How the framed item leaves your shop?

Tommy P

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Nov 16, 2003
Mid North Indiana
This is a simple problem that I am sure many of you have an answer for. When customers come in to pick up their framed items we just let them walk out the door with a "naked" piece. I feel I should be "packaging" the piece for presentation and/or protection. How do some of you send the piece out your door? Plastic bag? Corner protectors, etc.? I just don't feel I am doing the right thing by just handing the piece over to them. I want to do the professional "feel" as they leave my shop.
Easy one.

In a plastic bag.

Protects from the elements. If a metal frame or ornate frame, additional corrugated corners to protect corners.

I want it to get home just as it left my store... so there are no problems. You'd be surprised how many return with "broken glass" that I know wasn't broken when it left.

I have 5 different size plastic bags on rolls.

We put the framed package into a clear plastic bag made by Impact Images. The corners are then protected by cardboard corner protectors which are then wrapped with 2" stretch banding film to keep them in place. It might be a little 'over kill', but customers have very positive reactions. Because of that, I've decided not to change a thing!
It depends on the item and value. but the minimum
in our shop is we wrap in 3-4 mil clear plastic bag then corogated corners with stretch wrap to secure the corners. As the Value goes up we overwrap to the point of overkill. One ding in a waterguilded frame makes for a very unhappy customer. and replacing it instead op buying wapping materials is a mistake I have made before. We also offer a delivery and installation service.
Brown paper.

We keep a 3' wide roll in a dispenser under the counter. Customers think it quirky, but like the old fashioned ritual of having their purchases wraped. Cheaper than plastic bags, with the added advantage that 'one size fits all'.

We also wrap a few lengths of that cling-film stuff round each side of the frame to protect it from scratches while in our workshop.
Plastic bag and corner protectors. I have been considering purchasing a shrink wrap system to replace the plastic bags because I like the nice tight look when a piece is shrink wrapped. One of these days.

Also, on moderate to large size pieces I always carry the piece out to the car for them. I will always offer, but with the small pieces the customer will usually just take it themselves.

If the longest side is under 40", I use bubble corners (You can make your own. If you want to buy them, M&M is the only distributor I know of that carries them.) and shrink wrap the item with 100 guage shrink wrap. I believe that this provides better protection than just a bag. For larger items, I go the bag route.

If you want to make your own buble corners, take a square piece (I use 12" for most") and cut it from corner to corner making 4 triangular pieces, then fold the two corners of the long side to the top and tape.
First of all, the picture is carried out to the customers car by one of us, that is how it leaves our shop.

We do not consider the framing job is completed until it is wrapped up in Kraft paper and put away. Then, and only then, is the customer called and told that the work is completed.

When our customer comes to pick it up, we unwrap every picture for their final inspection, then we re-wrap it. We give them the appropriate hanging hooks at that time. The only time we do not unwrap completed work is when it is a large commercial job.

I use WallBuddies as my default hangers (except on the smallest items.) I cut a piece of corrugated to the outside dimensions of the frame and put two holes to indicate where the provided hooks should be placed on the wall.

After the customer has seen the order, I use the cardboard hanging template to protect the glass-side of the frame and secure it with that 3"-wide clear wrap that others have mentioned.

Since this is Wisconsin, and it's nearly always either raining or snowing (and sometimes both) I'll put the whole works in a plastic bag and carry it out to the car.

Smaller items get shrink-wrapped.

I go through a lot of corrugated.
at 32* water in hard
Thanks everyone.....many good ideas....I'll combo up a few and have the perfect package for our customers!! You can always count on the G!
Originally posted by JRB:
...We do not consider the framing job is completed until it is wrapped up in Kraft paper and put away....
When our customer comes to pick it up, we unwrap every picture for their final inspection, then we re-wrap it. We give them the appropriate hanging hooks at that time...
We follow the same procedures as John except we wrap each piece in corrugated cardboard, rather than paper. It's a bit overkill, but customers do appreciate the extra protection in transit.
When I had a shop I used shrink wrap, it is very economical. The roller type shrinkwrap machine makes it very easy. It takes less time and looks better than bags or paper.

I'm surprised anybody uses paper. If we had to wrap and rewrap every job that goes out of here we would have to work 24 hours a day.

We are using bags. I'm not crazy about them. They are slippery, slightly cloudy and it's never easy to make them look neat and secure without lots of unsightly tape.

Some framers around here are now using stretch wrap only. It looks great and is probably even better, faster and more economical than shrinkwrap.

In fact, I've heard that it may even be illegal to alter a plastic bag or sheet of kraft paper with tape of any kind.
Jo, you're okay with the bags as long as you attach the following notice to each bag (in a manner that cannot be removed:)

This bag is not a toy. Do not place it over your head (even if it fits.) Do not place it in a crib or within reach of persons under the age of 26. Not suitable for use as a Halloween costume. Dispose of properly and responsibly. If placed in a municipal landfill, it will decompose in approximately 740 years. Do not burn. May be recycled if delivered (may not be mailed or shipped) to the authorized recycling facility in Des Moines, Iowa.
Well I have come up with an idea on my own...and my wife (the artist) likes it. I took 1/8" packing sheet foam, used my ATG and made "bag" to fit whatever size I needed. Left a flap at the top, slid the frame in the bag, closed the top with a piece of masking tape and that was it! You can buy the stuff in rolls of varying widths and make your own....I even have lots of the stuff recycled from my chops I get from Decor! I like the look, you can open it up to show the customer and reclose easily, and I believe it will offer good protection. Should be better than paper or plastic. I'm so proud of myself...I think I'll give myself a gold star for the day!

Most highly recommended method...
Frameboy, you deserve a gold star, that is a great idea. I doubt if I will use it, been doing it my way for thirty years, but I like it.

We make clear plastic bags to fit each frame, by using our hot-wire shrinkwrapper to cut/fuse the edges of the plastic, which we buy folded, in 36" wide rolls.

When I compared costs several years ago, this method cost about twice as much as brown paper (not counting labor to open & reclose the paper wrap for customer viewing), and about half as much as using plastic bags in fixed sizes.

And Ron, if you relent & bend up the center-point on your WallBuddies, your cardboard template becomes unnecesary. In fact, precise hanging is very easy & requires no measuring whatsoever.
Whew! I was glad to see someone else uses Kraft Paper...that is what we do too. We wrap and unwrap so the customer can see. I like the look of that going out of the shop.
I was thinking about doing cardboard corner thing...but haven't had the time to look them up and order!

Have a great Monday! Debbe
For years we have used corrigated cardboard to wrap each picture. This protects it here in storage until the client picks it up. Then we unwrap it show it to the client and wrap it back up and we carry it out to their vehicle and we are done.
We spend alot of money on cardboard. However, preventing one little ding on the frame makes it worth it.

For the life of me I don't understand wrapping in kraft paper. That doesn't protect it from any bumps only just keeps dust off the framing. And what do you do when you have several frame jobs to give the client. They stack them in the trunk wraped in kraft paper?? Or even plastic??
Well, we're a little different in that we use WHITE kraft paper :D . We don't wrap it until the customer picks up - the finished piece is on display until they come in.

If something is big/heavy/fragile/delicate we'll wrap it in foam or cardboard. Corners if it needs it.

ALWAYS carry it out to the car. Never had any complaints.

Tony, we do the same sometimes in displaying the piece until the customer comes in. It's nice when other customers that haven't used us before come in and see something we have just recently done, AND I should have added in earlier post that we do extra, (bubble wrap on corners or entirely) if it's a heavy or big piece, OR if the customer has more than one that they may lay together in their vehicle. Also at times, deliver when necessary.

We use brown kraft paper, also. Every wood frame also gets a sheet of corrugated to cover the entire frame to help prevent dings. Very ornate frames or expensive frames get bubble wrap as well. We unwrap each piece so the customer can inspect it before bringing it home. We always offer to carry it out to the car. Most people refuse if it is a small piece. If it is anything 22 x 28 or over we pretty much insist on taking it out to the car. We just discussed swithcing to plastic bags, but decided against it because most pieces get covered with corrugated anyway. Also,we are afraid the plastic bags will cause the finished pieces to slide around too much in the car.
We also use brown kraft paper with padding on corners and front if needed. We have done this for 24 years.
Paper is more environmentally friendly. We store finished artwork in vertical bins.
On the end of the kraft paper wrapped frame in we print the customers name with a Sharpie. This method really helps identify a customers frame job quickly.
We hang the customers' finished pieces on the wall until they come to pick it up. That way, other customers can see our work, the wall display always appears to be changing and the customer can see how nice their piece looks hanging on a wall. Since the piece hasn't been wrapped yet, the customer can inspect the work. Once they're ready, we tear off a sheet of kraft paper or re-use the kraft paper that separates the lites in a box of glass and place a sheet of foam on top of that (we reuse the foam sheets that our chops are shipped in). We then place the frame face down on the two layers and wrap it like a present. The customers love it. The foam provides cushioning and some moisture protection.

Reduce, recycle, reuse!