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Scott Evans
March 20, 2024

How to pack pictures for moving

Want to find out the best way to pack your pictures?

When it comes to moving or to storing pictures, mirrors and framed photos, wrapping them to move them can prove a nightmare. 

Lots of them in a box, all different sizes, is a recipe for broken glass and broken mirrors. 

Specialist moving boxes are available for moving them, but if there are lots of them, and they have no value beyond the aesthetic, this can look like an expensive option. 

So here´s a cheat´s way to pack them to keep them safe. 

Packing Glass or Mirror Fronted Items 

You´ll need:  

  • Thick card or old cardboard boxes; 
  • Stanley knife or scissors strong enough to cut through the cardboard; 
  • Pencil; 
  • Ruler; 
  • Packing paper or tissue paper;  
  • Bubble wrap (optional);  
  • Packing tape and Sellotape type tape;  
  • Marker pen (to label the box). 

Inner Layer: bubble wrap (optional) 

For the inner layer, to wrap the picture/mirror inside you have the option of a protective layer of bubble wrap. As bubble wrap degrades, only have it touching the item that you´re packing if it´s for moving, not if it´s for long term storage. (See our general packing guide [insert link]). If it´s for storage rather than removal, but you want to add a protective layer of bubble wrap, put it on the outside of the paper you are going to wrap with (see below). Then if it does degrade, it sticks to the paper, not your picture/mirror.) 

Inner layer: packing paper 

For the paper layer, lie your item on packing paper and wrap it around in several layers. As long as it doesn´t touch what you are wrapping (i.e. it stays on the paper), Sellotape-like tape is more than good enough to keep the paper in place. Think of it like a ´pass the parcel prize´, albeit wrapped slightly better than time-pressed adults at a childrens' party! (And, of course, with better quality paper.) 

Once the picture is safely wrapped to avoid any scratches and to offer a little protection from minor bumps, it´s ready to ´box up´. 

Packing two items together 

It is possible to pack more than one picture together but do try and group items of a similar outline size. Thickness (depth) matters less but, to avoid breakages, try not to pack something very thick and heavy, like a gilt mirror, alongside a more fragile fame. 


If you are wrapping it with another item, place them fragile side inwards, facing each other. The paper/bubble wrap that you´ve already wrapped them in will offer them protection from scratching each other, and as most pictures/mirrors have a hard backing, this will offer a little extra protection when facing out. 

Tape them together to prevent movement, and lie them on the card you´ve prepared for the box. 

Creating the box for transport 

The card you´ll be using, which should be the thickness of a standard packing box or more, should be layed out to at least twice the size of the frame or frames you´ll be packing. This card is going to become the outer protective layer for your ´parcel´.  

If you are taking card from an existing box, break the box down with a knife or scissors to from a flat surface.  

Using the Stanley knife/scissors, cut your card to the size of the object place a space the depth of the frame. Double over the card to shape it to create a box around the item(s), using a strong packing tape to seal the ´package´. Keep the card as tight to the package as you can. Damage is more likely to be caused by the item rattling around than by any small knocks during transport. 

If your card isn´t big enough, use two pieces, but be aware that the more open edges you seal, the more chance there is of the ´parcel´ coming undone whilst being moved. 

Always tape it well. Better too much tape, even if it looks messy, than too little. 

Canvas Block Pictures/Photos 

If your painting or photo is on a canvas block, you won´t need to worry about broken glass. Your main objective when packing up is to protect the canvas. 

Make sure you wrap the item in plenty of clean wrapping paper. You don´t want any ink from paper to transfer onto the canvas, which will, unlike glass, mirror or wooden frames, be almost impossible to clean without professional help. 

Once wrapped well in paper, you can transport in a carboard box with other items that can´t pierce the paper, either in their natural state (things with jagged edges) or made of breakable glass, china, ceramics etc. 

Or follow the instructions above for creating a box. 

Storing items 

If you are looking for self-storage space across Wales and North West England, Pink Storage has convenient secure storage facilities across 12 separate locations []. The company is a member of the Self Storage Association and offers a lowest price guarantee on its clean, dry, and secure storage spaces. 

Scott Evans

Scott Evans is the Managing Director of Pink Storage and has many years of experience in the Self Storage Space. Scott has been featured on websites such as MSN, Yahoo, Wales Online, Daily Mail, The Express, The Mirror and many more by sharing his knowledge on everything storage.

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