Generic Photo Competition Shipping Container

Bronze RachelSchneiderman Eastern Bluebird
Gold Missy Mandel Chickadee On Cones
Gold Missy Mandel Dik Dik Portrait
Gold Missy Mandel Grizzly Portrait
Merit 2 Olivia Dolinsky Sky Is The Limit Copy


Many photographers are apprehensive in submitting their images to a CAPA Print Competition because of the difficulty in shipping to and receiving back their images.

We have included below a generic design for a competition shipping container which is extremely light, strong, and relatively easy to construct. 


Based on this design, we constructed two similar shipping containers from material purchased at a local Home Depot. 


one (1) sheet of 24″ by 28″ white corrugated plastic sheet – $18.51
one (1) package of white velcro – $4.80
one (1) 8 foot length of hemlock 1″ by 1″ – $21.65
two (2) 7 foot length clear plastic corner protector – ($4.98 each) – $9.96


Total cost of the material was $54.92 for each shipping container (not including taxes) –  Cost could be reduced by using a softer and less expensive type of wood like spruce or cedar. Some Home Depot stores will cut wood to the dimensions you required and the service fee is minimal.

In constructing our shipping containers, we changed the design slightly by adding a  1″ by 1″ hemlock at the base of the container to strengthen the entire constructions.  As such, the total length was extended by 1 inch.  The rationale for this modification is that it would be too difficult to create two precise folds in such a short space. 



CRITICAL CONSIDERATION – In constructing this shipping container, the inside dimensions must be maintained at 20 1/2″ by 16 1/2″.  With the 1 inch thick hemlock, you can insert 6 prints with each having a stiff backing and a single mat.  




First the wood was cut to the required length and nailed at each joint.

Next, the corrugated plastic sheet was cut to produce the top and back (with flap) panels. Strongly suggest measuring twice and cutting once.

For the back panel, you need to measure 1/2″ longer than the length of the front panel to create the first bend in the back panel.  Best to draw a line on where the bend will occur.  Use a sharp edge to slightly cut along the intended bend line.  Then use a piece of straight wood or metal edge to force the fold in the first bend of the flap.  We used a 2′ by 4″ over the bend and hit it with a hammer to reinforce the bend. Repeat this process for the second bend in the flap.

Finally cut the curve for the top flap.

We moved onto attaching the front and back panels to the wooden frame using a stable gun or small tacks.  

Next, we attached the velcro to the inside of the flap and the front panel.

Another change we made in the generic design was to add a clear plastic corner protector where the panels met with the wooden frame.  The plastic corner protector have an inside adhesive which attaches to the joint.  To reinforce this adhesive, we used a stable to attach the corner and ends.



My recommendation for anyone constructing a similar shipping container is to use use a softer wood like fir or cedar.



The finished product is quite impressive and will serve our club for many years. 

Photographs below illustrates the finished shipping container.

Photograph of of the two shipping containers.
Photograph of of the corner of the shipping containers and the stables in the corner are clearly shown on the top container.
Photograph of of the top flap and the notable bend.
Photograph of a side view of the flap with the extra 1/2″ to accommodate the bend in the the corrugated plastic.