.


Grumbler in Training
This response is a bit late, but I figured I'd share since I didn't see anyone else on here with the same answer:

I wrap everything with a clear plastic bag first (I get them from Larson or Omega) and then put clear bubble corners on the outside of that. I like these better than the kraft corners since they are transparent. I get them from Omega and they come in three different sizes.



MGF, Master Grumble Framer
We use clear cellophane that we get from the florist suppliers. You can get different thicknesses. But it means we can wrap the artwork and not have to unwrap it again to show the customer.


True Grumbler
I use cardboard corners and kraft paper for most of my packaging for client pick up.
I find that my customers enjoy the experience of the "big reveal" when I unwrap the item that is special to them.
Everybody likes to unwrap presents!😍
But, others here are correct, it does take space and time to unwrap a paper package.

I'm all for re-using shipping supplies like plastic film/bags, soft foam, carboard boxes, etc.

I try to avoid using plastic stretch film as it is a single-use plastic, but it does have it's place.
There are situations where nothing else does the job as well as stretch film to hold things together.
Especially on very large frames where wrapping in paper would be a huge chore.

For larger pieces (or when the weather is rainy) I'll re-use the bags that matboards are shipped in, with cardboard corners.
For canvas (or any other non-glazed pieces) I'll cut cardboard protector sheets from empty glazing boxes.

As long as I give my customers the "handle with care" speech, and have done what I can to package the item enough for the drive home, I've done my part.

If someone is looking for packaging for shipping, I tell them that's not part of my services.
I will recommend them to a professional moving company for shipping quality packaging.
That eliminates any responsibility for shipping damage away from me.
In ten years I've only had one person expect that I should ship a frame for them.
When I asked her if she would rather trust the safety of her artwork to me (who has never shipped a frame in ten years), or a professional shipping company who exists to provide exactly that service (and is insured for it!), which would she prefer? Needless to say, she went with the shipper.

I haven't noticed any problems with abrasive scuffing from items I have had wrapped in paper with cardboard corners and stored for months.
Although as someone else stated, some types of finish are more delicate than others.
Experience informs best practices.
I'll certainly follow others' suggestions for safely wrapping delicate items in foam and plastic.

I wrap everything and store it in a back room to await pick-up. My retail space is small, I don't have enough space for displaying customer art waiting for pick up. Although, I like the idea of showing off framing jobs that may be particularly eye-catching. I just photograph my favourite jobs, to use as reference and show examples to other clients. I don't have any of the photos on public display, to avoid any legal issues.
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