The Future Belongs to the Creators ™

Flying with Art


You have some artwork you need to take with you on a plane trip. You would like it to remain in the same condition it left your house in. It is too big to carry on with you - so you are going to check it. The artwork may need opened at the airport for inspection. Airlines have size and weight restrictions.


You need to make a custom, strong but lightweight “crate” to protect your artwork.


You need to figure out the largest interior dimensions of a box that will hold your stuff. Include the dimensions of your items plus padding around and between them.

For our example, we are taking a framed canvas from CanvasPress and a sunset picture printed on wood from Woodsnap. The aerial art is 41.5”[x] x 15.5” [y] x 2.25”[z] and the sunset are is 24”[x] x 14”[y] x 1”[z]. Neither item has any glass. Since both objects are roughly the same shape, we just have to see what the largest total dimensions are.

Interior [x] = 41.5” of aerial

Interior [y] = 15.5” of aerial

Interior [z] = 3.25” aerial + sunset (since we will be stacking objects

On each side, we will add foam. (2 x Foam) + [x] and (2 x Foam) + [y]

We will add a layer of foam on the top, bottom, and in between each item. Total [z] = (3 x Foam) + [z]

To make the enclosing box, we need a top, bottom, 2 sides and two ends.

Since we found 0.75” foam, we now know Total [z] = (3 x 0.75”) + 3.25” = 5.5”

A 1x6 board is actually 0.75 x 5.5”, so that is perfect for our sides and ends.

Given the thickness of the sides/ends is 0.75” we can find Total [x] = 44.5” and Total [y] = 18.5” Hint: Don’t forget to add (2 x End Thickness) for Total [x] for the dimensions of the top and bottom.

Dropping into a home supply store, we found:

  1. 2 @ 48”x24” drawer bottom sheets (Luan would also work)

  2. 6 @ 48”x14.5”x0.75” EPS Poly Panels by CelloFoam (Came in a 6 pack, or there are large 96”x48” sheets)

  3. 2 @ 1x6x96”

  4. Drywall Screws

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