The first layer of protection for my mini paintings is a clear cellophane collectors sleeve. I haven't shown the sleeve in the photo as the reflections play havoc with my camera settings.
Every miniature painting is presented with a Certificate of Authenticity. The certificate is made from card and acts as the second layer of protection.
The third level of protection is a super cute hand-made envelope, made from recycled materials. I use any good quality paper - magazine covers, top quality catalogues (the M&S food catalogue is a good one although it can make one feel a little peckish).
The fourth layer of protection is tissue paper. It only has to cover one side of the envelope with a little to wrap around the edges.
The fifth layer of protection is a piece of card. Shoe box card is the perfect thickness as this keeps the whole depth of the final package under 5mm, the size of an ordinary first class envelope, whilst being tough enough to offer a good level of protection. I always use a guillotine to cut my card - just because it is recycled doesn't mean that it can't look professional. The card needs to be just a little bigger than the tissue wrapped envelope so that the corners will be well protected. I tape the package to the middle of the card.
If I'm sending a few mini paintings in the one package I cut a larger piece of card and tape them so that they do not overlap, keeping the package within the standard first class envelope size.
As a courtesy to my customers I always include a hand written thank you note with the essential care instructions and a little snippet about the piece. Full care instructions are detailed within the Certificate of Authenticity.
The sixth layer of protection is the envelope itself.
We were due some seriously wet weather when I posted this next one so I put it in a waterproof envelope. Sadly when I got to the post office the excess plastic that I had wrapped double around the package took it over the 5mm and I had to pay extra postage for a few more stamps. I'm glad I found that out before it went into the postal system - my policy of always getting my packages checked at the post office counter paid off this time. No prizes for spotting that I have manipulated the addresses in photoshop!
And that's it! Efficient, mostly recycled and most importantly, safe packaging for my mini artwork.
Larger pieces are packaged in lots of thick card...but that's a post for another day.