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I am looking for a plastic bin (with a lid) that can accommodate 16x20 matted prints. Doesn't need to be archival, but rather for transportation to/from art fairs. 

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We found some plastic bins at Walmart of all places that have worked well for us.  Our matted prints are 18 x 24. The bins we purchased were designed for under bed storage and measure 30 x 24 x 6. They are manufactured by Home Products International They make several sizes.  The one thing to watch is that the bottom of the bin is not perfectly flat.  The bins have wheels and there are indentations to accommodate them.  We use scrap cardboard to fill the space between the indentations so that the prints lay flat. They have been treated rather roughly and are holding up so far.

I use two Rubbermaid Roughneck totes, an 18 and 10(12?) gallon totes to make a box for 18x24 matted pieces. The lids are glued together face-to-face with the centers cut out using Liquid Nails, then the two lids are attached to the larger tub. The smaller tub then goes on top to make the new top.

I was just about to post a very similar question. I want to store them in my unfinished but generally climate controlled & not damp basement, in plastic in case of leaks, and with a lid because spiders.

My prints are matted to 20x24. Can't find any rubbermaid totes that are big enough to store them laying flat. I was thinking of getting these $10 underbid storage bins from Ikea -- they're 25.6 x 27.5 x 7.5, which seems like it'd be enough to fit them and still be able to get a hand in to get them out

But I'm also strongly considering changing to no more matted photos, just photo with same size backer board in my bins; and no more framed photos on my walls, just metal, canvas, and standouts or gallery blocks or something. (Matting properly with hinging tissue and all that is a pain and not worth the few dollars extra I charge for matted prints, and frames are heavy and fragile.) So I'm also looking for something that will store printed canvases nicely (I figure the metal prints I can just leave in their plastic sleeves, or put a sheet of thin foam between them)

Hi This is what I use I have many 16x20 paintings and I use a stanley's work box from Home depot, they are extremely strong and waterproof, also have a lock, and you can add more pad locks if need to.

I can get almost 30 paintings in 1 box you could prob double that with matted 16x20 prints,

I like the Idea they are weather proof and have a telescoping handle , and wheels.

I on 2 so far the cost last time i looked was $54.00 in store the website shows them for more but they are cheaper in store I think? they should last a life time very tough.

That looks nice and solid, but at roughly 19x20x34 it would at best be very tight with a matted 16x20, since the mat size would be somewhere from 20x24 to 22x28, 24x28, or even 24x30. Now, if it was an 11x14 print matted to 16x20, that's a different story -- you could probably fit about 120 of those in there.

For 24x30 and 20x30 canvas prints I use two 31-gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck totes joined together. I can get 9  1.5 inch thick gallery wrap pieces in each package plus a thin poster frame. I use three of these combination tubs, and they fit across the back of the van, a Ford E-350, behind the front seats with just enough room to slide some Propanels between them and the driver's side. I could take some snap shots of them tomorrow when I empty the van out and show them filled up and some detail shots so you can see how it's done.

Robert, I would also like to see photos of how you do this as well. Sounds like a great idea but I can't seem to visualize how you do it.

Here are the photos of how I put together a set of storage tubs large enough to handle 24x30 canvas prints and framed pieces. The first one is the finished set, and as you can see, it's a fairly good size. It's about 34-35 inches tall inside as a 36 inch tall framed piece I had needed not quite 2 inches more to close. It should be no problem for 32 inch tall pieces.

It's made from two 31-gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck tots. The lids are attached together face to face after using a box knife to cut out the center. I've used Liquid Nails on some smaller tubs, an 18 gallon and a 12 gallon tub from Rubbermaid to attach the lids together. On this one, and two others, I just used Gorilla tape and it works like a charm. Here's a couple of views of the lids seen from the inside. The tape also holds the two lids together attached to the bottom tub. The vertical sections of tape wrap around the outside and overlap underneath the bottom lip of the tub and over the top to the inside of the top lid. This middle connector does not come off, it's intended to be part of the bottom tub. The second tub just slips on "upside down" to become the new lid. The old lids become a connecting ring to hold it all together.

If you have trouble figuring out what was cut out, it was the flat part of the lids.

I can stack 9 Gallery wrap canvases in the tubs with a little room left over. For canvases, the first one on has the back to the outside and the next one is face-to-face with the first one. The third one is back-to-back with the second one. This keeps any hanging hardware from causing damage to the adjacent piece. The ninth one needs a piece of mattboard or Foam-Cor to cushion the face of it from the inside edge of the connected lids. Here's the loaded tub with the "lid" off;

The Rubbermaid 18 gallon and 12 gallon tubs are just wide enough for an 18 inch wide matted piece or a thinner metal framed piece. You could use different sizes for taller pieces as they have a 15 gallon tub that is halfway between the 12 and 18 gallon tubs. 

very clever!! awesome idea!


Thanks for the link to the photos of your containers. That is going to work for me. Genius!

Chris Roche

Pure genius!  Thanks for taking the time to share a great tip.  

Check IKEA boxes. I got boxes from them that hold my 18x24 prints nicely. I'll try to add a link later.


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